Lip fillers should be made prescription-only like Botox, MPs warn in abuse crackdown
Calls to reduce the 'conveyor belt' or non-surgical cosmetic procedures have been made by MPs - urging a licensing regime for providers.The Commons Health Select Committee has urged for necessary action to help reduce the 'conveyor belt' approach to non-surgical cosmetic top ups - such as Botox injections or chemical peels - by bringing forward a licensing regime for providers across the UK.
© Provided by Metro Wait, why is my dentist asking about wrinkles? (Picture: Getty/Metro.co.uk)
‘Are you flossing? Do you brush regularly? Do you want to sort out those wrinkles?’
Once upon a time, it would have been considered bizarre to be asked about anything other than your teeth by your dentist.
But these days, it’s becoming more common for your dental checkup to include offers of Botox, fillers, and other cosmetic treatments.
Why? And is it a good idea to get your dentist to treat your anti-ageing desires as well as your molars?
‘In the last five years I do think people are going to the dentist for more cosmetic reasons including fillers and Botox,’ says Ashton Collins, director of Save Face, a national register of accredited practitioners providing non-surgical cosmetic treatments.
Loose Women's Carol McGiffin shows off her new 'face full of fillers': 'Very disturbing'
Carol wasn't happy with her 'new look'!The 62-year-old was sat beside fellow panellists Charlene White, Denise Welch and Katie Piper as they discussed non-surgical cosmetic procedures, like lip fillers, amid calls from MPs for greater regulation in the industry.
But dentists administering Botox is not new: ‘they were actually one of the earlier embraces of these treatments,’ says Ashton. This is because Botox and dermal fillers can help with chronic pain in the jaw, including conditions like temporomandibular joint dysfunction (TMJ.)
‘I found that it does actually help,’ explains Iona Fyfe, a singer from Glasgow who has suffered with ‘excruciating’ and ‘chronic’ pain from TMJ since about 2016. She had tried several other treatment options but nothing worked to help the pain.
In 2021 she ‘finally managed to access one round of Botox on the NHS’. After having the first treatment in hospital she then ‘chose to have it at the dentist because they didn’t have a 6-12 month waiting list’.
‘I could just pay for it and get it done,’ she says. ‘Having it done at the dentist was a convenient albeit expensive route to go down, but I am really glad that it was there because as a singer this treatment was paramount to being able to do my job.’
Loose Women's Carol McGiffin debuts a 'disturbing' new look with 'face full of fillers'
The ITV talk show host said she wanted to show what some people are aspiring to MPs are currently calling for facial fillers to be regulated, as no mandatory training is needed in order to carry out the work, reports the Liverpool Echo. During Loose Women on Friday (August 5), Carol opened up and admitted that previously she has had a face lift. TV screens cut to show a picture of Carol with highly enhanced facial features.
Despite these medical reasons for needing facial injectables, what is known as aesthetic dentistry has also boomed in recent years. © Provided by Metro Aesthetic dentistry is a fully-fledged trend (Picture: Getty Images)
‘Dentists were routinely administering Botox and then as aesthetic treatments became more popular it became a hand-in-hand service,’ Ashton notes. She believes that for consumers, the dentist might feel like a safer option: ‘If you are already a client at a dentist and you have a relationship where you trust that person, then it’s just an easy progression.’
Collins puts the increase in aesthetic dentistry down to three things: ‘societal pressure, social media and reality TV’.
She says social media algorithms can be a bit of a ‘rabbit hole’ where ‘if you start off on a teeth-whitening journey it’s only a matter of time before you see adverts for lip fillers and Botox’. Collins also thinks the stigma around these treatments is lessening: ‘whereas 10 years ago there was a lot of judgement’ now ‘people under 30 are far more open to discuss that they are having treatments’.
How to Get Rid of Your Double Chin
Neck our advice and wage war on unwanted chin blubberThe double chin or ‘submental fat’ plaguing your selfie camera roll is little more than a layer of blubber below your chin. But before you jump on the scales, bare in mind that there might be a few contributing factors behind your extra face padding. Swallow those and you’ll learn how to eliminate your double chin for good. Or at least until Christmas rolls around.
