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 treatments.
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.