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Review Article

Should Dentists be Allowed to Administer Botulinum Toxin?

Brion Benninger1,2,3* and Alan Ross1,2,3

1Departments of Medical Anatomical Sciences, College of Dental Medicine, Western University of Health Sciences, Lebanon

2College of Dental Medicine, Western University of Health Sciences. Samaritan Health Services, Orthopaedic and General Surgery Residency Faculty, Lebanon & Corvallis

3Departments of Oral Maxillofacial Surgery, Surgery, and Orthopaedic Surgery. Oregon Health & Science University, Portland

*Corresponding Author:
Brion Benninger
Western University of Health Sciences, COMP-Northwest
200 Mullins Way, Lebanon
E-mail: [email protected]; [email protected]

Received date: March 29, 2012; Accepted date: May 15, 2012; Published date: May 20, 2012

Citation: Benninger B, Ross A (2012) Should Dentists be Allowed to Administer Botulinum Toxin? Dentistry 2:135. doi:10.4172/2161-1122.1000135

Copyright: © 2012 Benninger B, et al. This is an open-access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original author and source are credited.


Purpose: The purpose of this study was to investigate why dentists should be allowed to administer botulinum toxin (BoNTA). There are several common pathologies that occur in dentistry that BoNTA could be used to alleviate.

Introduction: Pathology resulting from improper clenching and impact force by muscles of mastication are significant issues faced by dentists. Many techniques used for the treatment of these pathologies are expensive, invasive for the patient, and may be ineffective. BoNTA inhibits acetylcholine release, blocking or reducing the contraction of muscles which can have a positive outcome for patients with increased muscle spasm, temporomandibular joint pathologies, bruxism, trismus, tolerance of intra-oral prostheses and other oral conditions.

Methods: A literature search of texts, journals and websites was conducted for BoNTA and its use in dentistry. We analyzed the basic science and clinical curriculum of 20 dental and medical healthcare training institutions. Results: Today’s dentists are prepared to administer BoNTA because of their extensive head and neck anatomical training, pharmacology and the experience acquired from thousands of clinical injections.

Conclusion: Currently, the American Dental Association has not taken a position on the administration of BoNTA by dentists; however, several Dental State Boards have developed, or are developing a policy for its use. This study proposes that dentists should be allowed to inject BoNTA based on their didactic and clinical anatomy courses and clinical curriculum. BoNTA is an effective treatment for oral pathologies.

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