Medical Spa Special: Botox, Hemorrhoids & White Teeth

As patients are tightening their belts and technology is delivering newer procedures that require less time off of work and less money out of a patient’s pocket, more cost-effective solutions are overtaking the once considered gold standard practices, such as liposuction and facelifts.

We’re all aware of the turf wars among plastic surgeons and dermatologists versus the “non-cores”. But a new turf war is spreading into other areas of what is deemed cosmetic practices. As dentists begin using Botox to subsidize their practice’s income, “non-dentists” are dipping into their area of teeth whitening.

Teeth whitening franchises can be seen available at almost every aesthetic trade show. Not only are other physicians adding teeth whitening to their practices, but day spas and beauty salons are also getting into the action!

While dentists are claiming that teeth whitening practices require specialized training in the anatomy of the tooth, trade show vendors will tell you that’s nonsense. They state it is not a dental procedure, but a cosmetic procedure which are more commonly preferred in salons and spas. At a trade show, I was told by a booth vendor that my receptionist could perform the teeth whitening with no medical supervision necessary.

Spas are advertising teeth whitening as “why have it done in a sterile office when you can relax in a soothing spa setting?”. Hmmm. In fact, they boast “why not have other spa services performed at the same time” so they can “take care of all of your aesthetic needs in just one visit”? Here’s a quote I found online from one day spa offering teeth whitening: “quell your fears and anxieties by relaxing in a massage chair, listening to soothing music or enjoying the aromas of scented oils wafting around the rooms. You might even hear the trickling of water from a fountain”.

Are you kidding me? Teeth whitening is hardly a procedure to get anxious about. In fact, the procedures take a maximum of 15 minutes to perform. By the time the aromas start wafting, you’re done!

Is this a procedure that is necessary for financial survival of a medical spa or laser clinic? Where will it end? Will we also be performing hemorrhoidectomies which only require a local anesthetic? Or, perhaps removal of an ingrown toenail?

Call me a cynical nurse, but I say leave the Botox to the cosmetic physicians, the hemorrhoids to the proctologists, the toenails to the podiatrists, and the teeth whitening to the dentists.

Author: Paula D. Young RN runs internal operations and training at Young Medical Spa and is the author of the Medical Spa Aesthetics Course and Advanced IPL & Laser Training course for medical estheticians and laser technicians.

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