Botox |5 min read

What’s the Difference Between Botox Cosmetic and Botox Therapeutic?

Botox Cosmetic and Botox Therapeutic: What's the difference?

Botox isn’t a secret. You’ve heard of Botox as a cosmetic procedure to smooth out unwanted wrinkles.


Did you know we can use Botox for therapeutic reasons to prevent migraines and muscle pain? It’s true!

Botox is categorized into two different purposes: Botox Cosmetic and Botox Therapeutic.

What’s the difference between Botox Cosmetic and Botox Therapeutic?

That’s the very question we’ll cover in our blog!


It’s important to note these two procedures are both approved by the FDA and can be injected by your dentist in Hingham, MA.


What is Botox Cosmetic used for?

This cosmetic procedure (what many people commonly associate Botox with) is used to get rid of unwanted wrinkles and aging lines around the forehead, frown lines, crow’s feet, and other facial features.

At South Shore Prosthodontics, we use Allergan Botox to help you look and feel younger. In fact, Botox Cosmetic can be used in conjunction with dermal fillers.

Botox Cosmetic works by relaxing the muscles and smoothing wrinkles. Dermal fillers work differently.

Fillers add volume to certain areas of the face. They can lift the cheeks, smooth the “parenthesis” lines around the mouth, and plump the lips.

Combine dermal fillers with Botox Cosmetic, and you get a smooth appearance, looking 10-15 years younger!

What is Botox Therapeutic used for?

Botox Therapeutic focuses on relieving multiple pain points, including:

  • Migraines and headaches
  • Neck pain
  • Bruxism (teeth grinding and jaw clenching)
  • Trigger points (muscle pain)
  • TMJ disorder
  • Lack of sleep

The purpose of Botox Therapeutic (which is FDA approved) is to relax the facial muscles. When those muscles relax, it relieves any tension causing the pain mentioned above.

How so?

  • Muscle Pain: Trigger points can cause tension in the head and neck areas. However, Botox allows the knots in the muscles to relax, relieving your pain. Not to mention, it creates a balance with your muscles in the head and neck.
  • TMJ Disorder: Teeth grinding and migraines are all signs of TMJ disorder. The cause could be tension within your muscles. Botox can help decrease the tension, the wear on your teeth, and stop migraines altogether.
  • Lack of Sleep: When you’re in pain, it’s difficult to sleep, right? Well once Botox is injected, that pain will go away, helping you sleep better.

Sound too good to be true?

Our patients who need Botox for migraines and trigger points report they can finally enjoy life again – free from pain.

Read MaryBeth’s experience with Therapeutic Botox:

“Everything about my experience with South Shore Prosthodontics has been exceptional. I received trigger point injections for TMJ Syndrome. The results were amazing! After suffering for years, I finally had relief from my jaw pain. The results from the injections were better than I could have ever hoped for. Dr. Khayat, Dr. Becerra and the entire staff at South Shore Prosthodontics are professional, kind and caring. They truly are the best!” – MaryBeth K. (Actual Patient)

How does Botox for migraines and trigger points work?

People started using Botox for cosmetic reasons in the mid-90s. To their surprise, many people reported improvement in their chronic head pain.

In 2010, the FDA officially approved Botox for headaches and migraines in adults. You may be wondering:

How can Botox work for chronic pain?

Botox is a botulinum toxin, which is a purified substance that blocks the nerve signals to the muscle. When those signals are blocked, the muscles relax, relieving tension and creating that smooth appearance.

It’s a double win!

A bulleted list explaining the differences between cosmetic and therapeutic Botox.

Is the process different between Botox Cosmetic and Botox Therapeutic?

Receiving both Botox Cosmetic and Botox Therapeutic are very similar:

  • Your Hingham cosmetic dentist will conduct a comprehensive exam with you to determine your needs and budget.
  • Then, they will inject the Botox in the appropriate areas.
  • You will start seeing results within 2-10 days.
  • Every three months, you can come back to maintain your treatment plan with new Botox injections.


Therapeutic Botox requires a more in-depth examination of your head and neck to understand the reason for your pain.

This exam gives your dentist the chance to identify the muscles that are tense and causing your chronic pain. At South Shore Prosthodontics, we may recommend a home sleep test to evaluate your sleep performance and how your muscles move while sleeping.

This is all part of our comprehensive exam to create the appropriate plan to get you out of pain.

Will dental insurance cover Botox?

That’s another difference between Botox Cosmetic and Botox Therapeutic.

Since Botox Therapeutic focuses on relieving pain, it can be covered under your medical insurance.

However, Botox Cosmetic is considered a cosmetic procedure, which will consist of out-of-pocket cost.

But, here’s the kicker:

Allergan does offer a savings program that can give you discounts at every injection.

Check out their Botox Savings Program to see how much you could save.

Trust your Botox treatment with South Shore Prosthodontics

As cosmetic dentistsDr. Sam Khayat and Dr. Laura Becerra excel in injecting Botox on a cosmetic and therapeutic level to the entire South Shore, including Hingham, Hanover, and Weymouth.

If you have any questions about Botox or are in pain, please contact us for a comprehensive examination and see if we’re the right Botox providers for you.

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