Dental Tribune UK & Ireland

Dentists providing cosmetic injectable procedures urged to protect themselves

By Brendan Day, Dental Tribune International
July 27, 2021

LONDON, UK: After a year-long inquiry, the All-Party Parliamentary Group on Beauty, Aesthetics and Wellbeing (APPG) has released a report on the regulatory environment surrounding non-surgical aesthetic procedures such as dermal fillers and botulinum toxin injections—the latter most commonly known as Botox. Given that these treatments are increasingly being offered by UK dental practices, the British Dental Association (BDA) has cautioned dentists to confirm that they are appropriately insured to provide these services.

The APPG launched its inquiry in June 2020 in response to the fast growth of these cosmetic procedures in recent years, as well as because of concerns over an insufficient legal and regulatory framework regarding their provision. In its concluding report released on 21 July 2021, the group made 17 recommendations for the UK government, including that the government should:

  • set national minimum standards for practitioner training,
  • legislate to introduce a national licensing framework,
  • make dermal fillers prescription only, and
  • develop and mandate the psychological pre-screening of patients.

“Patients must always come first, and I am committed to protecting their safety, making sure people have the right information they need to make informed decisions about cosmetic surgery and ensuring the highest quality training is accessible to all practitioners,” commented Nadine Dorries, the UK minister for patient safety.

“This report is an important contribution to our shared understanding of the consequences of this kind of treatment and I look forward to reviewing its recommendations on how we continue to improve people’s safety,” she added.

In a clinical dental context, a substance like Botox can be injected into overactive muscles to reduce their activity levels. As a result, it has been used to treat a variety of conditions, including bruxism and temporomandibular joint disorders, and even to promote the osseointegration of dental implants. However, its positioning as a purely cosmetic procedure has become increasingly common in recent years—so much so that, last year, the Committee of Advertising Practice and the Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency issued an enforcement notice prohibiting dental professionals from directly advertising Botox since it is a prescription-only medication.

In a press release on the topic, Dr Len D’Cruz, head of indemnity at the BDA, said: “Our policyholders are indemnified for the use and administration of facial cosmetic injectable procedures above the lower border of the mandible.”

“The use of injectable cosmetic treatments in the peri-oral area is a useful adjunct to dental treatment when provided by a suitably trained dentist. In addition, your patients are protected by your indemnity arrangements and a process for managing complaints if anything should go wrong,” he added.

“The GDC [General Dental Council] considers these treatments within the scope of practice of dentists providing appropriate training has been undertaken,” D’Cruz confirmed.

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