Does Botox Belong in the Dentist’s Office? It Depends on Who You Ask.

By Stewart Gandolf
Chief Executive Officer

Woman getting botoxBack in the uncomplicated good old days of healthcare marketing, the many and various medical professions, specialties and subspecialties were neatly organized by basic anatomy. Podiatrists, for example, worked on stuff “below the knee.” A patient with a snoring problem might be referred to an “ear-nose-throat” specialist. And dentists cared for your teeth and gums.

It’s a bit of over simplication of course, but the “territorial” lines were clear and there wasn’t a lot of crossover. That was yesterday. Today the medical work zones among and between professionals are less well defined.

For example, a small but growing number of dentists in some states now advertise Botox (r) cosmetic procedures in their practice mix. Botox (medical grade botulinum toxin) is popularly available as a treatment to soften and relax facial frown lines and crows feet—most commonly provided by cosmetic and plastic surgeons and medispa facilities.

In the United Kingdom, non-invasive cosmetic procedures, such as Botox and dermal fillers, are commonly available from dentists. And the quickly changing landscape of healthcare delivery systems, the recent years of a troubled American economy, and increased competition have caused dentists (along with many other professions) to consider alternative services and revenue streams.

Botox may be appropriate in the medical or dental treatment of migraines and temporomandibular joint (TMJ) cases. But should dentists be offering cosmetic Botox procedures?

First, it depends on where the practice is located—the rules vary from state to state. Some Minnesota dentists have been in the news recently where they are permitted to provide Botox facial procedures. But at least two other states—California and Nevada—reportedly don’t permit dentists to use Botox for appearance purposes.

Not surprisingly, some dentists (notably in Minnesota) are open to the idea of helping patients with bright smiles and fewer facial wrinkles. West River Dental Care’s Dr. Michael Skadron was quoted recently as saying, “As a dentist, I’m very well-trained in the musculature and anatomy of the face and I feel no other doctor can give an injection better than a qualified and experienced dentist.”

But not all dentists agree. Over 40 percent of respondents think dentists should concentrate on healthy teeth and gums, not Botox, according to an online poll among dentists.

Many doctors on the other hand comment online that they would recommend that patients see a physician who is board certified in dermatology, plastic surgery or with aesthetic specialty training.

What do you think? Please let us know where you stand in this changing and competitive landscape. You’ll find more info on our website pages for dental practices and medical practices.

Stewart Gandolf
Chief Executive Officer at Healthcare Success
Stewart Gandolf, MBA, is Chief Executive Officer of Healthcare Success, one of the nation's leading healthcare and digital marketing agencies. Over the past 20 years, Stewart has marketed and consulted for over 1,000 healthcare clients, ranging from practices and hospitals to multi-billion dollar corporations. A frequent speaker, Stewart has shared his expertise at over 200 venues nationwide. As an author and expert resource, Stewart has also written for many leading industry publications, including the 21,000 subscriber Healthcare Success Insight blog. Stewart also co-authored, "Cash-Pay Healthcare: Start, Grow & Perfect Your Cash-Pay Healthcare Business." Stewart began his career with leading advertising agencies, including J. Walter Thompson, where he marketed Fortune 500 clients such as Wells Fargo and Bally's Total Fitness.



Your proposal will include:

Competitor Intel Icon
Competitor Intel
Recommendations Icon
Our Pricing Icon
Our Pricing

...and much more!

“Despite practicing in a hyper-competitive market, our new-patient counts are double what they were for the same time period last year. Hiring Healthcare Success was one of the best business decisions I have ever made.”

Headshot of Jonathan Calure
– Jonathan Calure, MD

List of recent conversions