Dentist Botox Treatment OK by Most Dentists

Dentist Botox treatment: yes or no?Botox is big business – and dentists think it’s appropriate for them to be a part of it. Two out of three dentists don’t have a problem with a dentist offering cosmetic Botox, Restylane or other dermal fillers, this survey found.

“Who on the face of this planet gives more injections and has more training in head and neck anatomy than dentists?” asked one dentist. “No one!”

In this survey of 144 dentists…

  • 62% see no problem with dentists offering Botox and dermal fillers
  • 7% think dentists should only offer Botox for therapeutic reasons.
  • 31% think this is not an appropriate role for dentists.

Here are some comments on Botox, Restlyane and dermal fillers from dentists:

  • “Fantastic idea! The AGD just passed a resolution supporting general dentists in education and performing these procedures.” (General dentist)
  • “Botox as an additional treatment to correct gummy smiles. Restylane to fill the fissures and wrinkles of the lips to perfect a cosmetic anterior dental prosthetic reconstruction” (Kuwait cosmetic dentist)
  • “Dentists, with the extensive head and neck training they have, should probably have been the first to administer Botox and fillers. Factor in the reality that most dentists are fairly artistic and without question perfectionists, they absolutely should be administering Botox and fillers.” (Minnesota dentist)
  • “For TMJ treatment if indicated.” (Prosthodontist)
  • “I am doing Botox now for my family, staff and a few select patients. I do dermal fillers for my wife. I practice in the state of Texas and I can’t get our dental board to ‘allow’ us to do these procedures. Insurance companies will cover me but for only what our dental board will allow.” (Texas dentist)
  • “In Texas, basically only an Oral Surgeon can do it—so let them take the risk and use this as a referral.” (Texas pediatric dentist)
  • “Why not go to a dermatologist or plastic surgeon for veneers or high tech mouthguards??” (Florida oral surgeon)
  • “Let’s have our physician friends extract teeth and place dental implants. This is a ‘busyness’ issue.” (Periodontist)

Read more – Botox Dentist Treatment: Most Dentists Approve

Dentistry & Beyond: Today’s Cosmetic Dentist

Fashion, style & the cosmetic dentistDentists: Is the “cosmetic dentist” morphing into a new creature entirely?

I’ve been having fun exploring some of the lesser-known areas of dental marketing. My article on holistic dentistry went over pretty well, but not everyone appreciated the humor in my description of dentistry and astrology.

This week I’m talking designer dentistry and high-fashion dentists.

Plumper Lips… from the dentist?

For Valentine’s Day in the UK, a Liverpool dental practice offered free lip augmentation. [Read more]

But this is no ordinary cosmetic dentistry practice. Tracey Bell isn’t just a cosmetic dentist – she’s a marketing-savvy entrepreneur who’s all over the beauty market.

With several clinics in the UK, the brand aims to meet virtually all the cosmetic needs of its patients. Here are some of the services offered:

  • “General and designer dentistry” (porcelain crowns, dental veneers, clear braces, etc.)
  • Non-surgical cosmetic procedures like dermal fillers, chemical peels and anti-wrinkle treatments (Botox, Restylane, etc.)
  • Laser treatments like hair removal, tattoo removal and skin resurfacing
  • Weight-loss services
  • Cosmetic surgery such as facelifts, breast augmentation and liposuction

The Tracey Bell – The Art of Reinvention brand also includes makeup and skin care products. [Visit the Tracey Bell website]

Designer Toothbrushes

Last year fashion designer Christian Audigier announced a partnership with celebrity dentist Dr. Eric Fugier. Audigier owns the “Ed Hardy” label, best known for its tattoo-inspired streetwear. But the LA-based designer has been working to expand the label from clothing into a total lifestyle brand.

So he’s licensing the Ed Hardy brand to the dentist, who plans to launch a line of Ed Hardy toothpaste, toothbrushes, dental floss and other dental products. [Read the press release]

Interestingly, though the announcement was made with much fanfare, the products don’t seem to have actually materialized on the marketplace yet…

Unclear on the concept

This amusing question was submitted to Yahoo [See the question]

“My dentist told me that I need to get a bridge. There is an Ed Hardy bridge that looks cool. Should I get it?”

The answer, from a dental hygienist, says it all:

“Is this a joke question? I debated whether i should even respond.

“The Ed Hardy bridge is a shoe. A sneaker. Do you really think your DENTIST is telling you that you need to get sneakers?

“A dental bridge is to replace a missing tooth. They put dental crowns on the two teeth next to the missing tooth space and connect that with a ‘pontic’ in the missing tooth area, so it looks like you aren’t missing any teeth.”

What’s next?

We’ll have to wait and see what the next big high-style “innovation” in dentistry and dental marketing… While it probably won’t revolutionize how you practice dentistry, it might be interesting!

Dental Practices Can Offer Cosmetic Services, Too!

Introducing Botox to Your Dental PatientsAesthetic consultant Catherine Maley
By Catherine Maley, MBA

By thinking outside of the box, dentists can reach a valuable target demographic: aesthetic patients looking for treatments such as Botox, Restylane, or cosmetic facial lasers. I’ve got some easy marketing strategies that will help you reach these patients.

