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Since the ancient Greeks, high cheekbones have been a marker of beauty and health. Even today, high fashion models, social media influencers, and make-up companies all seem to suggest that a strong cheekbone is the ideal “look” for men and women alike. High cheekbones are a sign of youth, and when we lose collagen as we age, this volume loss is noticeable in the cheeks and the midface can make a difference in the overall look of a person’s face. As a part of the natural aging process, our skin loses volume and elasticity, which can causes the skin to sag, especially in the midface. This loss of collagen can exaggerate the look of under eye circles. It can also deepen the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles along the midface and nasolabial folds, and make patients look older than their real age.

If you have lost volume in your cheeks over time, through aging or genetics, or if you have ever felt self-conscious about a flat or “tired” look on your face, cheek augmentation may be the best treatment for you. Cheek augmentation is designed to enhance your natural face shape with an increase in volume surrounding your cheekbones. This extra definition in the cheek area can help restore the appearance of high cheekbones, as well as improve the look of tired looking eyes and sagging skin. In the past, the only way to achieve a mid-face lift in your cheeks was through cheek implants or facial fat transfer. Thanks to advances in dermal fillers, invasive surgical procedures, such as cheeks implants, are no longer necessary. Non-invasive dermal fillers are at the forefront of cosmetic dermatological innovation, as they offer patients a non-surgical method to restore volume and reduce fine lines in the midface, jowls, lips, under eyes area, and jawline.

If you are looking to restore lost collagen, treat fine lines and wrinkles, and achieve the best facial rejuvenation, board-certified cosmetic dermatologist, Dr. Michele Green, is here to help. Dr. Green’s personalized cheek augmentation approach, at her boutique, NYC-based practice dermatology office, will achieve the best facial enhancement, without the need for cosmetic surgery. Dr. Michele Green is an expert in cosmetic fillers, Botox, cheek augmentation and other cosmetic procedures such as Fraxel® to remove sun damage and Thermage® for skin tightening. Whether it be lip augmentation, midface fillers, Juvederm Voluma®, Restylane® Contour, Sculptra, or other dermal filers, Dr. Green will help you achieve the best cosmetic results and restore a more youthful appearance.

What is Cheek Augmentation?

Cheek augmentation is a method by which patients can add volume to the cheeks and midface. Initially prompted by a recurring issue of age-related volume loss, the world of dermatology has developed a variety of non-invasive methods to boost volume in the cheeks, thus improving the contouring of the face overall. Cheek augmentation procedures have become increasingly popular in recent years because they offer an elegant, non-surgical way to restore lost volume to the face, treat sagging skin, and replace natural collagen loss that happens organically due to the aging process.

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Before and After – Voluma on nasolabial folds / cheek area

Non-Invasive Cheek Augmentation Procedures

Oftentimes, a sagging or “sunken” appearance suggests a loss of collagen, elastin and fat as you age, and the fullness in our cheeks from youth diminishes over time. By injecting cheeks with dermal fillers, cheek augmentation procedures can restore this lost volume and give you defined, youthful, fuller cheeks and facial features. Some patients even prefer dermal fillers to traditional plastic surgery, such as facelifts or neck lifts, as a means of achieving a youthful appearance. If you’re interested in learning more about your options when it comes to cheek augmentation, Dr. Green can work with you to create a unique, tailored cheek augmentation treatment plan that’s right for you.

The process for a cheek augmentation procedure is simple and convenient. First, you’ll meet with Dr. Green to discuss your individual needs and goals. From there, she’ll carefully examine your medical history and current skin condition to determine which treatment options will be the best fit to meet your needs. For most patients, a dermal filler cheek augmentation procedure is the best fit, as there are several formulations available, and each offers volume-boosting results that can enhance the contouring of the midface. During a dermal filler cheek enhancement procedure, a topical numbing cream is applied, and then Dr. Green applies the dermal filler injections with a gentle, artful hand to achieve the desired results. After the procedure is over, patients are immediately able to resume normal activity, though we recommend avoiding intense heat or sun exposure for at least one full day post-treatment.

Dermal fillers for cheek Augmentation

Dermal fillers are the most popular option for non-invasive cheek augmentation procedures. With the use of injectable dermal fillers, patients can enhance their cheeks with a simple in-office cosmetic procedure that only requires a topical anesthetic. Dermal fillers are designed to enhance soft tissue within the face, typically by boosting the body’s own natural collagen production in order to create volume in the treatment area. Dermal fillers can be used to augment a variety of facial features, and produce a beautiful, natural, and sculpted look when it comes to cheek enhancement.

