Talking to Patients About Cheek Filler

Cheek filler has soared in popularity recently, with UK Google searches for the procedure having tripled since October 2020. 

This could be because people are becoming more educated about the impact cheek fillers can have. After all, the cheek area offers many opportunities to subtly change or enhance a person’s facial aesthetic. 

Whether it’s to restore volume and rejuvenate their appearance, or to add a little lift and contouring, well-placed cheek filler can provide significant results.

Knowing your anatomy, product selection and injecting technique are all key here. However, it’s important to remember that being an aesthetics practitioner is a patient-facing role. The service you provide and how you make your patients feel is a crucial element in building both your reputation and your business.

Harley Academy clinical trainer, Level 7 graduate and medical director of Javivo Clinic, Dr Jaymi Lad was recently nominated for a 2021 Safety in Beauty Award for Best Patient Experience and Transformation.

We talked to her about how to approach patients looking for cheek filler treatments and how to address their common concerns.

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How can cheek filler help patients looking for anti-ageing solutions?

“As we age, we lose the support of the bone in the face as the bone resorbs. As a result, your overlying facial tissues drop with gravity and become heavier around the jawline and jowls. This reverses the desirable ‘inverted triangle of youth’. 

“Ageing also causes the fat pads in our face to shrink and some to hypertrophy, resulting in hollowness and heaviness around the nasolabial folds. 

“For restorative treatments, we can address all the above age-related changes with cheek filler. This includes treatment of the cheekbones to support and structure the face, to restore volume to the cheek fat pads to reduce hollowness and lift or lessen the jowls.

Another approach to treating the cheeks includes using cheek filler to add more definition and contour. We often do this by treating the cheekbone to define and shape this area.”

Have your patient look in a mirror while you talk them through their concerns, your assessment and recommended treatments. Show them, rather than just telling them, what you’re seeing and how you’re planning to address this.

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What are patients’ main concerns prior to cheek filler? 

“They worry their cheeks will look too full and unnatural eg ‘hamster cheeks’. I often explain to our patients that this fullness is often due to the practitioner using too much and/or the wrong product, in the wrong area.

“A frequent concern patients have is whether 1ml of product is enough. While it can be in some cases, if we are addressing age-related changes it’s very common for us to use multiple mls to achieve a good cheek filler result.

“Often patients believe we only need to treat one area. However, when it comes to the cheek, we often treat multiple areas to achieve a natural result.”

Complementary areas to consider include the nasolabial folds, periorbital area and the temples. Lip filler may also be worth looking at when determining the patient’s facial proportions.

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How can you make your patient feel comfortable and let them know they’re in good hands?

“Facial assessment is key, especially when it comes to avoiding an overfilled look. Assess your proportions and advise on the treatment and quantity that’s appropriate for your patient.

“Let the patient know that you…

  • only use quality products – at Harley Academy and The Academy Clinic we use Juvéderm – to ensure fillers look natural 
  • can gradually build up the result over multiple sessions, if appropriate
  • have an in-depth knowledge of anatomy and respect natural proportions.”

Never be afraid to tell patients about your credentials, both in medicine generally and in aesthetic medicine specifically. Knowing they are in safe, capable hands is important to patients. 

A calm, reassuring demeanour where you demonstrate both knowledge and empathy, will also stand you in good stead.

When it comes to providing outstanding care, you can’t go wrong by putting your patient’s wellbeing front and centre of your practice. 

Of course people will come to see you if you’re a great, well-qualified injector. But, if you can make them feel safe and listened to, they’ll trust you and keep coming back. And that’s how you develop a great reputation and business in aesthetic medicine.

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