There’s no doubt, the popularity of botulinum toxin for cosmetic use is soaring. Botox (Allergan), Dysport (Ipsen) and Xeomin (Merz) injections topped the American Society of Plastic Surgeons’ list of the five most popular minimally invasive cosmetic procedures in 2016, with 7 million procedures performed by member plastic surgeons.
While providers, from cosmetic dermatologists and cosmetic surgeons to oculoplastic, facial plastic and plastic surgeons, have traditionally claimed the cosmetic injectables’ domain, dentists are increasingly offering Botox and other neurotoxins in their practices, according to Louis Malcmacher, D.D.S., president of the American Academy of Facial Esthetics and a general and cosmetic dentist practicing in Bay Village, Ohio.
The American Academy of Facial Esthetics (AAFE) has trained about 15,000 dental professionals on the use of botulinum toxin and dermal fillers for therapeutic and aesthetic uses, he says.
“Yes, it is very popular among dentists,” Dr. Malcmacher says. “The AAFE gives nearly 200 live patient training courses a year in the use of Botox and dermal fillers in North America and courses internationally. We are now seeing dental schools have Botox training in their curriculums, with the University of Washington School of Dentistry being the first to teach this to their senior students.”
Adding botulinum toxin procedures to the dental practice can be lucrative, boosting practice revenue to the tune of $125,000 annually, according to the e-book “Ultimate Business Guide to Facial Aesthetics,” by Warren Roberts, D.M.D., cofounder and clinical director, Pacific Training Institute for Facial Aesthetics.
But it also can be risky if the provider isn’t properly trained, according to Dr. Roberts. The Alberta Dental Association and College released standards that have set the bar for Canadian and U.S. dentists. Practitioners who perform botulinum toxin injections should be looking for training programs that meet these standards, according to Dr. Roberts, or they might not be covered by malpractice insurance should a problem arise.