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Modern Dentistry: Botox

Modern Dentistry: A Patient Focused Approach to Treating Traditional Dental Problems in Innovative ways. This article will focus on the treatment of Temporal Mandibular Disease (TMD), Gingival Recession and protection of teeth and dental restorations with use of neurotoxins.

Many clinicians are aware that Botox TM and other neurotoxin brands are used in medicine to treat patients who suffer from migraines, but did you know that the therapeutic use of Botox TM in dentistry can treat traditional dental problems directly and indirectly to have a positive impact on the oral health of patients.

Successful pain management of patients who suffer from Temporal Mandibular Disease (TMD) has eluded the dental community since the discovery that the complex Temporal Mandibular Joint (TMJ), was the primary source of orofacial pain, not involving an actual tooth. Orofacial pain is pain that emanates from the oral cavity, jaw or face. This pain, not only effects the movement of the TMJ itself, but effects the muscles of the head and neck that control the movement of the joint. Botox to the rescue! Botox paralyses muscles commensurate with the dosage administered intramuscularly. It reduces the patient’s ability to contract the muscle excessively and thus reduces parafunction. Parafunction of the muscles of

mastication, is the use of these muscles in ways that are not related to the normal function of eating, chewing and talking. The pain associated with these habits is eliminated as well.

The Muscles of Mastication; the Masseter, the Medial Pterygoid and the Temporalis are the three main muscles treated with neurotoxins to directly eliminate the parafunctional habits of bruxism (teeth grinding) and clenching. The traditional treatment for bruxism is the use of night guards to be worn while sleeping to prevent the unconscious grinding of the teeth. These parafunctional habits can lead to fractured teeth, broken restorations and gum recession.

That leads me to the indirect benefits of Botox TM on the dentition. Have you heard the saying “long of tooth”? It refers to teeth that are longer than normal due to gum recession. Gum recession is the pulling away of the gum tissue from the neck of the tooth exposing the root, thereby creating the appearance of a longer tooth. The primary cause is teeth grinding and clenching. Gum recession can now be treated in a innovative manner that does not involve scalpels and sutures. The new technique is called The Chao Pinhole Surgical Technique TM. Once the procedure is completed, Botox TM can be used to prevent the root cause of the problem, grinding and clenching of teeth. Of course, good oral hygiene and proper brushing technique are vital as well.

Finally, the administration of Botox TM to the muscles of mastication can protect the dentition from tooth or dental restoration fracture, and excessive tooth wear.

The use of Botox TM in this context is innovative modern dentistry.

By Dr. Andrea Joy Smith, Vice President of the International Academy of Mini Dental Implants

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