The face is the frame for one’s teeth. Surrounding wrinkles in one’s frame disrupt the overall appearance of otherwise well kept or restored teeth. Onabotulinumtoxina (Botox®) is an important tool in correcting problems with the “frame” around the teeth. Dr. Lee offers a variety of solutions, including but not limited to the examples below.
But botulinum toxin is not only for appearance’s sake. This treatment can also be used for disorders involving excessive jaw tension, teeth clenching, facial muscle spasms, and TMJ problems. See, for example, case 4 below.
Case 1: Correcting forehead wrinkles gives a more youthful appearance.
Case 2: Correcting glabellar wrinkles removes the angry, scowling look.
Case 3: Botulinum injection can reduce excessive upper lip movement that causes a gummy smile.
Case 4: Large jowls causing the “chipmunk face” can be reduced in size. Because the jaw muscles have built up substantially over time, this correction will require larger doses of injected botulinum for a successful outcome.
Dermal fillers replace volume under the skin that, when lost through aging, results in fixed creases or loss of normal volume. Depending on where these creases occur, they are unsightly and give an old age appearance. These include marionnette lines (corner of the lips down to the chin), abnormally thinned lips, nasolabial folds, dimples, and interdental papillae (unwanted triangular gaps between teeth).
Dr. Lee generally uses Juvederm™ but similar gels using naturally occuring hyaluronic acid are appropriate. Results should last 6 to 12 months.
Case 1: This patient has a distinctly deep nasolabial fold but otherwise normal face
Case 2: This patient has a variety of irregular creases that can be corrected by a filler
Intense pulsed light (IPL) uses lower (safer) yet more targeted energy for the skin tissue with minimal or no discomfort. IPL involves a series of pulses over the treatment surface, which penetrates the skin layers and is absorbed by the blood vessels or by unwanted dark pigmentation (including pigment in hair follicles). The energy is absorbed by the vessel or pigment much more than the skin. Natural healing afterwards is able to reduce the unwanted lesion.
IPL does not involve irritants such as chemicals or radiation, as with some laser or radiofrequency resurfacing machines. Also, since IPL does not require topical anesthetics, although a cold pack is nice to use after therapy. Larger areas can be treated at one time than with laser treatment. There should be no downtime with IPL.
Treatments can take approximately 30 to 45 minutes, depending on how much skin is treated. A plan of 3 to 5 sessions is typical. While some patients see significant improvement in just 2 or 3 treatments, others may require more. It is mandatory to limit sun exposure for several weeks before and especially after treatment and be committed to daily sunscreen use.
Similar to other technologies, such as lasers, hair removal is an excellent application for IPL, especially for pigmented hair on less pigmented skin.
Case 1: This basic case illustrates correction of unsightly brown age spots on the face after several IPL sessions.
Case 2: Many faces have multiple problems, mostly from aging or sun damage or both. IPL is versatile in being able to address numerous problems simultaneously.
Water-based microdermabrasion therapy is considered the newest step beyond legacy technology such as dermabrasion. This latest non-invasive skin resurfacing and rejuvenating technology uses patented 4-step Vortex Technology™. Facial skin is rejuvenated through a combination of cleansing, exfoliation, gentle acid peel, extraction, hydration, and antioxidant protection. Treatment time is fast (15 to 20 minutes), pain free, appropriate for those with darker pigmentation, and without downtime.
Best results occur after 3 to 6 treatments, with cumulative improvements in skin moisture level, skin tone, and reduced fine wrinkles. Hydrafacial is appropriate for sun damage, pigmentation problems, poor skin tone, very fine wrinkles, dry skin, and also oily skin/clogged pores (yes, even in teenagers!).
Repair, relax and reward the two hardest working parts of one’s body. Paraffin wax increases the skin’s elasticity, allowing increased movement and mobility. Similar to applications for muscle, tendon, and ligament problems, paraffin applied to the skin retains heat, increasing the skin’s circulation, opens pores, and softens the skin. This quick treatment is easily combined with a routine dental visit.