Botox at the Dentist

Drill. Suction. Fluoride. Botox. Dentists are the latest to be administering face-freezing injectables.

Drill. Suction. Fluoride. Botox. Dentists are the latest to be administering face-freezing injectables.

Botox? Typically, the only filling dentists do is of dental cavities, not wrinkles. That might have been the case until 2007, but, under pressure from dentists such as Victoria’s Rachel Staples, regular tooth doctors can now administer cosmetic injectables. “I had been bugging the College [of Dental Surgeons of B.C.] for probably five years prior to actually being able to do it myself, asking them why it wasn’t included in our scope of practice,” says Staples, after stepping away from a cleaning to talk about her newest venture. “The fact is that dentists know facial anatomy better than anyone out there.”

Botox temporarily paralyzes the muscle into which it is injected, which in turn stops movement and wrinkle formation in the overlying skin. It has become one of the most popular minimum-invasion cosmetic treatments around, as patients can receive a treatment during a lunch break and colleagues are none the wiser. Traditionally administered by plastic surgeons and dermatologists, in recent years the procedure has crossed into other professional realms. Today it is offered by any number of specialists such as anesthesiologists, podiatrists and dentists such as Staples.

“I knew that it would be a very big plus in my business,” continues Staples, who says her income jumped 20 per cent since she began administering the injectables last November. “I have a lot of middle-aged women like myself. Many of them are going back into the workforce after having kids, and people have said that if they were going to be looking for a job, they wanted to be fresh, young and able to compete with younger people in the workforce.”

Staples says Botox requires regular maintenance every three to four months, which co-ordinates well with her patients’ cleaning appointments. She estimates a typical middle-aged face will take between $300 and $600 worth of Botox, or $450 to $900 of the wrinkle filler Juvederm. Her youngest patient is 26, but the average age of patients requesting the service is 45. Staples feels well equipped for the job. “My personal opinion is that the women who are delivering the services are going to do better than the men, just because women have a little bit of an easier time discussing those problems with other women.”