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Shelley Shearer: It’s June and the season for Bridal Botox and teeth whitening for those weddings

The venue is selected, dresses purchased, bridal showers planned and now it’s time to rejuvenate the face and teeth at the dentist’s office.

The dentist?

Of course.

Dentists’ advanced training in the oral and maxillofacial areas (the face from chin to forehead) makes them the ideal healthcare professionals to deliver Botox to brides-to-be. We already know that dentists are the go-to pros for whiter teeth.

Not surprisingly, Botox treatment isn’t just for the bride anymore. Dentists are finding that bridesmaids, mothers of the bride and groom, aunts and even grandmothers want to look their best for the big day and all those keepsake photos. Recent statistics indicate that millions of people in the U.S. use Botox each year to smooth facial wrinkles. It is now the most common cosmetic procedure in the nation.

Shelley Shearer

Everyone responds differently to Botox treatment. The key is to dramatically reduce wrinkles without eliminating regular facial expression. Who can be better equipped to do this than a dentist—the doctor who spends hours each day working on the facial, oral and perioral areas of the face?

Botox is a trade name for botulinum toxin which comes in the form of a purified protein. It blocks signals from the nerves to the muscles. The injected muscle is unable to contract, causing wrinkles to relax and soften. Between three to 10 days after treatment, the skin above those muscles becomes smooth and radiant.

The effects of the procedure last three to four months.

Since Botox treatment was approved by the FDA in 2002, it has come a long way. Trained dentists see it as a regular part of their cosmetic dentistry practice. Skeptics wonder about side effects. While the procedure is relatively safe since becoming mainstream, there are possible side effects like with any procedure. They include pain, swelling or bruising at the injection site; headache of flu-like symptoms; drooling or a crooked smile; droopy eyelid or eyebrows seemingly out of place; and excessive tearing or eye dryness.

The procedure is quick and easy, usually lasting no more than 15 minutes so the bride can return home for wedding planning. Within one to three days the results are noticeable. To ensure that no complications interfere with the big day, dentists normally advise the bride/bridal party to come in a month to six weeks before the wedding. That way, there will be no threat of noticeable bruising or other minor changes in the face when they walk down the aisle.

Dentists have the training and extensive experience with Botox that other healthcare professionals do not often have. After all, we give injections all the time in these facial areas, thus giving us quite an advantage over such disciplines as dermatology and plastic surgery.

Brides and the bridal party are encouraged to visit dentists for teeth whitening. Since time is precious with wedding events, the quickest process for teeth whitening is the state-of-the-art zoom whitening device. You put the impression made especially for you in your mouth, it is filled with solution, and you place your mouth on the device for an hour and a half. You can watch movies to make the time pass. Younger people can see their smile brighten three of four shades brighter; older patients can expect two to three shades brighter.

The dynamic duo of teeth whitening and Botox promise to beautify the smile and intensify skin glow. Brides can thank dentists for making their big day even more special.

Dr. Shelley Shearer is a graduate of the University of Louisville Dental School and Founder of Shearer Family and Cosmetic Dentistry in Florence, the largest all-female dental practice in Northern Kentucky.

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