When we are born our skin is highly elastic due to large amounts of collagen and elastic fibres which allow our skin to move without forming lines and wrinkles. Unfortunately, as we age, the amount of collagen fibres reduces as does the fat content in our skin. The skin is less able and has less time to recoil to its original position, when frowning or smiling, allowing lines or wrinkles to form. Life style factors such as cigarette smoking and severe dieting can cause premature ageing of the skin and deepen and enlarge such lines. Previously the only way to alter these lines was to consider a surgical “face-lift” which is expensive, invasive and potentially a risky procedure. Results are variable and if complications occur may result in an appearance which may be less than expected and may require further corrective surgery to rectify.
The advent of non-surgical aesthetic treatments has given an alternative to surgery for those cases where the lines and wrinkles are not too severe or when the patient wishes to consider a less invasive procedure. Dentists, by nature of their training in anatomy and surgical techniques, are ideally suited to offer non-surgical aesthetic treatments in the facial region, a view now endorsed by the General Dental Council. The non-surgical treatments available include Botulism Toxin injections (BOTOX)® and injections of filler materials such as Restylane and Stylane.
Botulism Toxin Injections. (BOTOX)®
Botox® injections are used primarily to treat moderate to severe lines and wrinkles in the forehead and crow’s feet regions of the face. The material interferes in the nerve muscle transmission process, causing temporary “freezing” of the muscle responsible for frowning and similar lines around the eyes when smiling. The material itself breaks down over time and the nerve muscle function will re-establish itself requiring further injections of the BOTOX® to stop recurrence. Most patients who wish to continue with BOTOX® injections to treat such lines will require approximately 2 treatments per year. This will vary on the age of the patient, the strength and size of the muscles affected. Each individual person’s anatomy and muscle function is different so no two treatments are alike.
Lines and wrinkles can be treated by the application of filler materials beneath the skin to “bulk out” the skin beneath the wrinkle. The material used is normally a Hyaluronic acid. Unlike older collagen fillers, Hyaluronic acid fillers are made from non-animal sources and have a minimal risk of hypersensitivity. The material itself is a substance found naturally in skin. Once injected the material is slowly dissolved by the body’s own mechanisms and will last for a period of six to twelve months. As well as treating lines and wrinkles, filler products may be used to enhance thin lips and make cheek bones more prominent.
The non-surgical injection treatments described above are available from one of the more experienced practitioners at Tovey Little Dental Centre. Mr Tovey has carried numerous successful treatments since receiving additional training in 2004.
Patients who wish to consider such treatments are welcome to book a consultation to discuss their options. No treatment will be undertaken until the patient has been given sufficient information and time to consider all their options.