Botox in Dentistry?

When you hear the word Botox what do you think of?  A procedure that many people use to try to stay young?  Well what if I told you that Botox can relieve pain.  We carry Botox in our dental office.  Why you might ask?  This is a question I am asked often, so let me give the answer here. Several years ago I went to an education course in Seattle on the subject of TMJ (Temporal Mandibular Joint) pain, head aches and sleep apnea. We discussed the contribution that the chewing muscles (masseters and temporalis) have on headaches and joint problems. Over use of these muscles through clenching and grinding can bring on the joint pain and even severe recurring head aches. Over the years many treatments have been developed and many are quite effective. These include de programmers, night guards, NTI’s, jaw repositioners and  many others. They also include injections directly in the jaw joint. The presenter at the course introduced Botox as a way to reduce headaches and joint pain.

Botox was initially used for facial aesthetics and does so by reducing, temporarily, the ability of the muscle to contract completely. You could say that they weaken the muscles at the site of injection. For cosmetics this means a reduction of those pesky wrinkles that show more and more as we age (I mean mature). So, what does that have to do with head aches? Well it turns out that if the muscles we grind and clench with are temporarily weakened, the headaches and joint pain can be reduced and even go away for several months. In fact the first patient we treated had no headaches for four months. This was someone who had pain almost daily. As far as the cosmetic side, who better understands the muscles of the face and neck region than a dentist? And, lets face it, as a dentist, I give more injections daily than any other profession. In answer to the question “Botox in a dental office?”, what better place?

Patients Hate Pain

A visual that still haunts me is that of Tom Hanks taking out his own tooth with an ice skate in the movie “Castaway”. tom-hanks-tooth-removal It stirs memories from my childhood dental visits and a dentist that did not believe in numbing. When I chose to become a dentist, I vowed that no one would ever have to experience what I did. From a great mentor Dr. Smith in dental school, I learned the first great secret to pain free injections – the slower the better.  The numbing agents we use all have a different ph. and temperature than your body, so if placed too fast, cause a pain sensation. When warmed and done very slow, that pain sensation is avoided. I’m sure you are thinking “what about the initial poke … that hurts”. I’m glad to report that we have eliminated that also. We found a pharmacist that mixes a special topical gel that makes the start of the injection undetectable.  I knew we had found the “magic” combination when patients would ask after an injection, “did you just give me a shot? I didn’t feel anything”. With the newest anesthetics and techniques, no one should ever have to fear any dental procedure. Our mantra is if you are not comfortable, we will not proceed. We also know that the lingering numb face is a great annoyance so we offer a reversing agent that cuts that wake up time in half. Your comfort is our main concern.  This is my favorite thing to hear:


July Giveaway

Congratulations to Elisha!  Don’t eat all your S’mores at one time!

Elisha was the winner of our July basket!  Schedule an appointment in  August and you’ll get a chance to win a basket as well!  Good Luck!


summer special2

Summer Specials!

We’ve got some great offers this summer.

  • $79 Complete Exam and X-Rays (a $134 savings)
  • $25 Gift Card with a New Patient Exam and Cleaning
  • Free Orthodontic or Implant Consult
  • Discounts on Orthodontics or Implants
  • $50 Gift Card for Teachers (with regular cleanings and exams)

Contact our office to schedule an appointment.


Father’s Day Giveaway

Happy Father’s Day Sean!  Enjoy!



Happy Father’s Day to all you wonderful dads out there!  You’re the best!

mothers da blogy

Mother’s Day Review

May 7th was a very busy and wonderful day for our office!  Dr Richins, Dr Nuttall and Dr Eaton donated their time to come to our office and help many mothers.  We were able to take care of quite a few moms.  It was a great day and I think everyone went home and took a nap. 🙂  We were so happy we could help some special moms in the valley.  Thank you to everyone that helped us.IMG_0052 IMG_0053  IMG_0092 IMG_0097 IMG_0103 mothers da blogy