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Ask the Doctor: Fillers

Article-Ask the Doctor: Fillers

How do I know which type of filler is best?

Fillers largely come in two classes, the resorbable fillers, which will degrade in a six- to 12-month period, and permanent fillers, which will last many years. Although a permanent filler sounds beneficial, if the result is unacceptable, the patient and surgeon will have a problem.

The most popular fillers are made of gel consisting of naturally occurring sugars found in many tissues on the human body. These include Restylane, Perlane, Juvéderm Ultra and Juvéderm Ultra Plus. These fillers last from six to 12 months, which is twice as long as the older collagen fillers, and are most commonly used to fill lips and wrinkles.

Longer- lasting fillers are also available. Radiesse is a filler that can last up to 18 months. It consists of a paste of synthetic calcium. It is most commonly used in the smile lines (nasolabial folds), but not usually in the lips. ArteFill is a new, permanent filler that consists of a collagen base with microscopic acrylic beads. It is mostly used for smile lines. This filler has been used overseas but is new to the United States, and should be used with caution until its predictability is demonstrated.
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