Dermal Fillers In Dentistry: Applications, Types & When To Opt For Them
While commonly associated with cosmetic surgery, injectable dermal fillers have become a standard remedial option in dentistry to improve external oral structure and appearance.
The rising prevalence of such treatment methods is primarily due to their efficiency in facilitating lip augmentation alongside smoothening facial wrinkles. Yet, there are several misconceptions and queries regarding this area, ranging from how these supplements differ from Botox to the types of available options.
This article will answer all related questions. More importantly, it will elaborate on when you should seek such cosmetic remedies.
What exactly are dermal fillers?
Dermal fillers, alternatively called soft tissue fillers, are a gel-like substance injected under the skin surface to restore facial volume or bring a more youthful appearance.
As such, fillers can be composed of either a naturally occurring substance or a synthetic component. There are several different variants here, including:
- Calcium hydroxylapatite, a mineral compound found in human bones
- Poly-l-lactic acid, a stimulatory agent that aids in increased collagen production
- Polyalkylimide, a synthetic transparent gel used as a semi-permanent solution
- Hyaluronic acid, commonly found in the body’s tissues and fluids
- Polymethyl-methacrylate microsphere (PMMA), a synthetic material used in most semi-permanent implants
Each listed component serves a different purpose and can help treat varying cosmetic or aging effects. For instance, dental practitioners commonly use HA-based fillers, like Juvederm, to treat issues around the cheeks or the peripheral oral area.
Some other common issues that dentists use such implants for include:
- Minimizing tooth gaps due to diminished gum volume
- Shaping chin and jaw lines
- Increasing lip volume
- Removing static (caused by reduced collagen production) and dynamic (caused by muscle movement) facial wrinkles
There are several other applications of facial fillers in dentistry. Nonetheless, these cosmetic remedial options enhance the overall facial appearance and enable an individual to get a complete smile makeover.
What are the specific types of injectable dermal fillers?
While the types of dermal fillers are classified according to their primary components, it’s more helpful to understand the variants based on what they can treat. As such, some of the most common ones include:
Typically made with synthetic HA and lasting between 12-18 months, lip fillers can solve several issues in the related area, including:
- Restoring volume loss due to aging
- Correcting asymmetrical lip sizes
- Smoothening laugh wrinkles that develop over time
It’s crucial to understand that such dermal supplements do not stop the natural aging process. Yet, they can help eliminate the need for more invasive lip augmentation surgeries.
Additionally, it’s recommended to set realistic expectations regarding treatment outcomes.
Cheek fillers are injections designed to increase the overall volume of the area around and above your cheekbones. This results in creating improved facial definition and can also smooth deep wrinkles.
Some of the most commonly used components in well-known brands, such as Restylane Juvederm and Sculptra, include poly-l-lactic acid and hyaluronic acid-based solutions. However, in most cases, these dermal fillers tend to be temporary supplements, lasting between 6 months to 2 years.
Still, they address several issues, including the formation of a marionette line, and can be an excellent alternative to plastic surgery.
Cosmetic or maxillofacial dentists and plastic surgeons often rely on a chin filler to rectify several issues related to the surrounding anterior mandible, including:
- Increase jaw projection and chin definition
- Enhancing facial symmetry
- Contouring the jawline
- Restructuring the lower area of the chin
- Softening the visible impact of a cleft jaw
Now the duration of the effects depends on the product’s density. Usually, temporary implants such as hyaluronic acid fillers last 6-12 months. If it’s your first time opting for a chin filler, doctors will typically recommend this variant to avoid any potential complications.
Similar to other types, eye fillers often contain hyaluronic acid, calcium hydroxylapatite or poly-l-lactic acid. The primary difference is that these supplements come in two specific variants, namely:
- An under-eye filler
- A tear trough filler
While both are almost the same, a tear trough filler can treat the depressions that form under the lower eyelids. Meanwhile, an under-eye filler rectifies dermal issues such as pronounced dark circles or lightens the surrounding area. Regardless, plastic surgeons and other cosmetic dentists often use the types interchangeably.
Rarely, when fillers are insufficient to treat the underlying issue, doctors may resort to injecting fat into the area from other body parts. This procedure is known as facial fat grafting.
Defining the differences between Botox and dermal fillers
While dermal fillers do share similarities with Botox, the two are not the same. And one primary distinction between them is the way they work.
