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Our faces will naturally lose subcutaneous fat as we grow older, resulting in volume loss.
As the facial tissues thin out and the skin stretches, lines and wrinkles around the face become more visible. Our cheeks can also sag a bit and look hollow.
While these changes are perfectly normal, there are treatments that can help restore your youthful appearance.
Dermal fillers can be used to improve your facial features and minimize various signs of aging.
Different types of dermal fillers are generally administered in the same way. Before proceeding with the treatment, here are the important things you need to know about dermal fillers.
Dermal fillers are injectable substances with gel-like consistency approved by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA).
This popular treatment helps with early signs of aging or can be added to facial rejuvenation surgery.
Fillers are injected beneath your skin to provide the following benefits:
There are many different FDA-approved dermal fillers used by cosmetic surgeons. In general, these fillers are categorized by the type of material they are made from.
Hyaluronic acid (HA) is a substance naturally produced by the body and found in the skin. It is one of the most popular types of fillers because it helps the skin retain moisture, making your face more plump and hydrated.
Although HA is infused in many products, only injectable fillers can restore lost volume. The results typically last between six to 12 months or longer as the body absorbs the substance.
Many HA fillers are formulated with lidocaine to lessen discomfort during and after the treatment. FDA-approved brands of hyaluronic acid fillers include:
Calcium hydroxylapatite (CaHA) is a naturally occurring mineral found in our bones. The calcium particles are almost microscopic and suspended in a smooth gel when used in fillers.
Unlike hyaluronic acid fillers, the consistency of calcium hydroxylapatite is usually thicker. This filler can also last up to 18 months for most individuals.
CaHA fillers help stimulate the natural production of collagen, which helps with deeper lines and wrinkles. Radiesse® is an FDA-approved CaHA filler.
Poly-L-lactic acid is a biodegradable synthetic substance used to make medical products, such as dissolvable stitches. It is also biocompatible, meaning it is safe for use in the body.
The primary mechanism of poly-L-lactic acid is to smooth fine lines by helping the skin rebuild its natural collagen.
These “collagen stimulators” are used as a treatment for deep facial wrinkles. The filler gel dissolves a few days after the treatment.
Poly-L-lactic acid fillers can last up to two years. Sculptra® Aesthetic is an FDA-approved poly-L-lactic acid filler.
Polymethylmethacrylate (PMMA) is a synthetic and biocompatible substance. In fillers, it takes the form of a tiny ball or “microsphere” that remains beneath the skin for continued support.
PMMA fillers also contain collagen to provide structure and firmness. Bellafill® is an FDA-approved PMMA filler.
Since there are various brands of filler products, it can be difficult to know which works best for your needs. An experienced doctor will guide you in choosing the ideal option.
Each dermal filler is formulated to have a distinct density, texture, and injection depth. It means that some fillers are better for particular areas of concern.
For example, fillers with smaller particles (Restylane Silk) are ideal for plumping lips or addressing fine lines. Meanwhile, those with larger particles (Restylane Lyft) can help “rebuild” thinned or hollow cheekbones.
Safety precautions are vital before getting any medical procedure. That’s why you should only go to a trained doctor who has the knowledge and experience in giving dermal fillers.
An experienced medical doctor understands the significant complications from filler injections and knows how to deal with them.
During your consultation, you should communicate your goals and expectations to your doctor. They can recommend the best treatment based on your skin type and specific needs to help you achieve realistic, natural-looking results.
According to the FDA, the safety of dermal fillers is unknown for patients who are pregnant, breastfeeding, and under 22 years old. If you recently had a child or are expecting one, you might want to hold off on getting the treatment.
Those who plan on getting teeth cleaning or dental work should also avoid dermal fillers. Dental procedures may result in complications or infections when done in the vicinity of fillers.
Common side effects of dermal fillers include redness, bruising, swelling, or pain. However, these effects should go away on their own within two weeks.
The potential risks may vary depending on the filler used and the relative permanence of the filler material.
While severe complications are uncommon, sometimes the filler may accidentally be injected into the blood vessels. It can result in the blockage of blood flow.
If the skin is affected, it can lead to wounds or skin loss. It is also possible to lose your eyesight and go blind if your eye is affected.
The cost of dermal fillers varies depending on the required amount of product, type of procedure, and expertise of the person performing the treatment.
Based on the 2020 statistics from the American Society of Plastic Surgeons, the average cost of hyaluronic acid fillers was $684 per syringe. Most patients require more than one syringe to achieve their desired results.
The results from dermal fillers are usually not permanent. Their lifespan may vary depending on the filler used, the area injected, and the patient’s lifestyle.
For instance, the body naturally breaks down hyaluronic acid fillers after six months. Regular maintenance once or twice a year is crucial for optimal results.
Led by Dr. Cecilia L. Luong, her team of dentists has been assisting clients with different teeth, gum, and mouth problems.