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Anti-wrinkle injections Dr Kavita Lobo Reviewed by Dr Kavita Lobo, Dentist

Some dentists offer cosmetic services like anti-wrinkle injections.

Some dental clinics offer anti-wrinkle injections in an attempt to reduce the appearance of fine lines or wrinkles on your face. To offer these services, the dentist must be a registered practitioner and complete additional training.1 

What are anti-wrinkle injections?

Anti-wrinkle injections are cosmetic injections that aim to minimise the appearance of facial wrinkles. Some injections try to do this by relaxing targeted facial muscles and reducing movements that can deepen wrinkles. Others try to minimise wrinkles by making certain parts of your face look fuller. 

These anti-wrinkle treatments involve injecting a compound into muscles beneath the skin in certain areas of the face, which might reduce the appearance of some wrinkles or delay the formation of new wrinkles, such as:

  • frown lines on the forehead
  • wrinkles above the nose
  • crow's feet beside the eyes
  • wrinkles on the neck.

You should only seek cosmetic injections from a registered practitioner. Check that your health practitioner is registered.1,2,3

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Why would a dentist perform anti-wrinkle injections? 

A dental clinic may not be an obvious place to find this sort of treatment. And, since dental practitioners need certain training to administer these injections, not all dental clinics are the right places to get anti-wrinkle injections. 
 
To become a dentist, most practitioners have to study facial muscles and facial injections. They might even need to use muscle-relaxing injections for functional or health-related issues — for instance, treatments for the symptoms of jaw joint disorders.4 Still, a dentist will need to take on further, specialised training in order to offer anti-wrinkle treatments. The Dental Board of Australia has approved the use of facial injectables, provided a dentist meets a series of standards that you can find on their website.1
 
You should speak with your doctor before undergoing any invasive procedure, including facial injections. 

What happens during anti-wrinkle injections?

If you choose a dentist to administer cosmetic injections as a way to address wrinkles and fine lines, they’ll typically recommend a treatment plan. They should speak with you beforehand about what you’re hoping to achieve and help you set reasonable expectations. 
 
For the procedure itself, a practitioner will clean the areas of your face that are receiving injections. Using a fine needle, they’ll inject the compound into your facial muscles. While pain thresholds are different from person to person, many people feel a sharp sting, similar to other types of injections.
 
It’s possible that some injection sites may bleed, so the practitioner might need to use a cotton swab to clean those parts of your face.

How long do anti-wrinkle injections last? 

Single treatments may last for 3 to 4 months3, but this depends on the type of injection, the compound itself, your circumstances and your lifestyle. 
 
If you’re receiving your treatment from a dentist, they should be able to advise you about what you can expect.

Are anti-wrinkle injections safe?

Even if your cosmetic injections are provided by a registered dentist, there's always a possibility of something going wrong. It's important to know the risks and potential side effects before undergoing a treatment.

You should not undergo anti-wrinkle injections if you’re pregnant or breastfeeding.2

Tell the dentist if:

  • you are allergic to any of the ingredients
  • you have an infection or swelling in your facial muscles
  • you have a muscle or heart condition
  • you're taking any medication or drugs that could affect your muscles
  • you’ll be undergoing another treatment under general anaesthesia shortly after the cosmetic injection
  • you’ve had facial surgery in the past. 

One of these issues by itself may not prevent you from getting the injections, but you should still tell the practitioner. They should be able to help you reach an informed decision based on your circumstances.2 

What to expect after cosmetic injections

After getting anti-wrinkle injections, you might experience mild pain, swelling or bruising where the injections were used. This may go away in a few days. You can try to manage any discomfort with over-the-counter medication but speak to your doctor first.

If these symptoms last for longer than a few days, or if you notice other side effects such as headaches, numbness or blurred vision, you should make an appointment to see a doctor.

Your dentist can give you specific instructions, but generally you should: 

  • avoid alcohol, coffee and hot drinks for 24 hours after the procedure
  • avoid exposing your skin to the sun and other high temperatures, such as saunas
  • avoid touching or rubbing the skin where the injections were used
  • keep your skin that was injected clean.

Questions about facial injections? 

Not all dentists offer cosmetic injections, but you can search for a dentist near you. Their Dental Care Network listing will tell you whether this is a service available at their clinic.

 

*Any surgical or invasive procedure carries risks. Before proceeding, you should seek a second opinion from an appropriately qualified health practitioner.

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1 Dental Board of Australia. Fact sheet: The use of botulinum toxin and dermal fillers by dentists. [Online] 2015 [Last accessed December 2015, accessed July 2019] Available from: www.dentalboard.gov.au

2 Better Health Channel. Cosmetic treatments – injectables [online] 2019 [Last updated 2019, accessed July 2019] Available from www.betterhealth.vic.gov.au

3 Cosmetic Physicians College of Australia. Anti-wrinkle injections. [online] 2019 [Accessed July 2019] Available from: www.cpca.net.au

4 Australian Government Department of Health. Things to consider before undergoing procedures involving dermal fillers [online] 2019 [Last updated July 2019, accessed July 2019] Available from: www.tga.gov.au

5 Queensland Government Queensland Health. Cosmetic procedures: what you need to know [ online] 2019 [Last updated July 2019, accessed July 2019] Available from: www.health.qld.gov.au

6 Australian Health Practitioner Regulation Agency. Regulating Australia’s health practitioners in partnership with the National Boards. [online] 2019 [Last updated July 2019, accessed July 2019] Available from: www.ahpra.gov.au

7 Cosmetic Physicians College of Australia. Protocol for delegated cosmetic S4 injections [online] 2019 [Last updated May 2019, accessed July 2019] Available from: www.cpca.net.au

8 NHS. Dermal fillers [online] 2016 [Last updated May 2016, accessed July 2019] Available from: www.nhs.uk

The purpose of this article is to promote better understanding of dental health topics. It’s not meant to replace professional advice or diagnosis. Always talk to a dentist, doctor or other qualified healthcare professional if you have a question about dental or medical conditions.

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