There are a variety of different dermal fillers that change in terms of their active ingredients in order to create volume-enhancing results. The most common type of dermal filler is that of the hyaluronic acid dermal filler. Hyaluronic acid is a substance that appears naturally in the body and is used to create new collagen production in order to restore volume and create a healthy, youthful appearance. Alternative dermal fillers like Radiesse and Sculptra rely on different active ingredients with the same goal of collagen production. Radiesse uses calcium hydroxylapatite to encourage collagen development in the body, while Sculptra uses poly-L-lactic acid to create immediate volume in the treatment area and encourage long-term volume replenishment via collagen production.

What fillers are best for cheeks?

When it comes to dermal fillers, there is no singular “best” option on the market, as each individual will benefit from the varied formulations that brands like Juvederm, Restylane, Radiesse, and Sculptra have to offer. However, there are a few dermal fillers that are tailor-made to help enhance the look of the cheeks and midface. The following are among the most popular:

  • Juvederm Voluma: this hyaluronic acid filler engages the body’s natural collagen and elastin development to create a fuller, natural look, with results that last for up to two years.
  • Restylane Lyft: this hyaluronic filler has a slightly shorter-term effect than Juvederm, lasting for up to one year with longer-term enhancement of smooth, even skin tone.
  • Restylane Contour:  this hyaluronic acid filler, also from the Restylane family of dermal fillers, is the newest FDA-approved hyaluronic acid dermal filler designed to create natural-looking shape and contour to the midface, with results that last up to one year.
  • Radiesse: this dermal filler is made of calcium hydroxylapatite, which engages collagen production in a similar manner to hyaluronic acid fillers, with lasting results up to a full year.
  • Sculptra: this dermal filler has a foundation of poly-L-lactic acid, which can lead to increased collagen production and results that last for up to three years.

Non-surgical cheek augmentation with dermal fillers can also help the under eye area appear less tired or sunken in, providing a wonderful alternative to more involved facelift or eyelid surgeries. Learn more about non-invasive eye lift techniques.

Who is a Good Candidate for Cheek Augmentation?

A good candidate for non-invasive cheek augmentation is any patient over the age of 21 who is in overall good health and seeking improved volume in the midface. In general, dermal fillers are contraindicated for patients who are pregnant or currently breastfeeding, or who are allergic to lidocaine or any other ingredients listed in the dermal filler’s formulation. Additionally, patients who have severe acne or infections at or near the injection site will need to treat these skin conditions prior to engaging with non-surgical cheek enhancement. Lastly, patients who have active autoimmune diseases such as lupus or rheumatoid arthritis should abstain from engaging with cheek augmentation. Dr. Green uses her 25+ years of expertise with cosmetic injectables to ensure thoughtful patient care, and will be sure to discuss your medical history and goals to determine which treatment plan is right for you.

Restylane Contour for Cheek Augmentation

Restylane Contour is the newest FDA-approved hyaluronic acid dermal filler for cheek contouring on the market, and offers patients an exciting option for cheek enhancement. Restylane Contour and Restylane Lyft both rely on hyaluronic acid, a naturally-occurring substance in the body, to ignite new collagen production, helping to boost volume within the treatment area. Restylane Contour is exciting as it incorporates Restylane’s XpresHAn technology, which was previously reserved for lip enhancement and fine lines around the mouth. XpresHAn technology uses a fine particle size to carefully integrate hyaluronic acid with the skin cells at or near the injection site, in turn creating a smooth result that doesn’t inhibit natural facial expressions and motion.

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Restylane Contour in the cheeks. Two weeks.

Cheek Augmentation Procedures with Voluma

One of the benefits of using hyaluronic acid and injectable fillers, such as Juvederm Voluma XC for mid-face augmentation, is that you can have the results be as subtle as you want. Dr. Green’s aesthetic is a natural result that is not “overdone” and, since the results are immediate, you can decide with Dr. Green at the time of the injections how much filler you would like.  Her “less is more” philosophy leaves patient satisfaction extremely high for this procedure. Juvederm Voluma treatment results generally lasts one year, although results may vary in terms of longevity depending on how much filler was injected, as well as how quickly the patient metabolizes the Hyaluronic Acid.

