Considering the great impact of Botox as a cosmetic procedure, this practice becomes popular in the dental field as well. This paper aims at proposing the study regarding the use of Botox in dental practice to relieve pain. The current scope of literature presents controversial information regarding the healing effect of Botox. Some studies report about the mentioned treatment option and its capacity for reliving pain occurring during such diseases as bruxism, lockjaw, etc., while others show potential disadvantages of Botox in dentistry. The proposed study will be conducted based on the quantitative method, namely, a Likert scale will be used to collect data from respondents concerning their experience and perception of the mentioned topic. Data analysis will be provided using SPSS software to present the most credible results. The analyzed data will be properly interpreted and integrated with the existing literature to provide relevant conclusions and either reject or verify the hypothesis. The proposed study is expected to contribute to dentistry by clarifying the role and potential of Botox as a pain-relieving technique.
Nowadays, Botulinum toxin A (Botox) is used in cosmetic therapy to treat wrinkles and other facial changes. The therapeutic use of Botox can be observed in the dental field, as well. As a substance preventing the formation of nerve signals, which lead to involuntary contraction of muscles, Botox promotes muscular relaxation. It is used in the treatment of dysfunction and disorders, including such dental issues as bruxism, lockjaw, and so on (Srivastava, Kharbanda, Pal, & Shah, 2015). The importance of the identified topic lies in its potentially beneficial role in pain treatment, thus leading to improved patient outcomes. The thesis for the proposed research may be formulated as follows: while some scholars consider Botox a rather safe and minimally invasive option for pain relief in dentistry, others believe the healing power of the mentioned treatment has been studied insufficiently.
The purpose of the proposed study is to identify the healing power of Botox in dentistry to relive pain, focusing on the thorough literature review and a Likert Scale. The research is expected to clarify the role of Botox and identify any biases and inconsistencies in the existing data regarding the mentioned topic. The terms to be used in the study include such concepts as Botulinum toxin A, bruxism, Temporomandibular joint (TMJ), lockjaw, and a Likert Scale. While the latter refers to the research method, others will be used to denote pain-related dental disorders. As for limitations, one of them is a small sample size.
It makes any generalizations on a global scale hardly possible. However, it is still important to explore the impact of Botox within the given conditions to understand its potential as a pain-relieving technique. The scope of the reviewed literature is another limitation worth paying one’s attention to as only a limited number of scholarly articles will be included in the research. Even though credible sources will be used in the literature review section, it is still possible to make relevant assumptions yet necessary to avoid generalization. In this regard, the hypothesis may be identified in the following manner: Botox use in the dental field as a pain reliever can significantly enhance patient outcomes by reducing their painful sensations.
To explore the role of Botox in the treatment of pain in dentistry, it seems essential to identify its mechanism of work. Botulinum toxin is a protein compound, which is a potential neurotoxin derived from Clostridium botulinum bacteria. Botulinum toxin inhibits the release of not only acetylcholine, but also other mediators such as norepinephrine, dopamine, glycine, and methionine enkephaline in peripheral tissues and substances involved in the perception of pain. Botox therapy is primarily aimed at relaxing the muscles by injecting microscopic doses of this drug into them (Nayyar, Kumar, Nayyar, & Singh, 2014). In therapeutic doses, Botox is quite safe and has no side effects
Botox does not directly resolve the problems with dental pathology, but it significantly alleviates the severe pains experienced by patients. At the same time, there is no numbness or muscle weakness. As noted by Long, Liao, Wang, Liao, and Lai (2012), Botox injections are also introduced in bruxism when a person clamps teeth during sleep, causing their surfaces to rub against each other and leading to abrasion of the enamel, malocclusion, and the onset of headache and dental spasms. Botox injections can reduce the manifestation of the disease without affecting sleep. The study by Long et al. (2012) shows: in patients suffering from psychological and neurological bruxism, after application of botulinum toxin, patients note weakened muscle aches and decreased gnashing of teeth.
By applying Botox in lockjaw treatment, which is a type of the protective reaction of the muscles to pain manifesting itself in spasms, the injection relieves pain, and a patient can normally open his or her mouth. Botox has established itself as an effective treatment for pain caused by trigeminal neuralgia, which is accompanied by involuntary contractions of the muscles. Temporomandibular joint (TMJ) disorder is another problem associated with dental pain. Denglehem, Maes, Raoul, and Ferri (2012) focused on Botox as an analgesic treatment for TMJ and revealed its significant positive impact on patients’ pain decrease and improvement of their psychological states. During a day, people actively use these joints during eating, swallowing, and talking. When there is an overvoltage of the joints, a person may suffer from headache and maxillary pain. Botox injections can alleviate tension in the jaw, “freezing” the muscles, which cause pain. Nevertheless, it would not lead to such situations as follows: one would not be able to close his or her mouth as a dentist knows exactly where to inject.
