If you’re looking into treatment options for frown lines and crow’s feet, you’ll likely come across Botox in your search. But what is Botox, exactly? You may have heard of it, but aren’t sure how safe or effective it is. You may not even know that it’s also a powerful medical aid for people suffering with certain types of chronic pain.
In 2015, over 6.7 million people chose to get Botox, and each year more and more people make that same choice. Contrary to popular belief, Botox isn’t just for cosmetic issues like fine lines and wrinkles. Our patients often use Botox to treat tension headaches, migraines, neck pain, and more. If you’ve been considering Botox for any reason and want to learn more about it, we outline the facts below, so you can decide if it’s right for you.
What is Botox?
Botox is the name brand of a neurotoxin produced by the bacterium Clostridium botulinum. Don’t worry about the word “toxin”—C. Botulinum is only dangerous in very large amounts. Scientists have discovered how to use its active ingredient, Botulinum Toxin Type A, in a way that is completely safe and FDA-approved by using only tiny, diluted doses.
In trained and experienced hands (like those of your dentist, who has extensive medical and anatomical knowledge of facial muscles), Botox injections are quick and easy. The appointments can even be made over your lunch break. The results are natural, without making you look frozen or unexpressive. The fear of your face being immobilized is based on an outdated myth.
Done well, Botox injections can help you achieve a smoother, more youthful complexion while retaining your full range of expression. And it’s not just used for cosmetic issues—because Botox is essentially a muscle relaxer, many of our patients use Botox to help with migraines or face and neck pain.
How does Botox work?
When injected into the muscles, Botox temporarily blocks the signals between your nerves and your muscles, which keeps the affected muscles from contracting. When Botox is injected in key points of the face, it reduces the appearance of crow’s feet and fine lines around the eyes and mouth by relaxing the surrounding facial muscles. When it is instead injected into specific muscles along the neck and side of the head, the result is reduced pain from chronic migraines, and a reduced number of migraines per month.
Frequent, long-lasting chronic migraines are often caused by muscle tension or contractions. With regular Botox injections every 12 weeks, the muscles causing the condition will remain relaxed. Treatment may not completely stop them from happening, but regular injections can lead to less tension, less pain, and a future with fewer migraines.
Do I need Botox?
The only person that can answer that question is you. Whether you’re looking into Botox as a solution for cosmetic or medical issues, the determining factors are always going to come from your personal needs, finances, and the advice of a medical professional.
Dr. Wes at My Family Dentistry is certified to perform Botox and other facial cosmetic procedures, and our team is always happy to schedule a consultation to discuss whether Botox is the right choice for you. Beyond answering the question, “what is Botox,” we can also let you know what to expect, how long healing normally takes, and any aftercare that may be required.
If you have any questions, or would like to learn more or schedule an appointment for a consultation with Dr. Wes, contact our office today!