You’re not quite ready for a facelift, but you would like to hide some of the signs of aging near your mouth, eyes or cheeks. In that case, an injectable dermal filler might be the best option for you. But, there are so many different brands available, each of which contain different ingredients or work on different areas. Your surgeon can help you pick the filler that’s best for you based on your wants and requirements.


The ingredients that an injectable contains determines what it does. For example, Botox is comprised of botulinum toxin A. Although the surgeon injects it into your face using a fine needle, it’s not actually a filler. Instead, the botulinum toxin prevents the muscles on your face from contracting, which eases the appearance of dynamic wrinkles like the vertical lines between the eyebrows and crow’s feet at the corners of your eyes.

Some fillers, such as Juvederm and Restylane contain hyaluronic acid, which is naturally produced by the body. As you grow older, your body produces less and less of it, which leads to a loss of volume and the development of wrinkles.

Another ingredient used in some fillers is calcium hydroxylapatite. Like hyaluronic acid, calcium hydroxylapatite is produced in the human body, in the bones. When injected into the skin, the substance encourages the production of collagen, which can restore lost volume to the facial area.

A filler can also use a synthetic substance to increase volume. For example, the main ingredient in the filler Scupltra is polylactic acid. The ingredient has been used for many years in dissolvable stitches and was approved by the FDA to restore volume to the face.

What They Do

Part of deciding which filler is the best for you is understanding what each one is designed to do. Fillers differ in how quickly they give results and the areas of the face they are designed to work on. Fillers such as Juvederm and Restylane, which contain hyaluronic acid, provide instant results. These fillers are meant to treat facial wrinkles, such as the nasolabial folds, the vertical lines above the lips and the marionette lines on the side of the mouth by plumping them up. Restalyne can also be used to restore volume to your lips.

Injections such as Radiesse are meant to work against the loss of facial volume that takes place as the face loses fat. The results from Radiesse are immediate. The injection helps improve the contours of your face by filling any sunken areas. It will also help smooth wrinkles on the face.

Scupltra injections also improve volume in the face, but take longer to show results. The injection was first created for patients who had facial wasting due to HIV, but is now also approved for cosmetic use. It’s been in use in the U.S. since 1999. Sculptra smooths the look of wrinkles on the face and can also restore volume to the under-eye area.


No filler lasts forever, though some last significantly longer than others. Hyaluronic acid fillers typically last between six and 12 months. The results from Juvederm last for a year, for example. You can receive follow-up injections if you wish to retain your results.

Fillers that restore lost volume typically last longer than hyaluronic acid fillers. In some cases, the results from Radiesse can last for three years, though the results might start to wear off for some patients after 12 months. Like Juvederm and Restylane, you can receive follow-up treatments of Radiesse.

Sculptra is a bit of a different story. Results often last two years, but don’t appear immediately. The goal with Sculptra injections is to achieve a subtle change over the course of a few months. Instead of receiving a single injection, you receive three injections over a period of months.

What About Recovery?

One of the major benefits of choosing facial fillers over surgery is that there is practically no recovery time. If you choose a filler that is made from a naturally occurring substance, such as hyaluronic acid, you don’t need to undergo allergy testing beforehand.

You can receive the injection at lunch and be back in the office the next day. Some people do experience bruising and swelling, though, and there is a risk of side effects, such as infection, numbness and unevenness.

If you need help deciding on the right filler, contact Dr. Kyle Choe, a board certified facial plastic surgeon in Virginia Beach. Call his office at 757.389.5850 to schedule a consultation today.