The Health Ministry has decided to
prohibit dentists from injecting Botox (botulinum toxin) for aesthetic
treatments in patients who want to reduce their wrinkles.
Prof. Arnon Afek, head
of the ministry’s medical division, sent the directive on Wednesday to
administrators throughout the medical system, telling them to inform the
dentists of the decision.
Some dentists have been offering these private
treatments for years, earning significant income from them.
Dentists who have started treating a patient
will be able to complete Botox treatments for that patient, but no new
treatments will be allowed. The only injections dentists may give, Afek wrote,
are those pertaining to dentistry. They will also be forbidden to do acupuncture
The dentists who injected Botox had argued they were skilled
at giving injections of anesthetics in patients’ mouths, so there was no reason
not to give Botox injections as well.
Plastic surgeons and
dermatologists, however, objected to the competition and claimed dentists had
never learned such skills. The ministry, meanwhile did not like that dentists
would be busy giving anti-aging treatments instead of focusing on dentistry.