Facial Fillers vs Facial Implants? Which One is Best for You?

Introduction to Facial Fillers or Facial Implants?

Cosmetic surgery has become incredibly popular with cosmetic surgeons performing more than 15 million procedures each year. Facial surgeries are particularly popular, which is understandable. The face is the first thing people notice about us. Disliking something about your face can cause your self-esteem to plummet, which can negatively affect nearly all areas of your life.

Read our article: How Much Do Facial Cosmetic Surgeries Cost?

Fixing your facial irregularities can boost your self-esteem and positively affect how others view you.

While popular cosmetic surgeries such as rhinoplasty (nose job), facelift, brow lift, and eyelid lift can certainly help you look younger, refreshed, and more attractive, there are two procedures that are also increasing in popularity. We’re talking about facial fillers and facial implants. Both procedures can reverse the years and enhance your features, but which one is right for you? This post will help you answer that very question.

By the end of this post, you will know the difference between the two types of cosmetic surgery, the key differences between them, and whether one over the other may be right for your specific situation.

Don’t want to wait until the end? Get your questions answered about facial implants and fillers, or other cosmetic surgeries by calling Moein Surgical Arts in Los Angeles, California. You can schedule your discreet consultation with Doctor Babak Moein by dialing (310)694-4486.

What are Facial Fillers?

Facial fillers (also called dermal fillers) are injectable materials used to improve the appearance of the face. By strategically injecting fillers into the face, the cosmetic surgeon can smooth away moderate to severe wrinkles and add youthful fullness to the face. While many people are familiar with Botox cosmetics as an anti-aging injectable, dermal fillers work differently. Botox freezes muscles in the face to eliminate laugh lines and forehead wrinkles, for example. Dermal fillers respond to trouble areas by infusing collagen while simultaneously stimulating collagen growth. This effect not only improves the facial appearance, but the results get better over time as more collagen is produced by your facial skin.

What Types of Facial Fillers Are There?

Facial Fillers or Facial Implants? LA, CA
Facial Fillers or Facial Implants? LA, CA

The most common facial fillers available include:

Calcium Hydroxylapatite (Brand names include Radiesse)

This substance is naturally found in human bones. The facial filler used by cosmetic surgeons is biosynthetically produced, so you can rest assured that no animal products are used in the development of this popular facial filler. The mineral-like compound is used to eliminate frown lines and enhance facial fullness to reverse the signs of age. The results look natural and side effects are rare.

Hyaluronic Acid (Brand names include Captique, Perlane, Restylane, and others)

Hyaluronic acid injections are used to reduce depressions in the skin caused by injuries, scars, and lines. The injections can also improve the skin’s contours. Like calcium hydroxylapatite, hyaluronic acid occurs naturally in the body. The injectable form is extracted and reformulated and has now become one of the most popular dermal fillers on the market.

Polyalkylimide (Brand names include Aquamid)

This dermal filler is semi-permanent and used by cosmetic surgeons to treat deep wrinkles, plump the lips, and enhance the cheeks and jawline. The injectable formula is biocompatible, which means the body tolerates it quite well. Like some of the other injectable fillers on this list, polyalkylimide causes collagen to form, improving results over time.

Polylactic Acid (Brand names include Sculptra)

This synthetic facial filler also causes collagen to form once injected into the skin. In fact, the formula is known as a stimulator and has been used for over 40 years as a suture material. The filler can fill laugh lines, plump the lips, and treat deep nasolabial folds. Unlike other fillers, polylactic acid does not produce immediately noticeable results. The results develop over time as collagen is produced. Many patients require around three treatments of this facial filler to achieve the desired results. Each injectable treatment stimulates your own collagen to form, which can take between one to three months to see the results you want.

Polymethyl-methacrylate microspheres (PMMA) (Brand names include Bellafill)

This facial filler is considered semi-permanent and is used to treat medium to deep wrinkles and folds. Like polylactic acid, it can take a few months to achieve the results you want. The substance is often used in place of collagen replacement therapy as well as a supplement to permanent surgical implants.

Have You Considered Fat Transfer?

Fat Transfer in LA

There is another type of filler we have yet to mention. Referred to as facial fat grafting, adding your own fat to your face can restore volume and add fullness just like the fillers already mentioned. Using your own fat has several advantages. For one, you know you won’t experience allergies. Another is that you can slim down an area of your body while simultaneously enhancing your face. This is because liposuction is used to extract the fat before it is purified and injected into the desired treatment area. Fat from your own body also lasts much longer than dermal fillers in terms of adding volume.

Read our article: Tips for Maintaining Your Liposuction Results

During the fat grafting process, the cosmetic surgeon will remove tiny amounts of fat. Popular donor sites include the abdomen, flanks, and thighs. The fat is purified and then injected into an area of your face that requires filling. The results look natural and are long-lasting.

Read our article: Benefits of Fat Grafting for Breast Augmentation

What Facial Irregularities Can Dermal Fillers Correct?

Facial fillers are excellent treatments for minimizing or reversing the signs of age. The right filler can add volume to sagging skin, make your face more symmetrical, plump the cheeks and lips, and smooth away wrinkles. Some medications for HIV/AIDS can cause thinness in the face. Dermal fillers can restore lost volume after taking these and other similar medications.

