The Wealthy Dentist, a dental marketing company, recently published results from a poll surveying members, “What particular dental treatments do you want to push to your patients?” Survey results indicated TMJ disorders were ‘pushed’ by half of dentists responding and was included in their marketing efforts. A Minnesota dentist who participated in the poll stated:
"… I do provide Botox to help with TMD issues, as well as cosmetic, which is a recent service we provide. Botox and fillers are helping me support my practice while I am at this point in time still a Delta Dental provider and is not profitable... MN still has a provider tax that is on gross receipts and donated dental services; again, the Botox and fillers helps subsidize the practice to practice. I love providing this service too. No stress, reversible, patients love it and ask for it and pay in full the day of service. MDs are using these services 'Cross subsidizing' as well. This is all something to ponder on."
According to The National Institutes of Health brochure on TMJ disorders BotoxTM (botulinum toxin type A) is a drug made from the same bacteria that causes food poisoning. Used in small doses, BotoxTM injections can actually help alleviate some health problems. The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has approved BotoxTM for the treatment of certain eye muscle disorders, cervical dystonia (neck muscle spasms), and limited cosmetic use. BotoxTM has not been approved by the FDA for use in TMJ disorders. Research is under way to learn how BotoxTM specifically affects jaw muscles and their nerves. The findings will help determine if this drug may be useful in treating TMJ disorders.
The Cochrane Collaboration, an international and highly regarded agency conducting scientific reviews of clinical interventions of products used in the diagnosis, prevention or treatment of diseases, completed a study of the use of botulinum toxin type A in masseter muscle hypertrophy. The reviewers concluded that there simply were not enough high quality studies to properly evaluate the toxin’s effectiveness nor its potential harms, and called for future research sufficient to provide evidence for people to make informed decisions about its use.
Just the facts.