What Are The Best Facial Implants For A Concave Face?

Q: Dr. Eppley, I am 26 years old and have a very flat midface. I would like to do something that will give my midface more projection but I don’t know what is the best thing to do. I read that some doctors use implants while other recommend injectable fillers. I have been through orthodontics to correct my crossbite and it is now perfect. But my face is still pushed in and unattractive with deep nasolabial folds. What do you recommend?

A: By description and as evidenced by your orthodontic treatment, you likely have some amount of natural midface retrusion with a corrected Class III malocclusion. This would indicate a more panfacial or significant midface deficiency of which injectable fillers would be a poor treatment choice. It would take a fair amount of filler volume to achieve a visible improvement not to mention the need for repeated treatments, provided a good aesthetic change could be achieved. There are a variety of facial implant options which can provide both improved midface projection and a permanent result. Malar, submalar, paranasal, premaxillary and infraorbital rim implants are all potential options for augmentation depending upon the amount and location of the midface retrusion. Most patients do well with combined malar and paranasal implants. However the malar deficicency usually has an infraorbital component as well. Similarly, the nasal base deficiency may include a more extensive premaxillary retrusion and not just the lateral pyriform aperture areas. A good eye is needed to determine the type of implant styles that would best treat any patient’s specific concave facial shape.

Dr. Barry Eppley

Indianapolis, Indiana

Is Injectable Fillers or Implants Better For Midface Deficiencies?

Q: Is there no way to bringing out the midface with dermal fillers? Are the results not so good as with implants? What is the material of which midface implants are made of? What the advantages and disadvantages of injectable fillers vs implants for midface deficiencies?

A: For midfacial deficiency, albeit of the cheeks, maxilla, or paranasal region, synthetic implants are the preferred treatment. They are far superior to injectable fillers in both results and cost effectiveness. Injectable fillers are intended to treat small soft tissue deficiencies of the facial skin such as wrinkles or folds. They were never intended to be used for more significant bone-based facial deficiencies but rather to be placed into or just under the skin. The sheer cost of placing large volumes of injectable fillers down at the bone level would quickly equal or come close to the cost of implant surgery. When you factor in that they are all temporary, the value proposition of injectable treatments for facial skeletal deficiencies becomes quite poor.

Most facial implants, including those of the midface region, are primarily composed of solid silicone. Silicone is one of the most biocompatible of all implant materials and also offers the largest array of facial implant designs. All midfacial implants are introduced and placed through incisions inside the mouth so there is no external scarring with their use.

Dr. Barry Eppley

Indianapolis Indiana