cheek filler

We’ve talked about filler a handful of times on the site, largely because it’s a topic you guys have loads of questions about. That makes total sense, seeing as how fillers are literally one of the most popular aesthetic treatments in the United States right now, with a whopping 2.67 million procedures done in 2018 alone, according to the American Society of Plastic Surgeons. Lip filler is def a hot topic, which we covered here, but we’d be remiss if we didn’t hand you a full-blown guide on cheek filler, too.

What is Filler?

In short, filler is a product that’s injected into your face or body (usually your face) to help soften fine lines and wrinkles, improve symmetry, and create volume or dimension.

“Injectable fillers come in a variety of formulations, each with their specific advantages and disadvantages. The most common fillers are hyaluronic acid (Restylane, Juvederm), calcium hydroxylapatite (Radiesse), poly-L-lactic acid (Sculptra), and Bellafill (PMMA spheres),” says Dr. Manish Shah, a board-certified plastic surgeon in Colorado.

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Okay, So Tell Me About Cheek Filler…

Before we get too wild, let’s talk about the anatomy of the cheek itself. (Sorry, no bell is gonna save you here, but we promise it’s interesting.)

“The cheek is bordered by the lower edge of the eye socket, the fold formed from the nostril to the corner of the mouth (the nasolabial fold), and a line sweeping up from the corner of the mouth to the to the ear canal,” says Dr. Shah.

Basically, filler that’s injected anywhere in this mapped area is considered cheek filler. We only point this out because a lot of people assume cheek filler is just the stuff that’s placed around your cheekbones, but it’s more encompassing than that. Most notably, it includes the area around your mouth (an area that’s majorly susceptible to signs of aging).

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The Main Reasons People Get Cheek Filler

Dr. Shah says that people seeking filler for their cheeks typically share three primary concerns:

1. Lost Volume Due to Age: “They notice their cheeks seems deflated or under projected. This is because they’ve lost healthy, youthful contours in the midface,” he says. “Re-volumizing the cheeks with filler restores shape to the face and helps redirect the focus of others’ back onto the eyes and away from the mouth.”

2. Pronounced Nasolabial Fold: The nasolabial fold, also referred to as smile lines, are the parenthesis-like lines that stretch from our nose to mouth. As we age, we lose volume and firmness, which causes drooping and pronounced nasolabial folds. It’s one of the biggest giveaways of our age.

3. Cosmetic Enhancement: You probably noticed that a lot more people are getting cheek filler who aren’t experiencing major signs of aging — as in people in their early 20s and 30s. This is simply a cosmetic choice to create more dimension in the face, the same way some people want a BBL or a boob job. To each their own!

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The Best Types of Filler for Cheeks  

“While any filler can be used to augment the cheeks, there’s a very short list of fillers that are the best for the job,” says Dr. Shah. “The most common fillers used for cheek augmentation are hyaluronic acid fillers. These use a lab-made version of a protein that is naturally found in our tissues. It is very hydrating and can lift and fill the cheeks nicely.”

1. Restylane Lyft & Juvederm Voluma: These are hyaluronic acid fillers that have what’s called a high G’ — a measure of the filler’s strength — which allows for better shape and hold after injection. Hyaluronic Acid fillers do eventually get completely resorbed with time, leaving no long-lasting volume. They also can be easily dissolved if you dislike the effect.

2. Radiesse: “Radiesse is made from calcium hydroxylapatite wrapped in gel. This mineral is found in our bones and in dental enamel. It also has a high G’ which makes it a great option for adding volume back to the face,” says Dr. Shah. “The nice thing about this filler is that it actually leaves behind long-term volume in the form of new collagen.”

3. Sculptra: Another option for long-term augmentation of the cheeks is Sculptra, which is made of poly-L-lactic acid. Dr. Shah says, “This product works less like a filler than the other products mentioned, but can be incredibly powerful for adding volume back to the face. Once After injected, the immune system processes the poly-L-lactic acid and creates new collagen. Sculptra doesn’t fill immediately, but instead adds volume over 6 months.”

4. Bellafill: A filler is composed of polymethyl methacrylate (PMMA) spheres. “This is not a natural material and is more commonly used as bone cement for artificial hip and knee joints,” notes Dr. Shah. “It functions like Radiesse in that it provides immediate filling effect, but it also creates even longer-term collagen than the other fillers.” Note that it’s the most difficult product to inject and has a higher incidence of severe side effects than the other fillers.

Here’s the good news: you don’t have to figure out which type of filler is best for your needs. Your certified, reputable injector will take your goals into consideration and recommend filler based on that information. He or she may even use multiple types for multiple areas.

Doesn’t All Filler Create That “She’s Had Work Done” Aesthetic?

Definitely not. As long as you’re working with a pro who has an eye for a natural result, the ‘filled’ or ‘overdone’ look can be avoided. Pro Tip: check your injector’s portfolio of work on their website, review pages, and Instagram. Word of mouth referrals are also a great sign of quality work.

“When your injector knows facial anatomy and how it gets altered by aging, they can simulate restoration of the aging facial skeleton accurately with their filler injections,” explains Dr. Shah. “They tend to use less volume when injecting to avoid overfilling the face. This is because they know where to inject to get the best effect.”

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How Long Does Cheek Filler Last?

How long filler lasts depends on what type you get and where it’s placed, but you can expect it to last anywhere from six months to two years.

How Much Does Cheek Filler Cost?

As for spending, you can expect to cough up anywhere from $350 and $1000 dollars per syringe.

“Radiesse lasts up to two years and will cost between $650 to $850 per syringe, Sculptra can last two to three years and costs between $750 and $1000 per vial, and Bellafill is the champ when it comes to longevity, as it lasts up to five years. On average, it costs $1000 per syringe.” Restylane and Juvederm cost between $350 and $800 and lasts from six months to two years.

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Word to the Wise on Cheek Filler

“As long as your injector is a specialist, the chances of complications is very low. Your risks go up when your injector doesn’t understand the anatomy or uses the wrong product in a particular area,” says Dr. Shah. “While rare, the most severe complications occur if the filler is injected into a facial blood vessel. When this happens, patients can suffer tissue loss or blindness.”

In general, fillers are pretty safe, but it’s still best to think of them as a serious treatment versus a no-biggie lunchtime procedure.