Botox® interview with Dr. Warren Roberts

Here are some great questions about Botox and answers from Dr. Warren Roberts in a recent interview.

1. What oral conditions is Botox® used in dentistry to help with oral health? (ie. teeth grinding, jaw pain, etc)

Botox® can be used to treat the following oral conditions:

  • TMD/TMJ (pain reduction)
  • Uneven lips/smile
  • Gummy smiles (reduction in gingival display)
  • Periodontic (pre-surgical and recession prophylaxis
  • Endodontic (differential diagnosis of nonspecific pain)
  • Parafunctional habits (reduction in grinding)
  • Implants (pre and post surgical)
  • Orthodontics (post treatment retention)
  • Sleep apnea (appliance compliance

2. Why is Botox® a good way to treat these conditions? How do they help?

Botox® is a quick, relatively painless, non-invasive treatment. It can help by relaxing the muscle and decreasing pain. There are no long-term negative side effects.

3. Before Botox®, how were these conditions treated?

Before Botox®, each condition was not treated at all, or surgically. Botox® is an adjunct to treatment, in most cases not a replacement. The incorporation into implant treatment improves tissue response and healing. In endodontics, it assists in the correct diagnosis, in ortho and sleep apnea it improves patient compliance and improves the treatment results.

4. How long do results last using Botox®?

Typically, therapeutic results last 4-6 months, and cosmetic results last 3-4 months.

5. Are dentists now allowed to use Botox® for non-oral health issues? (For instance, can a patient get Botox® at their dentists while there for a regular checkup?)

Yes, however it can vary by region. Many jurisdictions now allow dentists to use Botox® for both therapeutic and cosmetic uses. Having dentists administer Botox® and dermal fillers makes a lot of sense, as they are one of the few groups that have specialized education in head and neck anatomy. They are highly trained and experienced in providing facial injections, they work in a clinical environment, and understand the importance of using safe and sterile instruments. Additionally, they can discuss all concerns regarding patient’s teeth, smile and face.

6. Are dentists typically trained to administer Botox®?

Physicians, specialists, dentists and nurses graduate with no formal Botox® training. 92% of physicians performing Botox® have no formal training, nor guidelines laid out by their college.

Dentists must take advanced post-secondary education to be able to administer Botox®. However, it’s important for patients to be aware that many provinces and states do not regulate the training requirements, or the quality of the programs dentists can take. There are a number of one-day/online courses, which claim to offer adequate €œBotox® training€, but my belief is that in order to be an excellent practitioner in Botox®, you need advanced and extensive training that covers a deep understanding of head and neck anatomy, as well extensive hands-on experience.

7. How can a patient know if he/she is getting a safe Botox® treatment from a dentist if it’s not being administered to treat an oral health issue?

Regardless if the patient is having Botox® for cosmetic or therapeutic use, all patients should ask their dentist about the extent of their Botox® training (where they took their training, how many hours the program was, how much hands-on experience they had, how many hours of anatomy review were provided).

Dr. Warren Roberts is a general dentist who practices in Vancouver, BC. He is the Co-founder and Clinical Director for the Pacific Training Institute for Facial Aesthetics (PTIFA), an advanced anatomy-based facial rejuvenation training organization known it’s high caliber of teaching and patient care practices (based out of Delta, BC). His practice, A Smile Above, is the #1 dental administrator of Botox® in North America. Graduates of his program are some of the most highly trained and qualified Botox® and facial rejuvenation practitioners in North America.