Botox is the trade name for botulinum toxin, which comes in the form of a purified protein. Over 21 years has past since the introduction of botulinum toxin A injections (Botox) have been used for the unsightly frown lines between the eyes and smoothing of facial wrinkles. Botox treatments are the most commonly preformed minimally invasive cosmetic procedure in North America. Botox works very simply. It is injected into the facial muscles and, within a few hours, it attaches itself to the nerve endings of the motor muscles, thereby affecting the nerve transmission to these muscles. It takes anywhere from two to ten days to block the nerve transmitters which innervate the muscles where it was injected. There is no loss of sensory feeling at all during the time that botulinum toxin A is effective. Once these motor nerve endings are interrupted, the muscles cannot contract. When the muscle does not contract, the dynamic motion that causes wrinkles in the skin will then cease. The only reason there are wrinkles in the skin in the first place is because the muscle is moving underneath it, thereby these are called dynamic wrinkles. Approximately three to ten days after treatment, the skin above these motor muscles becomes nice and smooth. The effects of Botox lasts approximately three to four months depending on various factors including the amount of botulinum toxin A injected, metabolic activity of the patient and lifestyle choices, which may cause the Botox treatment not to last as long. When the patient sees the wrinkles reappear, the patient needs retreatment. Botox used with cosmetic dentistry can do wonders in revitalizing a person’s appearance.
Dermal fillers are often used in conjunction with Botox to further enhance a more youthful look. A dermal filler injection is a material injected underneath the skin in the nasolabial fold, marionette lines, and oral commissures, which plump up these areas and smooth out the wrinkles. Lip augmentation is also done with dermal fillers. Whereas Botox is most often used on the upper face, dermal fillers are most often used on the lower half of the face. Hyaluronic acid like Juvederm and Restylane dermal fillers are today’s most popular and widely considered best dermal fillers. Hyaluronic acid is a naturally occurring substance in the body that is lost with aging. Hyaluronic acid dermal fillers add volume to the facial structures, are very hydrophillic (meaning they absorb water already within the skin), and look very natural. Hyaluronic acid fillers typically last six to 12 months.