Radiesse Vs. Sculptra, Which is Better for Cheek Enhancement?

Doctor Answers 30

Sculptra Cheeks or Radiesse Cheeks

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Whether to choose Radiesse or Sculptra will depend a great deal on how your face is proportioned and what else may be happening with volume loss or genetic volume deficiency.

The face goes through many changes as we age, and this can start very early. Some people are genetically volume deficient in some facial areas. To correct a single compartment on the face, when it may need several to keep the visual "flow", could create more imbalance than correct it.

The temple area is one that can play a huge part in facial balance. A hollowed temple area above newly augmented cheeks could make your face look quite odd. One way to get a better feel for your own facial balance is to trace the outline of a photograph of your face from frontal and profile views. Is your face an inverted triangle? Does one side look higher, wider, than the other?

If your temple area is thinner than the cheek area, you may discover that a rebalance in that area first will provide the right framework for further augmentation in the lower parts of the face. Ideally, a face is five eyes across from the outside of one temple to the other.

If you are sure that the cheek augmentation is all you might need, then Radiesse is certainly an immediate and fairly long term way to address that issue.

Sculptra has the capacity to change the facial balance in a way Radiesse cannot; and instead of relying on implanted material, stimulates your own collagen to produce the "augmentation" effect.

Los Angeles Dermatologic Surgeon
4.1 out of 5 stars 22 reviews

Radiesse and Sculptra are quite different, as are Perlane and Artefill!

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If you have never used a facial filler before, consider one of the more temporary fillers, so you won't have to live with a (potentially bad) result you didn't anticipate for a long time. Perlane (and Restylane or Juvederm) can last 6-9 months or longer, and will take a minimum of two syringes for visible changes (1 per side). This will help you figure costs. Radiesse (same 1-2 syringes) can last for a year or perhaps more, and Sculptra has a slightly longer persistence (18-24 months). Artefill is touted as "permanent" but only a small component of the total injection volume persists, also giving this filler the reputation as temporary. You should know that one-third to almost one-half of patients find Artefill, Sculptra. and Radiesse to be "not worth it." I would suggest that this is generally due not to the fault of the product, but to the skill of the injector in conjunction with the promises made by the injector to the patient and the cost charged. Consider other answers here as to which products are better for dermis, soft tissues, or deeper contour, as each has its pros and cons. I certainly would be upset to pay a lot for "smooth and long-term" if  I ended up with "lumpy and way-too-long-now-that-I-hate-it!" Conservative and a bit at a time is wise for any patient (and doctor).

If you have had facial fillers before, like the effect, and wonder what lasts the longest, see above, but consider that surgical implants (properly placed by experienced, board-certified plastic surgeon or facial plastic surgeon) are indeed permanent, and may save you money in the long run. They can be removed if this proves to be a mistake, but for the right patient this is really the way to go for longest-term and most predictable smooth result.

Richard H. Tholen, MD, FACS
Minneapolis Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 263 reviews

Sculptra is the ideal agent for cheek enhancement

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For cheek augmentation, Sculptra provides very natural, long-lasting volumenization because it induces your own collagen production. The results can last two or more years.

I hope you find my answer helpful.

Steven E. Rasmussen, MD, FAAD
Austin Dermatologist

Radiesse vs. Sculptra

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Both Radiesse and Sculptra are great for cheek enhancement.  Radiesse gives instant volume to the treated area and can last a year or more.  Sculptra takes time to see the results, yet the results can last 2 years or longer. 

Sam Naficy, MD, FACS
Seattle Facial Plastic Surgeon
4.7 out of 5 stars 231 reviews

Radiesse or Sculptra for Facial Enhancement?

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I prefer Sculptra for Cheek enhancement with Radiesse to fill the lower face, I feel sculptra gives you a more natural rejuvenation/fill and allows for better dispersement in the area, Radiesse fills more pinpoint. They both are good options in this area though!

