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How to choose the appropriate dermal filler

You’ve likely noticed dermal fillers have become one of the most popular aesthetic treatments. The only way they could be better is if their youth-restoring effects would last forever. You also know they aren’t all the same and finding the right dermal filler is key. To that end, these are the main topics to cover during your initial consultation with a patient.

Patient Goals

The conversation starts with some version of a description of what the patient wants to accomplish – a smoother neck, fuller lips, etc. Get specific. They say they want fuller lips, but how much fuller? How long can they wait for the treatment to take full effect? A bride who wants to have fuller lips for her wedding pictures in two weeks may opt for a different treatment than someone with a longer timeline.

Understanding the details will help you get on the same page and choose the best filler. It could also help the patient realize they don’t actually want a filler and that another treatment would be a better match.

Lasting effects

How often does your patient want the effects to last? In other words, how often are they willing to come back to refresh the treatment? No dermal filler lasts forever, but some last longer than others.

Level of engagement and invasiveness

Some patients will choose their treatment based on how many appointments it’ll require or how many needles will be involved. You probably see this all the time. Someone comes in knowing which treatment they want. Then they learn about what it would entail and change their mind.

Treatment area

Another way treatments vary is by which areas of the face or body they are most appropriate for and what exactly the patient wants to change there. Nowadays, many products are developed for specific areas and levels of skin condition. For example it is important to pick a filler with more viscosity to enhance the cheek or chin.  However when addressing fine lines (“smoker’s lines” around the mouth), it is important to pick a product with less viscosity and possibly less hydrophilic.


Patients will have to consider this sooner or later and sooner is better. Being up front about the treatment cost will help you build trust with a patient and help show them you’re most interested in finding them the right option.

Natural or synthetic?

Does your patient have a preference? What does research and your experience say? If nothing else, they may be interested to know hyaluronic acid is natural.