Last week, I discussed how to prepare your staff and prepare your office for offering Botox to dental patients. Now, let’s examine some simple marketing strategies.

Prepare Your Patients

Creative marketing strategies will help spread the word about the aesthetic services you offer.

  • Mention Botox in your on-hold phone message.
  • Mail out an introductory letter explaining what Botox is and why you are offering it.
  • Include an “invoice stuffer” when you send out invoices.
  • Keep existing patients in the loop with a quarterly postcard.
  • A niche-segmented database can help you target the right audience.
  • Tempt patients with special offers. Use tight expiration dates to entice them in right away.

Leverage Email Communication

Email marketing is by far the cheapest and fastest way to communicate with your patients today. Thanks to advanced technology and streamlined processes, you can literally send out a message and, within minutes, have your telephone ringing with eager patients.

Email marketing is not a “nice” thing to offer your patients. It’s becoming mandatory if you want your patients to remember you when they are ready for aesthetic enhancement. In today’s competitive environment, it’s vital to keep in touch with patients on a regular basis. This will help ensure their loyalty to you and keep them coming back throughout the year. You also want to “market through education” since a true aesthetic patient wants to know what’s new in the world of cosmetic enhancement.

Be sure you are asking your patients for their email address so they can receive your very exclusive web offers and event announcements. And, your email messages must be brief, eye-catching and include very special promotions so they continue to want to receive communications from you.

There are certain times of the year that are more emotional than others for the aesthetic patient and you want to capitalize on that. Since aesthetic medicine is based on emotion and perceived need, develop a marketing plan around holidays. You will get a much better response when you promote your services around these themes:

Email Promotions at the Right Time of Year

  • New Year: New You
  • Valentine’s Day: Love Your Looks
  • Spring is Coming: Rejuvenate
  • Mother’s Day: Do Something Special Just for You
  • Summer is Coming: Are You Ready?
  • Holidays: Sparkle This Season

Start a “Botox Beauty Club”

Offer patients a Botox Card after their first treatment. They might receive $25 off their next visit and $50 off all visits after that. Really, it’s just like at the coffee house or the car wash. Your Botox vendor may help you with it as well.

Like the coffee house and the car wash, you can also give patients a Botox card that you punch each time they have it done. This way, after a certain number of treatments, they can get one for free.

The point is to keep them loyal to you.

Send Patients Birthday Cards

There is something about a looming birthday that will send the aesthetic patient into a tales spin. And, that makes sense. The aesthetic patient who cares about their looks will really care when their birthday is approaching.

To take advantage of this special time in the year for them, send them a fun birthday card that says, “Come Celebrate with Us” and offer $50 off any rejuvenation procedure listed. This is important – handwrite your signature and the address on the outside envelope. Use a stamp on a plain white envelope with no return address. You want this to look like very personal mail so it is well received and opened.

In addition, you might send the upcoming birthday month on the 15th of the previous month and have it expire two weeks after their birthday to add a sense of urgency so they pick up the telephone the minute they receive it.

Push Your Refer-a-Friend Program

We all know your best patient is the referred patient. They are not as price conscious and are already pre-sold on you. You do not want to take these referrals lightly. Every practice has their group of cheerleaders, and you do too.

Go through your database and pick out any patient who referred someone to you in the past year. Now, send them a personal letter telling them how much you appreciate them and how much you would like more patients just like them. Handwrite your signature and add a personal note such as, “Thanks for all your support, Patty!” Include two “$25 off your next aesthetic visit” cards: one for them and one for a friend. You can even give them multiple cards for multiple referrals. After all, the value of the referral is far greater than $25.

Ready To Jump In?

The above strategies are geared to setting up a winning team and bonding with your patients so they think of only you when they think of aesthetic enhancement. I promise you success if you implement these proven strategies.

And, I know I covered a lot! If you want to know more, check out my free marketing checklist…

Aesthetic patientsCatherine Maley, MBA, is the author of Your Aesthetic Practice: A Complete Guide: What Your Patients Are Saying. As a speaker and consultant, she helps doctors market themselves to cosmetic patients. For free tips, resources and strategies, visit CosmeticImageMarketing.com or give Catherine a call at (877) 339-8833.

Cosmetic Dentistry Moves into Botox

Dentists Unclear on Botox Regulations

In response to my recent survey on Botox, I kept hearing the same question: “How can I find out if I can legally offer Botox?”

Answering that question would be a great editorial, I thought. I imagined a color-coded map of the US showing where dentists could and couldn’t offer Botox.

There is no such map because there is no simple answer to the question. However, there are a few key points I want to highlight.

Botox Training

Anyone who’s offering Botox should have completed a training course. For example, Dentox offers a course that covers the following areas:

  • How to treat multiple conditions using Botox hands-on.
  • Attendees are invited to co-diagnose and observe the many patients being treated at these meetings.
  • How to substitute/eliminate acrylic splints with strategic injections
  • Accelerate healing & orthodontics by reducing clenching and preserving freeway space
  • Therapies to treat TMD, migraines, gummy smiles
  • How to prevent and remedy the most common unwanted side-effects

Botox & TMJ/TMD

Though it’s not right for every patient, Botox is gaining ground as a legitimate treatment option for TMJ disorders. Injections can help minimize muscle tension and soreness in the jaw.