Jonathan Weiler, MD
Baton Rouge Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 93 reviews

Both Sculptra and Radiesse are good options

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I think both Radiesse and Sculptra do a great job in cheek enhancement. Personally I prefer Radiesse because it's compossed of Calcium Hidroxiapatite molecules; this composition has two consequences:

  • Inmediate volumizing (after infiltration).
  • Delayed extra volumizing. Calcium Hidroxiapatite stimulates new collagen shyntesis creating a long lasting (12-15 months) volumizing effect.

I think yo must consider another two options for cheek enhancement:

  • Autologous fat transfer (I think it's probably the best)
  • Highly crosslinked Hyaluronic Acis Gels [RESTYLANE SUB-Q (Galderma-QMed/Mediicis) and JUVEDERM VOLUMA (Allergan)]; Currently they are not FDA approved, but sure they will be approved in a very near future. In Europe (and Canada) we use them (EMA approved) since 2004 with excellent and long-lasting (2 years) results.

Enrique Etxeberria, MD
Spain Plastic Surgeon

Radiesse vs Sculptra for Cheek Enhancement

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I frequently use either Radiesse or Sculptra for this purpose with excellent results. Since they are both injected deeper, beneath the skin, they will both generate more volume to create a nice lifting effect for sagging skin. I often combine Radiesse and Sculptra treatments for different areas of the face as I feel they each have certain advantages, when properly used, to fix specific problems due to volume loss. For the cheeks, I think they are both equally effective. Radiesse gives instant results but fades over 1 to 2 years. Sculptra takes much longer to work but will last much longer as well. Also, it is also important to know that the use of Sculptra is restricted by the company. Only skin specialists such as Dermatologists and Plastic Surgeons are allowed to inject Sculptra and only after appropriate training.


Mitchell Schwartz, MD
South Burlington Dermatologic Surgeon
4.4 out of 5 stars 13 reviews

Technique is more important than product

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Cheek Enhancement is an excellent treatment to accentuate the contours of the face. By enhancing the mid and upper cheek area with a dermal-filler such as RestylanePerlaneRadiesse, and Juvederm, youthful contours and volume can then be restored or enhanced. Products like Radiesse and Sculptra will each have its own benefits. In my practice, I prefer to use Radiesse and hylauronic acid fillers (Restylane, Perlane, Juvederm) to treat the area.

While product is important, I believe of equal or greater importance is choosing a skilled physician with the experience and background to provide your treatments. One way to ensure that you share the same aesthetic appreciation with your surgeon is to view his/her patient before/after photographs. You definitely want to avoid over-correction in this area to achieve the most natural results.

Good luck with your search.

Click the link below to see an example of a patient I performed cheek augmentation with Perlane.

David C. Mabrie, MD
Bay Area Facial Plastic Surgeon
4.7 out of 5 stars 159 reviews

Choosing between Radiesse and Sculptra

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Patients need to keep several things in mind when deciding between Radiesse and Sculptra. Radiesse is a dermal filler that can be used into deeper planes of the face. It is excellent to use intranasal labial folds and over the malar region for fuller cheeks. Sculptra, is a filler that is best used for deep or hollow pockets within the soft tissue to the face Sculptra will require several sessions for full correction of these hollow areas. Radiesse does not require additional sessions for the correction of these deep wrinkles or the re-contouring of the cheek region. Radiesse has also been proven to be effective in multiple other uses such as correcting deep scar lines or even small irregularities in the nose

Radiesse and Sculptra can both be used for cheek augmentation

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Radiesse and Sculptra can both be used for cheek augmentation but because Radiesse is less expensive, easier to use, has immediate results and with bolus injections has less bruising then Sculptra, I prefer it.

Lorrie Klein, MD
Laguna Niguel Dermatologic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 217 reviews

These answers are for educational purposes and should not be relied upon as a substitute for medical advice you may receive from your physician. If you have a medical emergency, please call 911. These answers do not constitute or initiate a patient/doctor relationship.