How Long Do Cheek Injections Last?

Dermal filler injections for cheek augmentation have varied durations depending on the amount of filler being used, as well as the particular formulation chosen. However, in general, Restylane Lyft, Restylane Contour, and Radiesse last up to one full year, Juvederm Voluma lasts up to two full years, and Sculptra can last up to three full years. Nevertheless, these timelines will vary depending on the metabolic processes of each individual patient. Typically, patients like to engage with dermal filler “touch up” treatments on an annual basis to maintain optimal results.

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Restylane Contour in the cheeks. Two weeks.

Can you combine Botox® and other fillers with cheek augmentation?

Cheek augmentation is often combined with Restylane or Juvederm injections along the nasolabial folds, chin, temples, and jowls. These areas of the face also lose collagen as we age, thus appearing more “sunken”, and tend to benefit from augmentation with dermal fillers. Botox is used in the other areas of the face, such as for Crow’s feet and along the forehead. Botox is typically applied to areas of the face where there are dynamic wrinkles, or wrinkles that are caused by the overuse of particular muscle groups. The combination of Botox with dermal filler contouring, often referred to as a “liquid facelift”, is able to target dynamic wrinkles, fine lines and static wrinkles, and age-related volume loss. This in turn augments facial contours, reduces hollows, and produces a rejuvenated, refreshed look.

Can cheek fillers go wrong?

For most patients, the side effects of cheek fillers are incredibly mild, and may include minor swelling, redness, or bruising at or near the injection site, which should dissipate quickly post-treatment. In rare instances, severe side effects, such as an infection or injection directly into a blood vessel, can occur. However, these severe side effects are far more likely to occur with an inexperienced injector, such as those who offer treatment at medical spas or aesthetic centers. For this reason, Dr. Green always recommends that you work with a board-certified dermatologist or plastic surgeon for any injectable treatment. Only expert, board-certified dermatologists will be able to offer you facial contouring benefits that are both safe and effective. Dr. Green is a renowned expert on cosmetic injectables, and the safety and satisfaction of her patients is her top priority.

In general, when patients think about dermal filler procedures “going wrong”, they are referring to an outcome that does not meet the aesthetic desires of the patient. Though this can occur with dermal fillers, it’s highly unlikely to be the result when collaborating with an expert injector. Additionally, dermal fillers are not considered a permanent treatment, meaning that the results of the treatment will fade with time. What’s more, in the case of hyaluronic acid fillers, patients can take comfort: hyaluronic acid dermal fillers have results that are reversible. If a patient is unhappy with a treatment result from a hyaluronic acid dermal filler, synthetic hyaluronidase can be applied to the treatment area. Hyaluronidase is a naturally occurring substance in the body designed to break down hyaluronic acid, and can be used to essentially “undo” the affects of hyaluronic acid fillers in as little as one treatment.

Cheek Augmentation Surgery

Cheek augmentation surgery is a cheek augmentation procedure offered by cosmetic surgeons or facial plastic surgeons. Augmentation surgeries used to be the only way to create a fuller look to the cheeks, but long recovery times, bruising, general anesthesia, and limited mobility, have led dermatologists and cosmetic researchers alike to discover non-invasive alternatives, such as cheek enhancement through hyaluronic acid fillers. These dermal fillers are ideal for those looking for an improved, younger looking facial appearance with near-immediate results and little to no downtime. Before diving into cheek augmentation surgery, schedule a consultation with Dr. Green to determine the best cheek augmentation option for you.

Before/After photo: Juvederm Voluma for cheeks and Juvederm Vollure for Nasolabial Folds

Cheek Implants

Cheek implants are a traditional cosmetic surgery method to create fuller cheeks. Before the advent of dermal fillers and other non-invasive techniques, cheek implants and facial implants were a more common plastic surgery procedure. Cheek implants are designed in a variety of materials, including solid silicone, porous polyethylene (Medpor), or hydroxyapatite (which is a combination of enamel and bone). Cheek implants can also be created through a fat grafting process, which involves liposuction from elsewhere on the body. Cheek implants can be sculpted to fit an asymmetry in the face, and can be recommended in cases where reconstructive surgery may be needed.

Cheek implant surgery

Cheek implants can be inserted through a small incision in the mouth, and are often placed in a malar (outer upper cheek) or submalar (lower or mid-cheek) position. If the patient of a facial plastic surgeon is interested in combining this procedure with rhinoplasty, eyelid surgery, chin augmentation, or brow lift, fewer incisions may be needed, and typically a general anesthetic will be used.