Botox acts as a relaxant and a mild paralysis agent and eases specific muscle contractions that are the underlying cause of facial lines. Conversely, filler implants usually increase the hyaluronic acid content in an individual’s face. This directly adds volume to the injection site while diminishing pronounced or deep marks.
There are several other factors that differentiate the two, such as:
Additional applications and use cases
Apart from helping with aesthetic issues, Botox injections have additional clinical applications, including:
- Treating hyperhidrosis (excessive sweating)
- Reducing migraine frequency in cases where the episode lasts more than 15 days
- Helping control urinary incontinence in patients with an overactive bladder
- Relaxing or minimizing the side-effects of neurological conditions such as limb contractions due to cerebral palsy
On the other hand, maxillofacial dentists may use fillers to:
- Restore facial fat floss due to medical disorders such as Acquired Immunodeficiency Syndrome (AIDS)
- Treat nasolabial folds (lines running from the side of the nose to the mouth)
- Correct contour deficiencies, including acne scars or deep facial wrinkles
Facial fillers mostly have a cosmetic purpose, while Botox has other medical use cases.
Treatment side effects
Botox and filler injections have a few potential side effects like all medical procedures. While most of these are not clinically significant, it’s best to consult a doctor if the symptoms last more than two weeks.
Now, in the case of Botox, individuals may face issues like:
- Drooping eyelids
- Ocular irritation
- Mild headaches
Injectable fillers can lead to similar problems. However, the underlying severity will be much less pronounced. Some common complications include:
- Allergic reactions
- Itching at the injection site
- Slight numbness
Regardless, most adverse reactions from such procedures occur due to inadequate clinical expertise or practices. Thus, when opting for such treatment avenues, it’s always recommended to seek qualified services such as the ones offered by Pure Dental Arts.
Efficacy and duration
Botox injections typically last for 3-4 months, needing further maintenance once the effects fade away.
In most cases, individuals will notice a visible reduction in deep wrinkles a week after the procedure. However, antibiotic medication or internal resistance can delay or minimize its results.
On the other hand, dermal fillers last much longer, ranging from 6 months to being a semi-permanent cosmetic transformation.
While the actual duration depends on the type of filler you choose, these clinical supplements have an immediate effect. In fact, most patients experience an increase in facial volume shortly after the injection. Still, if you opt for absorbable variants, you must undergo additional procedures once the gel wears off.
When should you opt for injectable dermal fillers?
Considering that fillers are cosmetic remedies, there are no specific markers that define when you should get them. In short, they are a personal choice. However, in most cases, individuals tend to opt for such implants when they wish to:
- Improve skin volume
- Enhance facial symmetry
- Plump up lips or cheeks
- Smoothen deep wrinkles or creases
Regardless of your choice, there are a few things you need to consider before seeking such treatment methods. In other words, avoid dermal fillers if you are:
- Allergic to the synthetic components found in such supplements
- Suffering from active infections near the injection site
- Prone to bleeding disorders
- Currently pregnant or breastfeeding
Besides the listed elements, always ensure that you choose board-certified professionals to oversee the process and administer the injection.
Choose the right cosmetic treatment for yourself
While it may be tempting to rush into such cosmetic remedies, it’s always wiser to do thorough research and understand what works best for you. A simple tip is to consult qualified professionals, like the ones at Pure Dental Arts, to guide you through the preliminary steps.
Besides that, consider the type of dermal fillers that best solves your issue. It would enable you to avoid unnecessary expenses and additional complications.
Frequently Asked Questions:
How long do fillers last?
Depending on the base component, dermal fillers may last anywhere from 6 months to 2 years. Since the compounds in such implants are bio-absorbable, they dissolve after a given period. As such, the products advertised as being ‘permanent’ usually last several years.
What are the side effects of fillers?
Common risks and side effects associated with facial fillers include:
- Itching near the injection site
- Bruising and swelling
- High sensitivity
How much does it cost to have fillers put into your lips?
The prices for lip filler vary based on the region you live in. For example, in Seattle, US, the cost for the entire process depends on the number of injections used, with each one ranging between $425-$625.
How long do lip injections last the first time?
Since healthcare professionals usually recommend hyaluronic acid fillers for the first time, the effects can last between 6-9 months. These temporary implants are best suited for individuals who have never opted for such treatment methods.