Lauren Harrhy, a dentist from Wales and trustee of the British Dental Association, says the pandemic also had a role to play in increasing demand: ‘Over Covid we all spent more time looking at ourselves on camera and started to realise how we really present ourselves to the outside world.’
She thinks this has made us even more determined to stop the signs of ageing: ‘Many people want to just feel better about themselves. Some want to preserve their youthful appearance and others want to be restored to their previous appearance.’
This is the experience of someone from my local dentist, who tells me: ‘I couldn’t fight middle age’s effect on my face! I decided on fillers and Botox but was worried that I would spend money on little difference or on a frozen face.’
They say their dentist ‘was efficient and calm’, and ‘it was clear he knew what he was doing’.
Like any cosmetic treatment, it’s an individual’s choice to change their appearance in any way but, is it safe for dentists to be administering these treatments? Does dentistry really equip you to inject forehead and lip fillers?
Poor dental hygiene could put you at risk of lung damage warns expert - here's how
WHEN WE think of our dental hygiene the most obvious health issues that come to mind are things like toothache, tooth decay and bleeding gums. However, some problems with our mouth might reveal other conditions around the body."What most people don't know is your dentist can be your first line of defence in spotting symptoms of wider health problems.
Actually, yes, explains Carmel McHenry, a spokesperson from the British Dental Association (BDA): ‘After five years study at dental school, dentists will have a thorough knowledge of facial anatomy, so they are well placed to provide Botox or fillers.’ © Provided by Metro Your dentist is actually a pretty safe bet for cosmetic tweakments (Picture: Getty Images)
Her colleague Laura Harrhy agrees, explaining: ‘Dentists are uniquely qualified to provide injections in a safe and controlled manner. We know the head and neck anatomy better than pretty much anyone.’
Botox is a prescription drug so only a doctor, dentist, prescribing nurse or pharmacist can offer it.
However, Ashton explains that there is a ‘loophole’ in that law that means it is ‘widely flouted’.
‘Although [Botox] has to be prescribed, the healthcare professional can then delegate the administration of that treatment to whoever,’ she explains. ‘So they could prescribe that drug to the patient and get a beauty therapist to administer it.’ This problem is ‘rife’ says Collins, calling on the government to stamp it out.
You also don’t need a prescription to administer other dermal fillers, and illegal injectables imported from abroad are also causing major issues.
McHenry agrees that this lack of regulation means ‘there’s a degree of wild west territory’ and says that the government need to deliver ‘necessary safeguards, not just promises’. She’s referring to the commitment made by the Department for Health and Social Care in February 2022 to introduce a licensing scheme in England for non-surgical cosmetic procedures, including dermal fillers.
My toothache turned out to be a brain tumour
Emma Webster, from Airdrie, North Lanarkshire, went to the dentist in April 2018 after complaining of toothache and was rushed through for root canal surgery. However, when the mother-of-one was still struggling with pain and blurred vision months later, she was referred for an MRI scan A young mother claims she was 'ready to plan her funeral' after a shock brain tumour diagnosis which she thought was toothache.
A spokesperson from the Department For Health And Social Care assures Metro.co.uk that they ‘are committed to improving the safety of cosmetic procedures and helping consumers to make informed and safe choices’. When asked about when the much-needed licensing scheme, the same spokesperson said the government ‘will set out further details in due course’.
It is difficult to know whether medical Botox treatments like those Iona underwent or rising demand for aesthetic treatments are behind the rise of dentists offering Botox.
Either way, despite the fact the average Brit can hardly afford a three-figure filling these days, at £100-£300 a treatment, tweakments provided by your dentist are certainly making a lot of people a lot of money – so this seems to be a trend that’s firmly here to stay.
Despite my initial scepticism, the research I did for this piece showed me that if you want to have Botox or fillers, the dentist might actually be your safest option – but watch out for untrained individuals selling pre-prescribed injectables or those imported from abroad, and make sure that, as with any treatment, you take time to think things through – rather than making an impulse decision prompted by seeing your face in the checkup chair’s unflattering lighting.
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