However, cheek implant surgeries have a high level of recovery time, as well as intense soreness and discomfort that often requires pain medication. Additionally, when completing multiple surgeries, a plastic surgeon will do their best to create the optimal appearance–from a tummy tuck to a brow lift–but these surgeries create a more permanent outcome that may or may not ultimately be your desired look. Furthermore, side effects to these more invasive procedures include difficulty moving facial muscles for several weeks, as well as an increased risk of infection and blood clotting.

Are cheek implants permanent?

One of the reasons why non-invasive dermal filler techniques have become popular for cheek augmentation are because the results are not permanent, unlike cheek implant surgery. Cheek implants are intended to be permanent, and the only way to remove the implants is through additional cosmetic surgery procedures. For this reason, even patients who are interested in permanent cheek implants often opt to try dermal filler cheek enhancement first, to confirm what type of facial contouring is right for them.

How long do cheek implants last?

Cheek implants can last permanently, and often need no replacement. However, it’s important to note that, in the case of severe side effects or unwanted reactions, the cheek implants may need to be removed. Some of these undesirable results include cheek implant displacement, pulmonary complications, fat necrosis (where fatty tissue within the dermis dies), and deep vein thrombosis, among others. Due to these risks, Dr. Green always recommends considering non-invasive alternatives prior to engaging with permanent surgeries.

What is facial fat transfer?

A facial fat transfer is a surgical procedure that takes fat stores from a different part of a patient’s body and applies this fat to the face, thus helping to restore lost volume due to the natural aging process. This plastic surgery relies on surgical fat removal from a place where stubborn fat can occur–such as the stomach, thighs, or buttocks–and then purifies the fat cells, which are then injected into the face. This cosmetic surgery takes about two to three hours, and patients typically undergo general anesthesia for the procedure. Though the results of a facial fat transfer can last for several years, the results are not permanent, as the body will continue to age and, thus, volume loss will continue to occur. Additionally, this procedure requires ample recovery time due to the incisions made on the body.

How much does cheek augmentation cost?

So, how much is cheek augmentation? The price of non-invasive cheek augmentation depends on the amount of filler that you need to augment the area, as well as which form of hyaluronic acid or alternative dermal filler you choose. In general, dermal fillers are on the more affordable end of the cheek augmentation spectrum, as surgeries often range in the thousands and can lead to unsatisfactory results. Most patients prefer facial rejuvenation with hyaluronic acid dermal fillers, since they can be as effective as cheek augmentation surgery, as well as save time, money, risk, and recovery time.

How much is Jawline Augmentation?

Just like cheek augmentation, chin enhancement and jawline augmentation have non-invasive treatment options. In order to create a stronger profile of the chin, patients can benefit from durable dermal fillers, such as Restylane Lyft and Juvederm Voluma. To help reduce jaw size, neuromodulators like Botox and Dysport can be used to decrease the volume of the masseter muscle along the jawline. Additionally, in order to reduce the appearance of a double chin, Dr. Green offers non-invasive fat reduction methods like CoolSculpting® and Kybella®. Regardless of your specific concerns, Dr. Green can create a custom treatment plan that safely and effectively revitalizes the face and jawline without the need for downtime. Both in terms of cost and recovery time, non-invasive jawline procedures have become a go-to option for jawline augmentation, particularly when compared to surgical chin implants. When you work with Dr. Green, she’ll be able to recommend the best non-invasive treatment options will best balance your budget, individual needs, and aesthetic goals.

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Before/After photo: Juvederm Voluma for cheeks and Juvederm Vollure for Nasolabial Folds

How do I get Started with Cheek Augmentation today?

Dr. Michele Green is an expert in minimally invasive cosmetic dermatology procedures, including the best Botox and cosmetic fillers in NYC. With over two decades of experience in cosmetic dermatology, her “less is more” philosophy and aesthetic artistry will help guide you to a rejuvenated and natural-looking appearance. Whether it be lip fillers, Restylane injections, Juvederm, Botox, or other injectable filler, Dr. Green has been consistently voted one of the best dermatologists in New York by Castle Connolly, New York Magazine, Super Doctors, and the New York Times.   Please call the office today at 212 535 3088 or contact us online to learn if cheek augmentation is the best treatment for you.

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