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Things Dentists Should be Aware of When Performing Facial Aesthetic Procedures

Today, many dental clinics offer non-invasive cosmetic treatments to help their patients feel better about themselves by improving their appearance.

Today, many dental clinics offer non-invasive cosmetic treatments to help their patients feel better about themselves by improving their appearance.

Numerous dental practices currently provide non-invasive cosmetic procedures aimed at enhancing patients’ appearances and boosting their confidence. Dental professionals possess a strong understanding of anatomy and the necessary technical skills, which makes them well-suited for this task. However, it is important for them to be mindful of the potential dentolegal risks that may be involved.

Although the number of cases is currently limited, there is a noticeable increase in demand for ‘tweakments’. It is advisable for dental specialists who aspire to enter this industry to adhere to best practices in order to safeguard their professional standing.

1. Legal age restrictions

It is recommended that practices verify the age of patients who express interest in facial aesthetic procedures. According to the Botulinum Toxin and Cosmetic Fillers (Children) Act (2021), it is considered a criminal offense in England to provide botulinum toxin or injectable fillers for cosmetic purposes to individuals under the age of 18.

This also holds true in cases where the patient has obtained consent from an individual with parental responsibility. It is important to note that there are restrictions in place regarding booking appointments or making arrangements to provide treatment for individuals younger than the legal age of 18.

2. Advertising

It is important to ensure that all marketing material adheres to legal requirements, ethical standards, and the guidelines set forth by the Committee of Advertising Practice (CAP) code. The CAP has recently released advertising guidance on cosmetic interventions, providing a comprehensive explanation of how the code is applicable to both surgical and non-surgical cosmetic procedures (CAP, 2021). The Advertising Standards Authority (ASA) has the authority to request the removal of advertisements that may potentially violate the code.

In this particular context, it is crucial for practices to exercise caution and refrain from actively or indirectly endorsing botulinum toxin injections to consumers in the UK, as this falls under the category of prescription-only medicine. According to the Human Medicines Regulations (2012), there are guidelines in place regarding the publication of advertisements that may potentially encourage the use of prescription-only medicines. Nevertheless, according to the CAP guidelines, it is considered acceptable to use non-specific language such as “consultations for the treatment of lines and wrinkles.”

Practice websites may consider including details regarding the product as a potential treatment option while taking into account that it may be more appropriate to present this information on other pages rather than the homepage. It would be preferable if the information could be presented within the context of promoting a consultation, where various options can be openly discussed.

In a broader sense, the GDC’s Guidance on Advertising (2013) addresses both online and print materials, emphasizing the importance of ensuring that advertisements are accurate, transparent, and professional. It highlights that any advertising that is found to be inaccurate, deceptive, or has a tendency to mislead may be considered inappropriate, potentially leading to an investigation into one’s fitness to practice and even constituting a criminal offense.

It underscores the importance of providing patients with well-rounded, accurate information, enabling them to make sensible choices regarding their treatment options.

3. Communication

A careful evaluation of prospective patients is crucial. It is important to consider that individuals seeking cosmetic treatment may be in a psychologically sensitive state. It is possible that they might possess certain expectations regarding the potential impact of the procedure on their lives that may be difficult to meet.

It would be beneficial to inquire about the patient’s expectations and engage in a transparent and sincere discussion from the beginning. It would be advantageous to them to have a comprehensive understanding of the proposed treatment and its associated details. For instance, it would be helpful to consider various aspects such as the costs, potential risks, and advantages of the treatment, as well as alternate choices, which may include the possibility of delaying or not pursuing the treatment altogether.

Dentists should carefully control their patients’ expectations. In order to minimize difficulties or bad outcomes, healthcare providers ought to think about denying treatment if they believe it may not be fit or in the best interests of the patients.

Ensure that patients have ample opportunity and time to ask any questions they may have. After the initial consultation, it might be a good idea to suggest a cooling-off period to give people time to carefully consider their options. As is standard practice with any kind of treatment, it is wise to keep a complete, open, and current record of the conversation.

4. Practice Scope, Education, and Indemnity

After finishing their training, dentists may be eligible to expand their scope of practise to include the administration of non-invasive cosmetic injectables.

After finishing their training, dentists may be eligible to expand their scope of practise to include the administration of non-invasive cosmetic injectables.

Dental professionals are encouraged to undergo comprehensive training and maintain a high level of competence in order to uphold the ethical standards associated with their practice. The scope of practice for dentists may potentially encompass the provision of non-surgical cosmetic injectables as an additional skill that can be acquired after completing their qualifications. It is important for dentists to undergo proper training and demonstrate competence before they begin treating patients in this area.

Dentists play a crucial role in selecting the most suitable training program. Reputable training providers typically outline well-defined expected learning outcomes, employ trainers who possess suitable qualifications, and maintain established systems of quality control. 

Dentox is a training program developed specifically for dentists and other medical professionals to learn how to inject Botox safely and effectively into their patients. Dentox provides comprehensive Botox training options, including both online and in-person classes. The online training can be accessed at, while the face-to-face courses are available at

5. Collaborating with Colleagues

Dentists are recognized as the primary professionals within the dental team who possess the authority to prescribe prescription-only medicines, including botulinum toxin. It is important to note that The All Party Parliamentary Group on Beauty, Aesthetics, and Wellbeing (APPG) has recommended dermal fillers even though they are not considered prescription-only medications. However, there may be situations where they could be requested to provide prescription-only medication for another individual’s use.

It is important for dentists to have the necessary training and competence when prescribing prescription-only medicines for administration by a third party. It would be advisable to conduct a thorough medical record and clinical assessment to determine the patient’s suitability.

It is generally recommended that dentists refrain from remote prescribing, such as through telephone, email, or websites, for non-invasive cosmetic treatments like prescribing or administering Botox or injectable cosmetic medicinal products.

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