My fiancé Robert and I planned a trip to California and Arizona back in the second week of January. The main event of this trip was choosing and getting fitted for my Inbal Dror wedding gown at Panache Bridal Boutique of Beverly Hills, but also, a major life changing procedure that I had done at Westside Aesthetics Medical Spa by Doctor Alexander Rivkin, M.D., whom is well respected and renowned for his expertise with BOTOX® administration.

View from inside Westside Aesthetics Medical Spa

I have suffered the past 16 years (since the age of 7) with issues from dental imbalances. It wasn’t until about age 12 however, that I began to realize the effects fully of what my misaligned bite were.

By age 16, I had developed a full blown case of TMJ (temporomandibular joint disorder) as a result of my orthodontic issues.

I was hopeful, that getting my wisdom teeth removed at age 18, would resolve some of the problem by making more room in my small mouth, as was indicated by my dentist. But, in the end, all that provided was removal of the threat of impacted wisdom teeth, and further complications. I didn’t have room for them anyway, but having them extracted didn’t help the TMJ, and I spent around three weeks looking like Jigglypuff, or something equally embarrassing. The pain was absolutely horrible, my cheeks had several cuts from having my teeth quartered and cut out, and I of course, wound up with dry socket. The added inflammation exacerbated the TMJ, and all my hopes for relief went out the window.

I began a thorough search for non-invasive methods of treatment that could offer potentially permanent results, and most importantly – quick and lasting relief. I found the answer to my long persevering quest with the fairly new, and nothing short of miraculous, BOTOX® injection method for TMJ.

I did my research, and found that Doctor Rivkin is somewhat of a savant in this particular treatment. His experience in it was made evident by the testimonials I came across, with others mentioning the huge change they had experienced as a result, in not only pain relief and comfort, but aesthetic appearance as well.

January 9th, 2014 was the day I chose my wedding gown, and also the day I finally had injections for my TMJ.

What can I say? After having had the injection for about a week, I could markedly tell the difference. I had relief. Migraines and the constant tension in my mandibles had subsided. I didn’t have to press on my jaw joints in hope of alleviating some of the pressure that always seemed to be there. It was gone. Eating and talking were normal functions that didn’t cause discomfort, or even a second thought. All the waiting and research had paid off, and I was finally functioning like a human being.

Doctor Rivkin was very to-the-point with his consultation, and had what I can only describe as an incredibly assured and reassuring demeanor. I’m not going to even make any other statements about it – I was terrified all day leading up to the point he actually began to inject the syringes of BOTOX®. I had a million little thoughts and worries flooding my head. Was my face going to wind up parlayed? Would my expressions look unnatural? Would my face become lopsided or further imbalanced? What if he injected the wrong muscles – then what? Maybe it wouldn’t work at all, or maybe I would be stuck looking strange on my wedding day, forever to be commemorated in photos. You get the picture. But his confident and obviously experienced approach to the entire consultation and procedure made it an incredibly pleasant experience, even with my fears brimming over.

To describe the process, as I mentioned, I had a consultation (same day) right before getting the injections. He asked me about what my concerns were, how frequent my migraines came on, how much discomfort I suffered in my jaw, which side was worse, and then he felt and assessed the muscles, noting that my right side was significantly more developed than my left (which I was well aware of, being a bit on the more extreme side of self-observance).

He injected my right side with 25 units, and 15 on the left, to make sure imbalance didn’t occur from the left side potentially overcompensating. This is a relatively mild dosage, bear in mind. As it was my first time having BOTOX®, he played it safe to see how my results would fare, emphasizing that he wanted to make the muscle weak, but not too weak.

They had me hold an ice pack against my face prior to injection, and after I felt the area had been properly numbed, the nurse tapped her fingers on the arm of my opposite side as Doctor Rivkin made the injections. Even without the distraction of the nurse tapping on my arm, I can honestly say that I barely felt a thing. I noticed the needle puncturing the skin, but all else was barely even enough to cause notable sensation.

I felt sleepy after the procedure, and was a bit groggy the next day, but I experienced no other side effects.

One of the things I did notice however, was how soft and almost squishy my mandibles felt, in contrast to how tight and firm they normally were, as a result of nearly constant muscle spasming. This was especially noticeable by about day 3, as I realized a significant reduction in the discomfort I had become accustomed to.

It’s been about two months since my injections were administered, and although I will definitely need to have a touch up done, it was 110% worth it. I would fly back to Los Angeles literally any day, for the exclusive purpose of having this procedure.

If you are considering having this done, by all means, do your research if you haven’t already, but I highly recommend Doctor Rivkin. I felt comfortable knowing my face was being injected by someone who was experienced and well-known for this particular treatment.

Having relief from TMJ is life changing, and that is exactly what this provided me with. I cannot say enough good about it.

Has anyone else experienced similarly? Share below!

I hope my experience can be helpful to anyone else suffering from TMJ, or anyone considering having BOTOX® for jaw reduction. It’s a difficult thing to deal with on a daily basis, and can easily feel like it is taking over your life. I simply wish I had done this sooner.


Omorovicza (US)

Ashley is a visual designer, artist, MUA, and photographer by day, lifestyle blogger by night.
She enjoys How I Met Your Mother marathons, Swedish pop music, and has a bit of a shoe fetish, and will beat you in a kombucha drinking contest, any day, any time.