When will I see the effect of my Botox treatment?

Written by: Professor Andrew Sidebottom
Edited by: Conor Lynch

In this article here below, Professor Andrew Sidebottom, a highly esteemed consultant oral and maxillofacial surgeon, tells us how exactly Botox works, when it is recommended, and when patients can expect to see the results of their Botox treatment.

When are Botulinum injections recommended?

Botulinum injections (commonly called Botox after the original variety) may be suggested for the management of muscle spasm pain or tension headaches and migraines. It is also used to reduce the bulk of these muscles cosmetically, as well as to treat dystonic (involuntary) muscle contractions


How exactly does Botox work?

Botox works by causing localised weakening of the muscle into which it is injected helping to take the muscle out of spasm, and hence, reduce the pain from that muscle.


When will I see the effect?

This effect takes about one week to be noticeable and reaches a peak at six weeks. The effects largely wear off after six months.


For what muscles is Botox recommended?

The main muscles it can be used in are the masseter (below the ear over the angle of the jaw), the temporalis (above the ear and in the temple), the lateral pterygoid (just in front of the jaw joint), and the frontalis (forehead).


How is it performed?

The technique involves between two to three injections that are injected deep into the muscle to avoid skin dumpling.


What is recovery time like?

The area may feel bruised for a few days, but it is important not to massage the area for one week as this may cause the Botox to spread into other muscles and cause weakness, particularly when it comes to raising the corner of the mouth during smiling. 


What are the success rates like?

The beneficial effects can deliver permanent relief in around 30 per cent of patients, and can provide either temporary relief or permanent relief with additional treatments in up to 50 per cent of patients. Roughly 20 per cent get no significant relief, in which case alternative treatments need to be considered.


What are the main associated side effects?

Fortunately, Botox side effects are uncommon. A feeling of tenderness or bruising for a few days is the most commonly reported side effect. About one per cent of patients may experience weakness of movement of the corner of the mouth, which will gradually improve as the botox wears off over four to six months. Botox can also cause drooping of the eyebrow when injected into the forehead. Again, this will wear off as the effects diminish over four to six months.


To book an appointment with Professor Andrew Sidebottom, visit his Top Doctors profile today.

By Professor Andrew Sidebottom
Oral & maxillofacial surgery

Professor Andrew Sidebottom is a leading consultant oral and maxillofacial surgeon. He practices at BMI The Park Hospital, BMI The Lincoln Hospital and the Spire Nottingham Hospital. His primary clinical interests include temporomandibular joint disease, facial deformity surgery, dental implant rehabilitation and oral surgery.

Professor Andrew Sidebottom is one of only eight surgeons in the UK who provides over ten TMJ Joint Replacement procedures yearly, and he has performed over 300 alloplastic joint replacements. His expertise covers all aspects of the management of TMJ pain and surgery. He is also an honorary assistant professor at the University of Nottingham. Professor Sidebottom has been a consultant in oral and maxillofacial surgery at Queens Medical Centre, Nottingham, since 2001. Professor Andrew Sidebottom qualified BDS with honours in Bristol 1986 and subsequently MBChB with honours in Birmingham 1993.

He attained the Fellowship in Dental Surgery of the Royal College of Surgeons of England (FDSRCS) in 1992 and the Fellowship of the Royal Colleges of Surgeons (FRCS) in 1995. Professor Sidebottom carried out oral surgery training in Birmingham and Liverpool from 1986 to 1989, as well as basic surgical training in Bristol from 1994 to 1996. He also completed higher surgical training in oral and maxillofacial Surgery in Liverpool from 1996 to 2001. Professor Sidebottom passed the exit FRCS in Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery {FRCS (OMFS)} with the Gold Medal in 2000.

Professor Sidebottom is in the top 10% providers of TMJ replacement in the world and he is also the lead author of the UK National Guidelines for TMJ Replacement. He is an associate editor in temporomandibular joint surgery for the British Journal of Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery. He referees articles for the European Journal of Craniomaxillofacial Surgery (EJCMFS) and the International Journal of Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery (IJOMS).

Professor Sidebottom has given over 150 international scientific presentations and over 70 international invited lectures. This includes keynote lectures at the British, European and International Association Annual Scientific conferences. He is an active researcher and has written 23 book chapters, including for Gray’s Anatomy on TMJ, as well as 78 peer-reviewed papers.

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