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What Are Cheek Fillers and What to Expect?

Kristina Cadwell  
November 10, 2021  

Aging brings unflattering changes to our facial features. As collagen and elastin - our skin’s building blocks - degrade, we lose our youthful softness, plumpness, and glow. The signs of aging are particularly visible in the mid-face or cheek area. Thinner, sunken cheeks and pronounced lines between the nose and the mouth (nasolabial folds) give us a tired, older expression.

Surgical lifts are one solution to restoring youthful features. However, they are expensive, risky, and require taking time off to recover. Non-surgical cosmetic treatments are modern alternatives to surgery. They provide similar results but involve safer and less expensive procedures.

In this article we will explore one of the most popular cosmetic treatments for the mid-face area – cheek fillers.

What are cheek fillers, how do they work, and what you can expect from a treatment?

What are cheek fillers

What Are Cheek Fillers?

Cheek fillers are dermal filler injectables that rebuild fat in sunken cheeks, fill nasolabial folds, and restore youthful facial contours. The injections contain active ingredients that act as fat fillers and rebuild lost collagen. The procedure is quick, safe, and provides natural-looking results that typically last up to 18 months.

Types of fillers

The FDA approved two types of dermal fillers for the cheek area:

Hyaluronic Acid (HA) Cheek Fillers

Medical providers commonly use Juvéderm Voluma XC and Restylane Lyft fillers to augment the patients’ cheeks and smooth wrinkles in the mid-face area. The results are immediate.

HA-based fillers are biocompatible because our bodies naturally produce this compound. Hyaluronic acid dissolves over time, but if the patient is unhappy with the results, the filler can be dissolved immediately using the enzyme Hyaluronidase.

Poly-L-Lactic Acid Cheek Fillers

Sculptra Aesthetic is a poly-L-lactic acid-based filler used for mid-face contouring and cheek volumizing. It stimulates the body to build lost collagen, which may take a few months. The effects of Sculptra are gradual but longer lasting.

The Benefits of Cheek Fillers

Cheek fillers are popular because they provide a range of benefits.

  • Minimally invasive, non-surgical procedure
  • No downtime
  • Augmented cheeks
  • Improved mid-face contours
  • Improved appearance of nasolabial folds
  • Rejuvenated skin
  • Natural-looking results
  • Long-lasting results

The Procedure

Cheek fillers are a quick cosmetic procedure, typically performed in under 30 minutes.

The first step is to consult your chosen medical provider about the details of the treatment. You’ll discuss your desired goals, expectations, the right product for your needs, the required injection amount, and the total cost of the procedure. You also need to disclose your medical records and information about your current medical state. If you are eligible for the treatment, you can undergo the procedure on the same day.

Your medical provider first cleans the treatment area with rubbing alcohol and marks the injection sites. The provider then injects the filler and gently massages the area to prevent any asymmetries and the formation of lumps.

You can continue with your daily activities after the treatment, with a few exceptions that your medical provider will warn you about (e.g., working out for the first 24 hours).

Who Is a Good Candidate for Cheek Fillers?

You are a good candidate for cheek fillers if you want to treat aging-related volume loss in your cheeks or reduce wrinkles and folds in your mid-face area.

You need to be generally healthy. Health issues that can disqualify you from the treatment are:  

  • Bleeding disorders
  • Skin infections
  • Keloid or hypertrophic scars
  • Allergies to dermal filler ingredients

The treatment is not recommended for pregnant or nursing women.

Are Cheek Fillers Safe?

FDA-approved cheek fillers are safe when injected by experienced, licensed medical providers. Severe side effects are rare and often treatable.

Is the Procedure Painful?

Cheek filler treatments cause minimal or no pain because they are mixed with lidocaine, an anesthetic that numbs the treatment area. Patients with a low pain threshold can also ask their medical provider to apply a numbing cream on the treatment area before the procedure.

The Results

Before and after cheek fillers

Cheek fillers provide volume lift in the mid-face area, augment the cheeks, and reduce wrinkles.

The results of Juvéderm HA-based fillers are immediate, but side effects like bruising and swelling may mask them. You’ll notice the full results when side effects subside, usually after up to one week.

Sculptra provides more gradual results because it takes time to rebuild lost collagen.

Cheek Fillers: Side Effects

Cheek fillers are generally safe but can cause mild side effects such as:

  • Redness
  • Bruising
  • Swelling
  • Itching
  • Numbness
  • Pain

These side effects are short lived and usually disappear within a week.

Serious side effects are very rare and include:

  • Filler leakage
  • Tissue death
  • Injury to blood vessels
  • Vision loss

You can avoid serious side effects of cheek dermal filler treatments by going to a fully licensed and experienced medical provider.

Can You Get Cheek Fillers Removed?

The body naturally dissolves cheek fillers within six to 24 months.

If you don’t like the procedure results, you can have them removed. If your medical provider used a hyaluronic acid-based cheek filler like Juvéderm Voluma or Restylane Lyft, you can have the results reversed as these fillers can be dissolved with the enzyme Hyaluronidase.

Cheek Fillers: Cost

At Vibrant Skin Bar, Juvéderm Voluma costs $850 per syringe, Restylane Lyft costs $749 per syringe, and Sculptra costs $900 per vial. One vial contains the amount of approximately four HA-based filler syringes.

Consult our skin experts for an accurate analysis of your skin issue, the amount of cheek filler you’ll need, and the total cost of the procedure.

Cheek Fillers: Aftercare

You can resume your daily activities right after a cheek filler treatment, but there are a few things to avoid if you want to ensure the filler settles in properly.

  • Avoid workouts for 24 hours.
  • Don’t book any laser treatments for two weeks.
  • Avoid blood-thinning medications and supplements for several days.
  • Don’t sleep on your stomach or sides.
  • Avoid alcohol for 24 hours.
  • Don’t rub or press the treated area.


Cheek fillers have become a common treatment for mid-face aging signs. They’re popular because they are safe and provide natural, long-lasting results. If you’re considering cheek filler treatment, choose a reputable skin expert with extensive experience injecting dermal fillers.

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About the Author:
Kristina Cadwell
PA Kristina Cadwell graduated from Arizona State University with a Bachelor of Science degree in Biology. She then completed the Physician Assistant program at A.T. Still University graduating with a Masters of Medical Science degree. Kristina has been working in the Aesthetic Medical field for over 10 years. She is certified in neurotoxin cosmetic injection, dermal fillers, Plasma Pen skin tightening, chemical peels, and laser therapy. She is known for producing natural results and has extensive knowledge in diet and exercise allowing her to help you achieve vibrant skin from the inside out.
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