Dermal fillers have come along hugely in the last 20 years. Cheek filler treatment is a term now used to describe treatments in many parts of the face,but especially the midface and cheeks.
My philosophy on filler is that less is more and that every face is different so a detailed analysis is required.
I believe that Cheek Filler like any other treatment that has the ability to alter your appearance must be natural.
Study after study has shown that beauty is an indicator of good genes and helps people get ahead in many ways from cradle to grave.
Like it or not, we all trust like and admire ‘beautiful’ people more! But beauty is not made by having big cheeks or big lips. In fact the most beautiful faces in the world are actually very very average.
The fat pads on the face are separate pads of fat that don’t connect directly with each other. Kind of like the segments in a duvet really, see the image above. Part of aging is the loss of fat in these pads, sometimes quicker and earlier than others. This causes the descent of the skin on the face and as a result an aged jowly appearance.
A good metaphor is to think about the face like a table with a tablecloth on it. Aging makes the table smaller but the tablecloth stays the same size, so it hangs down and looks loose and older. Filling in the fat pads in the correct proportions and with the correct and safe technique results in the miracles of anti aging that we see everyday in magazines and television. Hollywood starlets that look 20 years younger than their ages but swear that botox or fillers had nothing to do with it!
And this is how botox and fillers can look unnatural. Overzealous patients or doctors injecting the wrong amounts into the wrong fat pads can give anything from a puffy pillow face to a chipmunk face with cheeks too far forward. Trust is so important in aesthetics because at the end of the day you need to trust that your doctor knows what they are doing and what a face should look like. This is why aesthetic medicine is often described as an art rather than just a science.
In my clinics I use ice and local anaesthetic to minimize pain. The techniques that I use are called the 8 point lift and other point techniques. This means that a single point of filler is injected into a fat pad and then massaged into place, so there is no knitting needle technique neccesary and the process is a lot less painful. (this technique can also be much quicker and give more bang for your buck!)
Ice reduces the blood flow to the area to be injected and also dulls the nerves so that dermal filler injections are no sorer than a small scratch and always less than for example having blood taken.
I will do another post about how much filler is needed, but generally for a liquid facelift the amount depends on:
I tend to use between 2 and 8mls of filler for a liquid facelift and then top up as needed in further sessions. The treatment gives the effect of a facelift without the anaesthetic and 9 times out of 10 without any bruising or time off work!
This question is one of the biggest concerns that people have when they come for a dermal filler treatment. Yes Cheek fillers do look natural… when done correctly! As I mentioned above, the most important thing about dermal fillers is choosing the right doctor and trusting in their ability. Before and after pictures, a consultation or a recommendation from a friend all help with this. In my clinics over half the people who come to see me have been recommended by a friend or family member, even though people can be secretive about a dermal filler treatment. Also our google review score is currently 4.9 for amara aesthetics in Dublin (June 2016).
So filler can be done extremely naturally, even with 8mls when done by the right person. In fact I have had one or two people mention to me after having big treatments that their husband didn’t even notice that they had had something done! One lady was having a big treatment and her husband didn’t say anything afterwards she was a little disappointed. (Men! :)) However a few weeks later she was putting up a picture of the two of them on facebook. She asked him, ‘ is this picture of us ok for facebook’ and he said. “Bloody hell I look ancient standing beside you!” but still didn’t know she had had ‘work done’. That is what I aim for with my treatments, looking great without looking done!
Sadly not everyone gets natural work done. Just walk down oxford street and within 2 minutes you will see a face that would put you off botox or fillers. I believe because of the secrecy around botox many of these women don’t even realise that their work looks unnatural and so obvious.
Image: Before & After of one of our clients at Amara Dublin Clinic.
As an Irish doctor, I use the best product, juvederm made by Allergan which is based in Ireland! Of the handful of FDA approved dermal fillers, juvederm’s range has several products. Also juvederm have come out with a new range of fillers in 2013, called the vycross range. This is what I use as I find unrivalled lifting power and results. Finally these products last up to 18 months so when considering the cost of a treatment remember that compared to botox 3-4 times a year often a liquid facelift is the cheaper (and less time consuming or ‘needley’) option
I include this question as many people ask me what will happen if they stop having treatment?
I call this the Cinderella question. Many people feel that botox and fillers are almost like a type of magic and that when the clock strikes midnight their botox and fillers will disappear and they will have to run from the ball before they turn into a pumpkin!
Fortunately it doesn’t work like that. The effect of fillers and botox has been shown to last even after a treatment has worn off.
I won’t go into too much detail, but botox ‘trains’ the muscles by making them a little weaker and making it harder for lines to ever come back as bad as they were, even if you never have treatment again. Filler likewise has been shown to cause some of your body’s natural filler, collagen, to be formed and as a result the effect of fillers can also seem to last longer than the 18 months it says on the packet.
So in summary if you get botox or cheek filler, when it wears off, it wears off slowly and after the duration of the treatment, the filled area would look the same or better than it was before.