Dentists get their teeth into the Botox business
IRISH dentists are now offering to fill in your wrinkles as well as your teeth.
Routine dentistry may be in the doldrums thanks to swingeing cuts in state dental schemes, and so a growing number of dental clinics are turning to wrinkle-busting treatments such as Botox to boost their coffers.
A survey by the Irish Independent found that the price of Botox treatment in the Republic ranges from €199 to €310 per area treated.
Hundreds of consumers are also heading north of the border to get their Botox on the cheap with one clinic there reporting carloads of women from the south arriving for treatment.
Botox -- or botulinum toxin -- is injected in through a fine needle to paralyse facial muscles and therefore smooth out wrinkles. The effects usually last between four and six months.
A spokesperson for manufacturers Allergan said cosmetic use of Botox was up 11pc worldwide last year, although they could not give a breakdown of usage in Ireland.
Dr Altona Myers, a dentist with the Seapoint Clinic in Blackrock, Co Dublin, said there was huge demand for Botox and other facial treatments, which she now provides to eight out of every 20 patients she sees.
"It's relatively new for dentists in Ireland to be doing it, but dentists in the US and England have been doing it for years, and it's a natural fit given our knowledge and training in facial anatomy," she said.
Dr Myers said she had done specialised training in Botox treatment at London's Harley Street.
Many customers preferred the discretion of a dental surgery, rather than being seen going into a cosmetic surgery, she said.
"A lot of women don't even tell their husbands they're getting it, so we don't indicate what the procedure was on the receipt," she said.
The Royal College of Surgeons is looking at offering a tailored training course in Botox administration for doctors and dentists to ensure adequate training, says consultant plastic surgeon Jack Kelly, secretary of the Irish Association of Plastic Surgeons.
While doctors and dentists are entitled to administer Botox there are no courses or requirement for training here at present, meaning they either have to travel to the UK or operate without specialised training, said Mr Kelly.
"A growing number of dental practices may be offering these treatments in order to diversify given the fall-off in dental work," he said.
The Irish Medicines Board said these products "should only be given by physicians with appropriate qualifications and expertise in the treatment and the use of the required equipment".
It has received no reports of adverse reactions from the cosmetic use of Botox.
The Hylagen clinic in Newry, Co Down, with Botox treatment at €120, said that 75-80pc of its customers come from the Republic, with 50 to 100 people getting the wrinkle treatment each week.