The Importance Of Aesthetics In Cosmetic Dentistry
It is widely known that doctors and nurses often also qualify as aesthetics practitioners, whilst dentists often slip under the injectables radar. Yet the burgeoning importance of aesthetics in cosmetic dentistry cannot be ignored.
With veneers becoming more widely available and the advent of treatments such as the 8 teeth smile, it seems that cosmetic dentistry is really coming into its own.
Here are just a few of the reasons why dentists should consider adding an aesthetics specialism to their practice to capitalise on this demand…
Tension can lead to a square jawline
Persistent jaw clenching, tension and teeth grinding, often from stress, can not only cause facial aging. It can also change patients’ face shape. Bruxism may result in hypertrophied facial muscles, causing them to become enlarged. This, in turn, can lead to a square jawline which tends to make female patients in particular appear more masculine.
Bruxism is a common complaint often addressed by wearing a mouth guard overnight to help prevent clenching. Dentists who are also qualified aesthetics specialists, however, can offer a more comprehensive approach. This involves an injectable treatment commonly referred to as “masseter botox” – botulinum toxin injections in the masseter muscle.
Teeth play an integral role in facial ageing
Our faces are divided into three areas: the upper face, mid-face and lower face. The upper and mid-face sections are generally considered home to classic signs of ageing. Think dynamic lines and nasolabial folds. Changes in the lower face can also be significantly ageing, even if they are less obvious.
As we age, the fat pads in our face begin to lose volume and our skin begins to sag. Our teeth also wear down over time – a process which can be exacerbated by stress, as outlined above. This causes us to lose height in the lower face and the shorter the lower face gets, the older it can make us look, particularly when combined with this sagging.
An inverted triangle is considered the optimal face shape in terms of having a youthful appearance. These signs of ageing in the lower face cause the jaw to square off, giving an older, more masculine look which can also give the appearance of weight gain.
Patients looking to address issues related to teeth grinding, jaw clenching and/or ageing, offer a great opportunity for cosmetic dentists to involve their aesthetic medicine skills. Treatments such as botulinum toxin masseter injections to help relax the jaw muscles and well-placed dermal fillers used to sculpt the jawline and chin, are currently in demand according to Glow Medicine founder, Dr Jennifer Owens – a cosmetic dentist and specialist in aesthetics.
She participated in a Clubhouse discussion about current trends in injectables, where she advised that younger patients are particularly interested in jawline treatments right now. This, she believes, is due to constant clenching and grinding – often without even realising – and no time to decompress due to pandemic restrictions, working from home and home schooling.
Cosmetic injectables can also be used for medical purposes
Masseter botox is the standout aesthetics service for many dentists looking to add injectables to their practice. This is as much for its medical applications as it is for its cosmetic dentistry benefits.
Whilst it can indeed prevent further squaring of the jaw and may reverse these effects over time, masseter injections can also save the patient’s teeth. By relaxing the jaw muscles it reduces pressure on the teeth, stopping them from wearing down so quickly.
Botulinum toxin is also a popular medical treatment for excessive gingival displays, also known as a gummy smile.
You have an existing client base
As a practicing dentist you already have an established client base to which you can market your new aesthetic medicine skills.
Harley Academy’s Master’s-level Level 7 Diploma in Botox and Dermal Fillers is the gold standard in aesthetic medicine training. It combines self-paced eLearning with expert-led, in-person sessions where you will carry out a number of aesthetics appointments – from consultation to aftercare advice – on real patients.
By enhancing your knowledge of facial anatomy and skin ageing alongside guided learning in patient safety and injection techniques, this hands-on course offers a full grounding in the artistry of aesthetics.
Qualified and licensed dentists who are already insured to perform aesthetics treatments may wish to book tailored 1:1 Injectables Training Sessions. This one-on-one expert-led practice involves real patients and can help you to explore and perfect your injector techniques. Each short course covers a dedicated area, with the 1:1 Training in Jawline & Lower Face being particularly relevant for dentists.
Build up more regular work
You have the client base from which to build your cosmetic dentistry practice with a focus on facial rejuvenation and anti-ageing. Offering these complementary aesthetics services means you will also get to see those patients more often.
Instead of seeing them once a year for a dental check-up, it is likely you could end up seeing them more regularly if they choose to get injectables.
This not only provides additional, lucrative work, it also helps to further solidify the trust between dentist and patient. As they gain more confidence in your work, they may require more of your services as you become a trusted one-stop shop for complex dentistry and discreet facial rejuvenation work.
With bruxism cases rising alongside interest in anti-ageing solutions, these are just some of the reasons why offering interlinked aesthetics treatments is the obvious choice for today’s cosmetic dentists.
Article last fact-checked and amended: 20 January 2023