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Everything You Wanted to Know About Dermal Fillers But Were Afraid to Ask

You've been for your first consultation for facial aesthetics and thought that you had all the information you need to know about treatment. Then your brain starts whirring and you come up with more questions that you wished you had thought to ask at the time.


You may very well find the answers you were looking for here! In this blog post, I will address some of the most commonly asked questions about treatment with dermal fillers. If you find that I haven't answered your question then please feel free to get in touch (or if you had your consultation with someone else then it may be best to get in touch with them). It is REALLY important that you fully understand what treatment involves before you decide whether it is right for you so I hope this blog helps you make the right choice for you!



What are Dermal Fillers?

A dermal filler is a product with a gel consistency that is made from synthetic hyaluronic acid. Hyaluronic acid is a wonderful product that in its natural form can be found within the body. The synthetic hyaluronic acid found in dermal fillers is broken down by the same processes within the body as natural hyaluronic acid.


As dermal fillers come in different thicknesses, the placement can be tailored to the individual product. Thin fillers tend to be placed more superficially and thick fillers are placed deeper depending on whether the desired result is filling a line or adding volume to an area.


Thin fillers and thick fillers are the same product but have different particle sizes within the gel. So, thin fillers have small particles and thick fillers have large particle sizes.


Do Dermal Fillers work instantly?

You will notice a difference as soon as the treatment is completed and that is one of the advantages of this treatment. It is likely that you will see your desired changes immediately. Treatment is often accompanied by swelling which can take between 3-6 weeks to fully resolve. I'm not saying you will be walking around with hamster cheeks or massive lips for this entire time!! The majority of the swelling has settled after about 7-10 days but full resolution can take longer.


The other point with dermal filler treatment is that the results will continue to improve over the following 2-4 weeks. This is due to the Hyaluronic acid in the product absorbing water molecules and plumping out the area. This is why I recommend a review at 3-4 weeks after treatment to assess the final result.


How long does treatment with Fillers take?

This can vary depending on the area of treatment and the amount of product being used. The usual length of appointment is 30 minutes to an hour, but this does depend on individual circumstances and longer appointments may be required. The appointment includes preparation and making sure that you are as comfortable as possible before the actual placement of the filler. It also allows time for administration tasks and records which means that the actual time for treatment is much less than the length of the appointment.




Will My Dermal Filler Treatment Look Fake?

Dermal Fillers can be used to subtly enhance and rejuvenate the appearance. The amount of product used can be kept to a small amount to ensure that the results are subtle. Over time if a more volumised look is desired, this can be built up. I will work with you to help achieve the result you desire. I believe that less is more and I would rather add less product initially with a view to refinement at a later date once the initial result has been achieved. It is much better for you, and those around you used to small changes rather than big ones.

Other products are used for the relaxation of fine lines and wrinkles around the face as this tends to be a more effective management of this issue. Deeper lines such as those that run from the nose to the upper lip can be treated quite nicely by replacing lost volume in the cheeks with the addition of dermal fillers to augment the line or fold itself. Other deep lines around the face may be improved by a combination of treatments, with the placement of fillers if other treatments aren’t sufficient to relax them enough.


Does Treatment With Fillers Hurt?

The honest answer to this is that, yes, it can do. I am very careful to minimise any pain or discomfort by using ice and a careful injection technique. As well as this I place either topical or local anaesthetic to minimise any discomfort.


For example, when treating lips which tend to be quite tender, I can use my skills as a dentist to place local anaesthetic and completely numb the area for the procedure. Lips are a particularly tender area to have fillers placed so being able to use local anaesthetic is a huge advantage for making the treatment as comfortable as possible for you. For other areas, I will discuss with you what level of anaesthesia you would like for the treatment and the minimum would be placing some numbing cream around the area.

I do not charge an additional fee for the placement of anaesthetic.


How long do dermal fillers last?

This is a tricky question to answer as it can really vary from one person to another and depends on a number of factors such as the area treated and the product used. For example, people with a high metabolism, find that fillers may not last as long because the product can be broken down more quickly. People who exercise regularly may find that fillers don’t always last as long as they do for other people.

Thin fillers in mobile areas of the face generally last around three to six months and thicker fillers in less mobile areas around ten to twelve months.


On average, dermal filler treatments last around eight to ten months. Certainly, for lip fillers, about eight to 10 months would be a good estimation.





Are repeat treatments with Dermal Fillers needed?

