When you understand the facts about dermal filler therapy, you’re better prepared to decide if adding dermal fillers is right for your practice.
How Accepted Is Dermal Filler Therapy?
Even more widely accepted by North American patients than cosmetic dentistry, dermal filler therapy is something both women and men are having done with increasing frequency. Ask around, and you’ll find just about everyone has heard of dermal filler therapy. Ask your patients too. You’ll soon find that both Botox and dermal filler therapy are widely known and accepted.
What Can Dermal Fillers Do For Patients?
Put simply, a dermal filler is a material that’s injected beneath the skin into areas like the nasolabial folds, the marionette lines, the oral commissures and other places on the face to plump them up and smooth away wrinkles. Lip augmentation is another of the many uses for dermal fillers. In the past, these services were performed only by dermatologists and plastic surgeons — or people in their offices. In many cases, the services are performed in these offices by nurses or medical estheticians who work from these offices rather than the doctors themselves.
Very generally speaking, Botox is often used on the top half of the face to relax muscles while dermal fillers are used lower on the face to fill depressions, but this isn’t always how it works. Dermal fillers are often used to frame the face, putting them squarely within the realm of cosmetic dentistry and what a dentist should be doing for his or her patients. These fillers are usually injected directly into specific places using extraoral injections in areas where dentists are used to making injections inside the mouth for anesthesia purposes.
What has proven intriguing to some involved in dermal filler training is that dermatologists, nurses and plastic surgeons are often not squeamish at all about giving extraoral injections but are concerned more about injecting inside the mouth. Dentists, of course, often have opposite concerns and aren’t so sure about working outside the mouth.
How Long Can Dermal Fillers Last?
That depends on the dermal fillers used and the skill of the person doing the injection, but results usually last at least six months. Some results are permanent. There are some fillers intended to be temporary while others are designed for permanence. In many cases, health care professionals don’t like to do permanent fillers at least on new patients because this can lead to bad outcomes and liability issues. Temporary fillers rarely last more than 18 months, so risk is limited.
Bovine and human collagen have been the most popular types of dermal fillers in the past, but allergy testing is necessary with these products and they are losing popularity. Hyaluronic acid products like Juvederm and Restylane are the most popular today and widely considered the best available. Hyaluronic acid is a substance that occurs naturally and that the body loses with aging, and fillers made from it add volume to the face and look exceedingly natural. Fillers of this type last from 6 to 12 months or perhaps a bit longer and can are popular for lip augmentation. These product names are also ones that clients may recognize.
Calcium hydroxylapatite is another naturally occurring body substance that is popular in the dermal filler Radiesse. This product is very viscous and thick and last longer than hyaluronic acid products because the material is slower to break down. When it does break down, the body sometimes replaces it with collagen, maintaining the wrinkle-free appearance for a longer period of time.
Choosing the right dermal filler material for the right purpose is very important. Practitioners must know which material is best in a wide variety of circumstances. This is obviously the result of good dermal filler training.
What Your Patients Want
Many people who come to your practice already use Botox therapy and dermal filler therapy. These treatments are quite popular and are becoming more so. Patients who have already had previous treatments by others don’t need any education from you. They’ll simply come to your office and ask you to get started. They know what to expect and will likely be pleased to be able to get the services from someone they trust and someone who can offer anesthesia and other comforts they may not have had in the past.
You’ll find that liability issues and wrong treatment concerns are very limited since results are usually temporary. An area treated with a dermal filler will return to normal within 12 months or less, so there’s little risk of long-term bad outcomes.
Training Is Essential
To perform this treatment up to the highest possible standard, dermal filler training is essential. You need to get training from someone who has trained many dentists and other medical pros in facial injectable therapy including Botox and dermal fillers. This will allow you to become competent in how these materials work, get better acquainted with the operation of facial muscles and learn about risks and benefits of offering this treatment to your patients. You also need hands-on experience in placing the materials and limiting complications. With a bit of practice, you can become an expert. Since many state dental boards allow these injections by dentists, you can make this a part of your practice right away.
When you get the education you need and perform within the guidelines set up by your state, you can legally and ethically perform valuable Botox and dermal filler procedures for your patients, increasing your value to your patients and enhancing your practice financially.