Botox: Facial Pain Therapy in the Dental Office
Often, patients come in complaining of facial or joint pain. Our office already offers occlusal guard appliances for nighttime wear, but Dr. Parr saw it wasn’t enough for some people. That’s why he and one of our associate dentists felt the need to take additional steps to include Botox therapy and Invisalign to help with facial pain, bruxism, and temporomandibular joint disorder (TMD).
TMD refers to several situations involving jaw malfunction. It can result in pain in the neck, ears, head, and jaw, often accompanied by swelling in the face or discomfort in the ears. When patients complain of any of these symptoms, we will usually perform a TMJ assessment to address the patient’s chief complaint, history of symptoms, and what they have tried to address this problem before. The dentist will then physically examine extraoral and intraoral structures, including X-rays. Sometimes, we offer a combination of treatments and start with digital records for a nighttime appliance/occlusal guard and Botox therapy. In others, we will skip the nighttime appliance and start with Botox therapy and Invisalign, correcting their bite and occlusion (not so much for cosmetic results.)
One of our more involved cases involved a patient struggling with severe jaw pain for 20+ years. She consistently came in with broken occlusal guards. We tried different materials and lower occlusal guards, but nothing worked. We knew she was the perfect candidate for Botox facial pain therapy! She underwent a few rounds of treatments and got Invisalign to correct her bite, even though she had undergone orthodontic treatment as a child. She was the perfect case from start to finish and benefitted from the relief we offered.
This service has opened a new pathway for our office and the community. Other dentists in our community will refer patients to us who have worn occlusal guards for years and continue to break through them. We can offer other forms of relief for patients who have already exhausted so many options.
About the Author
Courtney Allen CDA, FAADOM
Courtney graduated with her degree in science in 2011. After that, she took the DANB and joined a family dental practice. Five years later, she realized she wanted to make a change within the dental community and was passionate about insurance, specifically working with patients to access the best dental care possible. Since then, she’s been with Surf City Dental and enjoys being able to help patients financially fit dental care into their monthly budget. Courtney has been a member of AADOM since 2018 and received her MAADOM this year.