Who Should Not Have Facial Fillers?

You should rethink getting facial fillers if you have an underlying condition such as a bleeding disorder or allergy to one or more filler substances.

How Long Do Facial Filler Results Last?

The anti-aging and volume restoration effects caused by facial fillers can usually last from 9 to 18 months. Your results may vary depending on the amount and type of filler used.

What are Facial Implants?

Facial implants are custom-designed prosthetic devices that are implanted under the skin to add symmetry and balance to your facial features. During implant surgery, custom-made solid materials are inserted through incisions into pockets in the facial tissue. Once the incisions are closed, a bandage or tape is placed overtop to facilitate healing. Scars are hardly visible if cared for properly and can be easily concealed with cosmetics. Cosmetic surgeons strive to hide incisions within the natural folds of your skin. Chin implant scars, for example, are commonly found inside the mouth and are invisible following surgery.

How Many Different Types of Facial Implants Are There?

Nose Implants

Nasal implants are used to make the nose more pronounced. They may be used to add a pointier tip or to increase the height of the nose bridge.

Cheek Implants

These implants can make your cheekbones appear more rounded and symmetrical. The effect begins just below the lower eyelids, which is an area that tends to sag during the aging process. After cheekbone implants, patients tend to look years younger and more attractive. Cheek implants can also be used to make the cheekbones more pronounced in people who were born with less volume in that area.

Chin Implants

Chin implants give you a well-structured chin, which tends to be an attractive feature that conveys supreme confidence.

Who Should Not Have Facial Implants?

You should rethink facial implants if you have an allergy to suture materials, tape, blood products, glues, and injected agents.

What Features and Irregularities Can Dermal Implants Correct?

Dermal Implants in LA

The purpose of facial implants is to augment the skeletal structure of the face. After undergoing facial implant surgery, your face will look more symmetrical with greater balance between your facial features.

How Long Do Facial Implant Results Last?

While facial fillers need to be replenished every year or so, dermal fillers leave results that can extend for the rest of your life.

Can You Get a Facial Filler Over a Facial Implant?

Yes, facial fillers and facial implants can be used in conjunction to produce the desired effect. It may be beneficial to undergo facial implant surgery first, then wait to inject fillers to determine if they are needed after the swelling and bruising subside.

Tips for Deciding Between Facial Fillers and Implants

Number of Treatments

This factor represents one of the key differences between facial fillers and implants. With facial implants, you have the surgery once and you are done. The results last for life. With facial fillers, you may require between two to five treatments to achieve the desired results. The injections then need to be repeated once the effects wear off.

Longevity of the Results

Results from facial implants last forever while facial fillers tend to last up to two years at the most.

Length of the Cosmetic Surgery

Facial fillers take around five to ten minutes to complete all the injections required to add fullness and reverse the aging process. Facial implant surgery, on the other hand, can take up to three hours, depending on the type of implant you want.


With fillers, no anesthesia is used since no surgery is required. Facial implant surgery is another story entirely. Getting an implant requires general anesthesia, which means you will be asleep for the duration of the procedure. Though some cosmetic surgeons opt to use local anesthesia or twilight sleep.

Recovery Time

Facial fillers take between one and two hours for complete recovery. With facial implants, you may face a downtime of between three and six weeks before your face is fully healed.

Bruising and Swelling

Bruising and Swelling Treatment

Filler injections can produce bruising and swelling, but the effect is usually minimal. With facial implants, you may have mild to moderate bruising that lasts for several weeks following surgery.


Because facial implants last for a lifetime, they tend to be more expensive than fillers. If cost is a concern, perhaps facial fillers may prove to be the most cost-effective option.

What if You Change Your Mind Later On?

This is one element you will want to consider carefully before opting for either cosmetic treatment. Most people who get fillers and implants hope the results last a lifetime. But if you change your mind at a later date, you will need surgery to remove facial implants. With fillers, you merely have to wait for the results to expire before your face is returned to normal.

Schedule a Consultation with Filler and Implant Cosmetic Surgeon Doctor Babak Moein

You now know more about the differences between dermal fillers and facial implants. If there is an aspect of your face you dislike, you now have plenty of options to enhance your appearance and self-esteem.

You may be a suitable candidate for facial implants if you feel you have weak bone structure and want lifelong results.

On the other hand, if you want more subtle results and the ability to change your mind at a later date, dermal fillers may be more your style.

You and your cosmetic surgeon may find that dermal fillers and facial implants used in conjunction are the best course of action for a more symmetrical and attractive face.

Want to learn more?

Double board-certified Doctor Babak Moein wants to hear from you if you have facial insecurities that you desperately want to correct. Doctor Moein routinely performs facial filler procedures and facial implant surgeries. The exemplary results he provides have helped thousands of men and women achieve their desired results.

If you are interested in learning more about fillers and implants, schedule a consultation with Doctor Moein by calling Moein Surgical Arts in Los Angeles, California at (310)694-4486.

Dr. Babak Moeinolmolki

CALL US : +1(310)455-8020

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