Physicians and physician’s assistants have been doing it for years, and so have dentists for the past decade.

“It” is Botox, Juvederm and Voluma injections, which many dentists offer in addition to general and preventive dentistry, implants, crowns and bridges, root canals, laser treatment for gum disease and cosmetic procedures.

Some might ask, “Why should a dentist do it?” Because it makes sense. Oral cavity injections aren’t new for dentists.

No one knows your teeth, gums, tissue, muscles, mouth, lips and facial appearance better than your dentist. It’s a natural transition of providing overall treatment for your well-being.

Dentists who perform these two procedures are credentialed with the American Academy of Facial Esthetics. They also have two years of medical training dealing with head and neck muscles.

The procedures are convenient for patients. On the same day you are having dental work, you also can schedule a Botox, Juvederm or Voluma session in the same location.

Once we complete cosmetic dentistry with teeth implants or laser treatment on gums, the appearance of your lips, mouth and face can be affected.

As we age, our skin creases can deepen, our mouths can start turning down, our lips can almost disappear and our cheek areas can become sunken.

Juvederm gel injections restore volume in tissue. The dermal filler also is used in gums to remove unsightly dark triangles between the teeth caused by gum disease and the loss of healthy pink gum tissue.

Typically, a patient receives one to three Juvederm injections costing $600-$750 for the first syringe and less for the second or third.

Patients can expect some short-term bruising and swelling.

Botox, which is therapeutic and esthetic, weakens facial muscles and helps smooth out wrinkles, which are caused by the contraction of facial muscles.

The average cost is about $12 per unit, and effective Botox treatment requires between 20 to 80 units depending on the number of affected areas.

Lips can become tender, and some bruising can occur within three to five days.

Botox also reduces pain in the temples from migraine headaches and pain in the jaw muscles and nerves caused by temporomandibular joint (TMJ) syndrome.

There are no known downsides of Botox, Juvederm or Voluma, all of which are manufactured by Allergan.

Pre- and post-op instructions are reviewed with each patient, and a follow-up session is scheduled two weeks later.

Juvederm and Voluma require anesthesia, Botox does not.

Each procedure takes less than 10 minutes to perform.

Duration for Botox is four to six months; for Juvederm and Voluma, one to two years.

James Jenkins, DMD, owns Bluffton Dental Care & Spa in the Plaza at Belfair.