Cheek Implants vs Cheek Augmentation: What is the difference?

Cheek structure is a huge contributor when it comes to the proportion and overall appearance of the face. For many people, a more defined cheek offers an improvement in confidence and achieves the look that the patient is after. However, when it comes to creating the perfect cheek, there are a couple of options to choose from: cheek implants or cheek augmentation. While the terms may be used interchangeably by misinformed patients, there are differences between the two.

Surgical Cheek Implants

Cheek implants work to create a more emphasized look to a weak cheek structure. The cheek implants come in a variety of customizable shapes and sizes. The incision for the surgery is usually made in the lower eyelid or the mouth, and then the implant is placed in a pocket created by the surgeon. If the incision is made in the eyelid, then stitches will be removed after about ten days following the procedure. If the incision is made in the mouth, then dissolvable stitches will be used. However, if you the patient elects to have another facial plastic surgery, such as a facelift, then the implants can be placed through the same incision as the other operation.

This option is considered a permanent solution for weak cheekbones. The typical reason for a repeat operation is if the implant is placed improperly and begins to shift. However, you can avoid this issue if you consult with a surgeon who specializes in this procedure.

Cheek Augmentation with Non-Surgical Dermal Fillers

If the cheek structure has lost volume over time due to soft tissue damage (generally associated with natural aging), then dermal fillers may be an alternative solution. This procedure is non-surgical, and instead of using an implant, the surgeon will inject the filler into the area of the face that needs improvement. While cheeks are certainly an area of focus, the doctor may also recommend other areas that could benefit from a filler.

The entire process takes anywhere from 15 minutes to one hour to complete. Slight swelling and discomfort should be expected for a couple of days. While the filler works to enhance the overall cheek structure, note that this is not a permanent solution and additional fills will be needed in the future to maintain the achieved appearance.

So which is right for you, Cheek Implants or Cheek Augmentation?

A couple of things to consider when deciding between cheek augmentation or dermal fillers:

  • Are you looking for a permanent solution?
  • Have you researched the recovery time of each procedure?
  • Are you unhappy with you bone structure?
  • Are you unhappy with your cheek tissue?

A filler is best for individuals who are looking for a slight enhancement that rewinds the clock a few years. It is ideal for people who are experiencing early signs of aging. However, cheek augmentation is designed for individuals who want to restructure the shape of their face and enhance their cheeks on a permanent basis. To make an appropriate decision, patients should discuss their concerns and goals with a Dr. L. Scott Ennis, a double board certified plastic surgeon.