Temporary vs. Permanent Dermal Fillers: Which One Is the Right Choice for You?

Dermal Fillers art

Dermal fillers, also known as facial fillers, are among the most common types of cosmetic procedures, especially among aging adults. This is a minimally invasive procedure that can be completed in a matter of 15-20 minutes depending on the extent of the treatment needed. In most cases, your facial plastic surgeon can even perform the procedure directly after your consultation.

You have the option of choosing between temporary, semi-permanent, or permanent dermal fillers. Keep reading to learn all about the pros and cons of these procedures.

What Are Dermal Fillers?

Dermal fillers are a simple injectable treatment option for people who want to reduce the look of wrinkles and fine lines or eliminate them altogether. There are varying forms of dermal fillers that can be used to accomplish this goal. Some patients may require more than one injection to achieve optimal results, but that’s something you can discuss with your facial plastic surgeon during your consultation.

Types Of Dermal Fillers

The different types of dermal fillers include:

Temporary Dermal Fillers: Temporary dermal fillers are the most common type. There are three types of temporary dermal fillers: hyaluronic acid-based fillers, collagen-based fillers, and calcium hydroxylapatite fillers. Temporary fillers typically last anywhere between six months to one year, depending on how many injections you get.

Semi-Permanent Dermal Fillers: Semi-permanent fillers are more viscous than temporary fillers, which is why it takes a lot longer for the body to break down and absorb them. Composed of a synthetic compound known as poly-L-lactic acid, semi-permanent fillers are typically used to treat deeper laugh lines, marionette lines, wrinkles, and crows’ feet. Although they may need the occasional touch-up, semi-permanent dermal fillers typically last about 12 to 18 months.

Permanent Dermal Fillers: Permanent dermal fillers are the most viscous of all. Unlike temporary and semi-permanent dermal fillers, permanent dermal fillers aren’t decomposable, which means they can’t be broken down as quickly by the body. They’re usually formulated to be injected into parts of the body that consist of thick skin such as the nasolabial folds and can last up to five years or more.

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dermal fillers placement diagram

Dermal Fillers Pros And Cons

Temporary Dermal Fillers


  • Because it’s not permanent, you can test out how each filler formulation affects your body before deciding if you want to apply it permanently
  • You choose how often you want to apply treatments and if you don’t like the results, you can discontinue treatment
  • Minimally invasive, quick treatment
  • Minimal recovery time and limited side effects

Permanent Dermal Fillers


  • It’s a permanent treatment, so you don’t have to apply it every 3-6 months
  • Minimally invasive and quick procedure

Temporary Dermal Fillers


  • It’s temporary, which means it needs to be reapplied more often
  • You might notice some light bruising, swelling, or redness at the injection site, but this should subside in 7-10 days

Permanent Dermal Fillers


  • Limited usage due to viscosity and inability to be absorbed by the body
  • Removal treatments exist, but are very difficult and complex
  • No guarantees that you’ll be satisfied with the long-term results

Dr. Andres Gantous  at Toronto Facial Plastic Surgery is a world-renowned facial plastic surgeon with over 20 years of experience working in the field. He’s performed countless injectable and dermal filler procedures with the utmost precision and he can help you achieve a youthful, wrinkle-free look. Contact us today to schedule a consultation.