Fillers for a pretty smile – But can dentists lend a helping hand?Nowadays, the meaning and importance of a nice, wrinkle-free face with a glowing white smile have increased to such an extent that many people count on so-called "beauty treatments". Dentists can help with tooth whitenings but from time to time some patients decide to ask for more help. White teeth are great and all but, for some, the overall look of the face can be ruined by even a single wrinkle. This is why quite a few dentists have already heard questions about filler injections. Another quite important question that not too many people think of is whether a dentist is actually allowed to administer such injections. Let's go find the answer, shall we?
Is a dentist allowed to administer fillers?The Austrian Ministry of Health clearly answered this question via a letter and unequivocally decreed that filler injections for cosmetic purposes may not be administered by dentists. To be exact, the letter specifically referred to § 4 of the Austrian Dental Law (ADL) which clarified that these substances may only be used for diseases of the teeth, the mouth, and the jaws. Related to procedures that are performed solely for aesthetic purposes, the ADL decrees that they have to be limited to the teeth only, which means that injections into, say, the lips are not permissible.
Are there any exceptions that allow dentists to use fillers for cosmetic purposes?As in all other walks of life, there are exceptions that apply to the use of fillers by dentists. For example, a trained dentist can also be a specialist in oral and facial reconstruction surgery or a general practitioner or a specialist in another medical specialty. In such cases, said dentist would be allowed to administer fillers from a legal point of view. Also, he or she would need to be listed not only in the dentist registry but also in the broader registry for medical professionals and would need to have appropriate training in accordance with the Austrian law governing aesthetic therapies and treatments (ÄsthOpG).
Is an impermissible use of fillers punishable?In short: yes. Should a medical professional breach the ÄsthOpG, he or she may face a fine of up to € 15.000. In exceptionally severe cases, in which the life of a patient could be at stake, or in cases of a repeat offense, fines may increase to up to € 25.000. On top of that, in such situations, medical professionals face the risk of criminal prosecution which could result in them losing their licenses to practice medicine.
How much do filler injections cost?After finding a well-trained medical professional who is legally allowed to administer fillers, a patient has to prepare for facing relatively high out-of-pocket costs that are generally not covered by insurers. Some of the most frequently-performed filler procedures include the following 3:
- Glabellar Frown Lines (Wrinkles): € 220 – 290
- Frontal Lobe: €280 - 380
- Crow's Feet: €280 - 380
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