Health Ministry Clamps Down on Botox


Israel’s Ministry of Health has decided to restrict the use of Botox by dentists for cosmetic purposes, Globes reported.

The decision to clamp down marks a reversal in ministry policy, which in the past ruled to allow the practice.

The new directive will, however, permit dentists to use Botox for strictly medical purposes, such as reducing tension in the jaw muscles.

And although the change takes effect immediately, dentists already using the drug for cosmetic purposes will be allowed to continue doing so for one year, “in order to get organized.”

The ministry’s directive is aimed specifically at dentists. Doctors who do not specialize in plastic surgery will be permitted to continue injecting Botox for cosmetic purposes.

Ministry of Health director of health administration Prof. Arnon Afek explained the difference by pointing out that there are substantial differences between regular doctors and dentists in the scope and substance of their skills.

The Israel Dental Association, however, argues that dentists are actually more skilled at giving injections than many other doctors who are permitted to do so.

The IDA opposes the decision and is exploring the possibility of a legal challenge.