Cheek fillers are injected into the cheek area of the face to make you look younger, refreshed, and vibrant. While some people claim that cheek fillers can make you look more natural and healthy, there are still several considerations you should think about before deciding whether or not to get cheek fillers yourself. Here are some of the things you should know before getting cheek fillers.
Cheek Filler Basics
Your cheeks are composed of fat, muscle, and bone. Once you reach your mid-30s, they start to deflate and become less prominent. But if you want them back right away, you can consider cheek filler injections.
First and foremost, fillers are temporary—they last about six months to two years before needing to be refreshed or removed altogether. Cheek fillers aren’t permanent. They restore volume to your cheeks and help them look as full as they did when you were younger. However, just because they don’t last forever doesn’t mean that they aren’t safe or effective. Many patients describe their results as natural-looking and an instant confidence boost. If that sounds like what you’re looking for, keep reading for more information on cheek fillers.
Cheek fillers are great for creating definition in an otherwise rounded face or accentuating your cheekbones. They’re ideal for people who want to add more structure and contour but do not want or need implants. The best candidates are in good general health and have realistic expectations about changing their appearance with fillers versus surgery. Fillers are used along with dermal fillers, fat injections, and other types of facial augmentation.
More invasive procedures, such as an injectable facelift, may be better served for people looking for a more dramatic change. Those seeking less invasive options can opt for dermal fillers, which can lift and define features in subtler ways. Injectable fillers should never be used on an uneven face; they will not provide symmetry or balance your features.
Types of Fillers
Three major types of fillers are commonly used for cheek augmentation:
- Hyaluronic Acid (HA)
- Calcium Hydroxylapatite (CaHA)
- Polymethylmethacrylate (PMMA)
HA is a naturally occurring substance in our bodies, while CaHA is made from ground-up bone. PMMA is also known as acrylic glass filler. When administered by an experienced provider, all of these products have proven safe and effective when injected into cheeks.
Hyaluronic acid and calcium hydroxylapatite are cross-linked, making them more resistant to degradation by enzymes than their non-cross-linked counterparts. Both substances also have outstanding water-retention properties and can remain in place for up to one year after injection. PMMA typically remains in place for a few months.
Cheek Filler Process
What happens in a cheek augmentation session? To soften your face, raise your cheeks and add some volume, surgeons will typically inject hyaluronic acid fillers into your upper and lower cheek area. Hyaluronic acid (HA) is a naturally occurring substance in your body that keeps skin hydrated by binding to water molecules. It’s also used as an alternative to collagen because it lasts longer and stimulates new collagen growth.
This process takes about 20 minutes. First, your cosmetic surgeon will administer local anesthesia with lidocaine or another anesthetic. This helps prevent any discomfort during injection and prevents you from moving during treatment. The rest of your procedure is usually done with little or no discomfort. However, you may feel some minor pressure at certain points as filler is injected into tissue around your cheekbones and your mouth area.
Your surgeon will carefully assess your face to ensure your features look balanced. Then they will draw on your face with a marker to map out where they’ll place filler. Fillers are typically placed under the skin using small injections and guided by special equipment that tracks their location beneath your skin. This allows precise placement of filler, so you don’t have any lumps or bumps on your face.
The recovery time for cheek fillers can vary from patient to patient, but most people find that they are back in their routine within 24 hours. If your treatment does require sedation or local anesthesia, you may feel some soreness afterward and be limited on what you can do during that time. Most patients can return to work in a couple of days but remember, everyone heals at different rates, so it’s best to ask your doctor about how long it will take for you.
It’s also important to know that cheek fillers typically last anywhere from one to two years. How long they last depend on your body and lifestyle, so be sure you discuss all of your options with your doctor. Just as there are different fillers, you may also have some longevity options available based on your specific needs.
Potential Side Effects
Follow all post-procedure instructions from your doctor, and if you experience any complications or side effects, contact them immediately. Some side effects are more common than others, but even one of these can be serious enough to cause serious damage. Common side effects include redness, swelling, tenderness, bruising, itchiness, and irritation, but those who experience pain severe enough to require medication should also seek help from their doctors. As with most treatments and procedures, there is always risk involved when undergoing cosmetic surgery, and cheek fillers aren’t immune.
Other possible complications include bleeding, infection, scarring, and damage to other facial nerves or surrounding tissues. While these may be rare, they should always be considered when deciding whether or not you’re ready for cheek fillers.
Discuss Your Options
As always, ask about which type of filler would be best for you depending on how much volume you want to be added to your cheeks. The bottom line is that getting cheek fillers can be an amazing experience, but it requires some research beforehand. Talk with your doctor about all of your questions and concerns so you can get started on your journey toward a more youthful and beautiful you!