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Sculptra vs Cheek Implants: What They Are and Which you Should Choose

When you wish to add lift or volume to your cheeks, the two solutions that are among the most popular available include a procedure known as Sculptra and a cheek augmentation that uses cheek implants. If you are troubled with issues that cause your cheeks to sag or lose volume, then both of these solutions will allow you to reduce these signs of aging and have your cheeks appear natural. It’s also possible that you have never had enough volume in your cheeks and believe that your cheeks are too thin. No matter what the issue, both Sculptra and cheek implants are considered to be practical solutions for adding lift and volume to the cheeks, which is why you should be aware of the differences between the two before making your decision on which treatment is best for you.

What Does the Sculptra Treatment Entail?

Sculptra is a type of injectable dermal filler that is designed to help replace the collagen that has been lost in your cheeks. Collagen is a protein that is designed to help your face appear youthful. The collagen in your cheeks will naturally start to dissipate as you grow older, which means that you will begin to experience aging issues such as the development of wrinkles and other lines around your cheeks. The results of a single Sculptra treatment are meant to last for at least two years until another treatment is necessary. Although the treatment is a minor one that is hardly invasive, it can correct wrinkles or folds that are either shallow or deep, which means that the treatment can be beneficial for practically anyone.

When you’re considering Sculptra as your treatment of choice, you should be aware that the filler is provided to you over a series of treatments, which usually includes 3-4 sessions over a four-month period. By applying the filler over the course of a few months, the changes will be gradual and natural. These fillers are made from either liquid or gel. The amount of filler that will be applied with each treatment session largely depends on how much collagen has been lost within your cheeks. The main benefit of choosing Sculptra to lift or add volume to your cheeks is that it is a non-surgical procedure.

What Are Cheek Implants?

Cheek implants are solid materials that are designed to be fully compatible with the tissues inside your cheeks, which means that your body will not reject the implant once it has been placed in your cheek. This is a surgical procedure, which is why you should heavily consider all the pros and cons before making a decision on which treatment is right for you. Facial implants can be used for a wide variety of purposes. While Sculptra is meant primarily to reduce the number of wrinkles and folds that you are experiencing due to age, cheek implants can add a substantial amount of volume to your cheeks if you believe your cheeks to be flat.

Given the fact that cheek implants make use of a more comprehensive procedure, it’s important that you ask the plastic surgeon in charge of the surgery any questions that come to mind. The procedure itself is very safe and comes with barely any risks. However, the more confident you are, the more you will be able to relax as the date of the treatment rolls around. Keep in mind that the recovery process with cheek implants is a lengthier one than Sculptra due to the incisions that needed to be made.

How Do Cheek Implant Procedures Work?

You will first be provided with either general anesthesia or intravenous sedation, both of which will cause you to lose consciousness during the surgery. Incisions will be made either within the mouth or along the cheek depending on where the implants are going to be placed. If you are making use of other facial surgery procedures, it’s possible for the incisions to be made in other areas around your face, such as around the hairline or within the lower eyelid. Once the implant has been firmly placed in the cheek, the incisions will be closed gently with stitches or sutures.

Side Effects and Risks of Sculptra and Cheek Implants

Both treatment options come with their own risks and side effects. In regards to Sculptra, some of the side effects that you might experience in a week or so after the treatment has been provided include tenderness, redness, swelling, bleeding, and bruising. You might also notice a small amount of pain in the treatment area.

A cheek implant surgery comes with additional risks that include poor healing, issues with scarring, infection, shifting with the implants, skin discoloration, and pain that won’t go away even with the use of medication. Ask your dermatologist or surgeon about the risks before you proceed with the treatment.

Sculptra Vs. Cheek Implant Recovery Process

The main benefit of using Sculptra is that there’s no downtime after the treatment has been provided. You can return to work and perform your usual daily activities almost immediately following the injection of the filler. To avoid having small bumps develop under the skin where the filler was injected, make sure to massage the area gently with your fingers for a week or two. The recovery process for cheek implants will begin with the application of bandages and the usage of medication. You will experience swelling for 2-3 weeks and numbness in the area for the same period. You should be able to return to work in a couple of weeks and can resume strenuous physical activities after a month or two have passed.

I hope that this article can help you decide if you should try Scupltra or cheek implants! Share your thoughts with us in the comment section below.

Dr. Diane Walder, MD is a cosmetic dermatologist who is board certified and has garnered many years worth of experience. She is a member of a variety of renowned medical societies and has affiliations with both the Jackson Memorial Hospital and Mt. Sinai Institute. You can learn more about the procedures she performs here:

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