Importantly, the use of Botox in dentistry to combat dental problems has not only a therapeutic but also an aesthetic effect, since the muscle tension in the mouth reflects on the contours of the face. Injections of botulinum toxin benefit the reduction of the masticatory muscles and make the jaws thinner, as suggested by Azam, Manchanda, Thotapalli, and Kotha (2015). The review of the recent studies by Azam et al. (2015) indicated the following results: patients receiving injections mention a significant reduction in pain, improvement in functioning, the ability to open their mouth easily, and the absence of pain during palpation. At this point, the authors emphasized the importance of using the correct injection technique and following the dosing regimen. The results achieved are another confirmation of the effectiveness of Botox for eliminating dental problems associated with overstrains in the jaw muscles. The mentioned injections are approved by the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA), thus illustrating their effectiveness. To date, a new method of treatment is becoming increasingly popular in dental centers.
At the same time, Botox has a number of side effects as a neurotoxin, and it can cause botulism when the dose is exceeded. Botulinum toxin is an immunogenic protein capable of inducing the synthesis of powerful neutralizing antibodies, which negatively affect the results of treatment of patients in some cases, especially on the neurological profile (Long et al., 2012). The factors increasing the risk of antibody formation are high doses of the drug (more than 100ED per procedure). It is not recommended to make injections of Botox after strokes and in cases of cerebral circulation disorders as well as in the presence of alcohol dependence. The persons under 18 years of age and those with parallel administration of antibiotics or drugs depressing the nervous system should also avoid Botox.
In general, since it is gradually eliminated from the body, Botox may be regarded as relatively safe treatment while used appropriately. Jain, Bansal, Agarwal, and Joshi (2014) emphasized such disadvantage of Botox as an inconstant manner compared to surgical options. According to the authors, as a rule, patients have to repeat the procedure after six months, yet it should not be provided earlier to prevent delusion of the previous injection. More to the point, both initial and repeated injections may cause asymmetry of the face. Consequently, there is a need to explore Botox in dentistry in an in-depth manner to understand its impact, side effects, and consequences to prevent any adverse events and provide patients with the best care possible.
Quantitative method of data analysis will be used to scrutinize the collected information and present credible results. The survey answers provided by the respondents are to be properly systematized and interpreted. While processing the results, the arithmetic mean will be calculated for every pair of opposite points or any another indicator proposed in the scale (Sullivan & Artino, 2013). Let us consider how this test will be performed technically using Statistical Package for the Social Science (SPSS) package. In particular, for every proposition, a variable will be created based on information received from the respondents and entered into the table.
After this, a new variable will be constructed, the values of which are to be obtained by adding the values of all the variables corresponding to the presented statements. The final score is to be calculated for each of the respondents by summing up the values for individual items. The statements hitting biased answers will be deleted, since they can lead to ambiguous results or not to differ from the point of view of the correlation (Sullivan & Artino, 2013). As the values obtained during the analysis may be difficult to interpret, comparisons with some standard are needed to draw conclusions based on the values of this scale. Therefore, the average number of points will be determined for the sample of the participants.
In conclusion, the proposed study aims at the investigation of the healing power of Botox in dentistry to relive pain based on survey questionnaire and quantitative data analysis. As the literature review shows, several studies emphasize a significant potential of Botox in dental pain treatment, while others are concerned about side effects, safety, and length of its impact. Therefore, it is of great importance to study the given topic, thus contributing to both theory and practice of using Botox in the dental field.
Azam, A., Manchanda, S., Thotapalli, S., &Kotha, S. B. (2015). Botox therapy in dentistry: A Review. Journal of International Oral Health, 7(2), 103-105.
Denglehem, C., Maes, J. M., Raoul, G., & Ferri, J. (2012). Botulinum toxin A: Analgesic treatment for temporomandibular joint disorders. Revue de Stomatologie et de Chirurgie Maxillo-Faciale, 113(1), 27-31.
Jain, M., Bansal, A., Agarwal, D., & Joshi, M. (2014). Botox in dentistry: The healing side of A poison. Journal of Advanced Medical and Dental Sciences Research, 2(1), 95-99.
Long, H., Liao, Z., Wang, Y., Liao, L., & Lai, W. (2012). Efficacy of botulinum toxins on bruxism: An evidence‐based review. International Dental Journal, 62(1), 1-5.
Nayyar, P., Kumar, P., Nayyar, P. V., & Singh, A. (2014). Botox: Broadening the horizon of dentistry. Journal of Clinical and Diagnostic Research, 8(12), 25-29.
Srivastava, S., Kharbanda, S., Pal, U. S., & Shah, V. (2015). Applications of botulinum toxin in dentistry: A comprehensive review. National Journal of Maxillofacial Surgery, 6(2), 152-159.
Sullivan, G. M., & Artino Jr, A. R. (2013). Analyzing and interpreting data from Likert-type scales. Journal of Graduate Medical Education, 5(4), 541-542.
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