Dermal fillers are not a permanent treatment. As the product gets broken down by the natural metabolic processes within the body the volume created by the product will be lost and a repeat treatment may be carried out. The length of time required between treatments will vary significantly depending on the individual as well as the product used and the area treated.


Will there be any swelling after Dermal Filler Treatment?

It is quite usual to have some swelling after treatment. This is most noticeable for the first 5 days following the procedure but persists for 2-4 weeks until it is completely resolved. The more vascular the area treated, the more swelling there is likely to be, so lips do tend to swell in the early days after treatment. This can be assisted by the use of ice packs to reduce the swelling.

It is certainly something to be conscious of when timing the treatment should there be any significant events or holidays coming up and we generally recommend treatment is at least 2 weeks before any events.


Is treatment with dermal fillers reversible?

Dermal Filler treatment can be reversed if it is necessary. There is a product available that can be used to speed up the dissolving of the hyaluronic acid should it be required. It may be decided that reversing the treatment is necessary if there is a problem with the amount of product used or the placement of the product.


A few weeks are required between the dissolving of the fillers and retreatment. You can find out more about dermal filler reversal here: Filler Reversal

How much does treatment with fillers cost?

The price varies significantly depending on a number of factors such as the area treated, the amount of filler placed, and the product used. The complexity of the area treated affects the price as well, so more complicated areas tend to have a higher price. Also, areas that are likely to require more volume of product tend to be higher in price. It isn’t just a case of paying per millilitre of the product as there are other aspects of treatment to consider such as how long the procedure will take and whether the area will be numbed prior to treatment

Generally, treatment area cost varies from £250 to £400. A downloadable copy of my price list can be accessed here: Dr Kathryn Bell Aesthetics


Are there any significant risks with Dermal Filler Treatment?

As with any treatment, there are risks that need to be considered prior to decide whether you want to go ahead with treatment. These include pain, swelling and bruising following treatment. There is a very low risk but more serious one that needs to be considered when undergoing dermal filler treatment. This is because during the placement of dermal fillers there is a very small risk that they could compromise blood vessels leading to issues with blood circulation at the area of treatment.


Obviously minimising this risk is very important, which is why going to somebody who has appropriate knowledge and training is essential. A good understanding of anatomy and the management of complications is an absolute must! This is another reason that treatment may need to be reversed. Should any signs of compromised blood flow be noticed following treatment then we would want to dissolve the product as quickly as possible.


Whenever I carry out treatment with dermal fillers I always have the reversal agent on hand as a precaution.


Are there any other risks or side effects?

More common and less significant risks include bruising and swelling of the area as well as the development of small lumps or nodules. If you are prone to cold sores and have your lips treated then you may find that the trauma leads to the development of cold sores. This will be discussed with you and it may be that a course of anti-viral medication is recommended to reduce the risk of this occurring.

All side effects and risks will be discussed in full before you decide whether to go ahead with treatment and you will be given a ‘cooling-off period to ensure that you have time to consider your choice.


And most importantly.....


Why should you have dermal fillers with Dr Kathryn Bell?

There are a number of reasons why you should choose to have your treatment with me:

1. You will have a full and thorough consultation which will enable the provision of an individual treatment plan in order to achieve the results you want.

2. I look at what you hope to achieve with treatment so I can decide whether dermal fillers are going to give you the results you hope for, or whether another treatment would be a better option for you.

3. I only use high-quality products from registered pharmacies. I have a number of favourites that I use for different indications and I am always happy to discuss this in further detail.


4. As a dentist, I am able to use my extensive knowledge of head and neck anatomy along with my experience and understanding of facial aesthetics to appreciate the scientific and anatomical basis of beauty and how best to achieve your desired results.

5. The same person, ie Me, will be undertaking your consultation and treatment to ensure consistency and a personalised experience throughout your dermal filler journey


6. I have procedures and protocols in place that will maximise the safety of your treatment and reduce the risk of any unwanted effects or outcomes.

7. I use my expertise as a dentist to provide comfortable treatment. As a minimum, I will use numbing cream but for the majority of procedures I will use a local anaesthetic to numb the area as completely as possible

8. You will receive excellent post-operative care. After treatment, you will be reviewed 2-4 weeks later and if you have any worries, queries or concerns prior to this I will ensure that they are taken care of.



I hope that has answered any questions you may have, however, if you want to know more or book in for a consultation please get in touch. In the meantime, bookmark this page for later!


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