Minimizing Wrinkles with Botox

On the one hand, if you’re already offering Botox for therapeutic reasons, why not make it available for cosmetic reasons as well? It’s safer for the patient than seeing an untrained practitioner, and it’s a great way for dentists to make some extra money without compromising the quality of their care.

On the other hand, it’s easy to see how some would feel that eliminating forehead wrinkles is not fundamentally within the scope of dentistry. It’s a service plastic surgeons should offer, critics argue, not dentists.

I disagree with these critics. I will argue that dentists are equally, if not better, trained than medical doctors in understanding head and neck anatomy. When you combine this with an acute sense of facial aesthetics, dentists are the obvious choice for this type of cosmetic treatment.

A Muddy Situation in the US

Dentists in the US face unclear standards when it comes to offering cosmetic services such as Botox, Restylane, or collagen. Regulations vary by state, and not all states are clear on their rules.

The New York State Dental Association offered this advice to its members:

In June 2002, the State Board for Dentistry passed a motion giving some guidance on the use of botox/collagen stating that, “the use of botulinum Toxin Type A and collagen for dental health related treatment falls within the scope for the practice of dentistry as defined by Section 6601.” This motion, which is not binding, does authorize a dentist to use botox and collagen, but reiterates that such use must be related to a patient’s dental health.

Last year in response to NYSDA’s request for clarification regarding a weight-loss procedure that was marketed to dentists (e.g. dental appliance known as dental diet system), the Office of Professions of the Education Department stated that, “if the purpose of the dental appliance is solely to treat a diet or weight loss condition, it would appear that this would not be within the scope of practice of dentistry as defined in New York. Nonetheless, if the condition is properly diagnosed and a lawful treatment plan is prescribed by a professional authorized to do so, the fitting and attaching of the appliance could very well have dental health implications and a dentist may be involved in those services.”

As with anything, you cannot legally provide such services if they are not within the scope of the New York State Dental Practice Act. For instance, cosmetic facial hair removal is not related to restoring and maintaining dental health and therefore is not within the scope of the practice of dentistry. As with any new product or procedure, do not allow the lure of additional revenue to jeopardize your professional license. If it is not something that you can reasonably argue relates to dental health, it is safe to avoid it.

If you’re not sure whether dentists are permitted to offer (and/or advertise) Botox services in your state, here’s a quick shortcut: do a quick Google search for botox + dentist + [your state]. If Dr. So-and-so offers Botox, you might be able to as well. But if no one in your state is advertising this service, there’s quite likely a reason why.

A Clear Situation for UK Dentists

There is no such legal gray area for dentists in the United Kingdom.

  1. UK dentists are permitted to offer Botox.
  2. They are not, however, allowed to market their Botox services alongside their dental expertise.

What do you think about dentists offering Botox?

I’ve gotten some great responses to my survey on dentists and Botox. People have also been interested in what Catherine Maley, our new guest columnist, has to say on the subject. Now I’m hungry for more!

  • Dos your state permit dentists to offer Botox?
  • Does your state prohibit dentists from offering this service?
  • Does your insurance permit you to offer Botox?

One in Six US Dentists Offers Botox

Cosmetic Dentistry Gets Even More Cosmetic

Botox is big business these days, and more and more dentists are getting in on the action. In our most recent survey, 16% of dentists said they are already offering Botox to their dental patients; 27% said they would if regulations permitted; 37% said they might offer it someday; and 20% said they never would.Dental Survey Results

Twice as many GPs (17%) report that they offer Botox as did specialists (9%). In addition, urban dentists are twice as likely as rural dentists to offer Botox – 10% of rural dentists versus 19% of urban practitioners.

Here are some comments from dentists on what could be called “ultra-cosmetic dentistry.”

  • “I have patients asking for Botox treatments. They think all dentists perform this service and would like me to start offering it in my office.” (California dentist)
  • “I didn’t think it was legal for a dentist to practice this type of medicine.” (California orthodontist)
  • “I would consider it if regulations did not specifically preclude the procedure.” (Tennessee dentist)
  • “I think we are too busy to take on the additional liability of these procedures.” (New Jersey dentist)
  • “I’m a dentist – not a plastic surgeon.” (Virginia dentist)
  • “It’s great for reducing damage to prostheses when used on masseter muscle for bruxers. Of course, frown lines and crows’ feet are the other indications…” (Malaysia prosthodontist)
  • “I believe more than a day course should be recommended.” (Florida dentist)
  • “No one is better qualified to place Botox or Restylane than a dentist due to understanding facial symmetry issues. Bar none!” (Nevada dentist)
  • “Since when was Botox or Restylane injections for facial/head/neck esthetics considered dentistry? I think dentists performing this service is ridiculous.” (Ohio prosthodontist)

Post your own comments or read the complete dentists and Botox survey results

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