Facial Fillers vs Botox: Explained by a Top Dallas Plastic Surgeon

The “facial fillers vs botox” perception can be confusing, especially since the procedures are somewhat similar. The good news is that they are both long-term options for wrinkle treatment, and who doesn’t want to get rid of those stubborn aging lines? Before choosing one or the other, there are various factors to consider.


Botox, or botulinum toxin, is a purified, natural protein that is used to temporarily relax the facial muscles that cause wrinkles and crow’s feet. These lines occur naturally with age, especially around the mouth, eyes, and in between eyebrows (glabellar lines). Botox will relax these muscles, causing the wrinkles to be less pronounced. This protein can also be used to treat migraines, pain, and hyperhidrosis (excessive sweating). Since Botox has been on the market for over two decades, it is the most well-known brand name and most tested product.

Within a week, most people will experience results with Botox injections. If you have other conditions that would prevent the Botox injections from being successful, it is necessary to talk to your physician before having the procedure done. Typically, side effects are minimal and will go away within about a week. Patients can resume normal activities right away. Makeup can easily cover up any slight bruising. Since Botox treatments last for about 3 to 4 months, you will need regular injections if you want to maintain the results.

Because Botox treatments are a type of medical procedure, side effects do have the possibility of occurring. Make sure to share any preexisting medical conditions with your physician prior to the procedure so that special considerations can be discussed. Side effects of Botox can include bruising or swelling around the site of injection, drooping eyelids, redness or irritation of the eyes, and headaches. To reduce the chance of experiencing some of the side effects, the use of eye drops may be recommended. If you are pregnant or nursing, have weak facial muscles, have current skin issues, or some type of neuromuscular disease, Botox may not be recommended.

Dr Stephanie Teotia is an experienced Botox injector. She is unique in that she performs her own injections. An experienced, licensed plastic surgeon who has performed many Botox injections is a wise choice. An advantage of this kind of wrinkle treatment is that there are few side effects and little to no recovery time. Depending on the areas of the face that are being treated and your geographical location, the cost of each Botox treatment averages about $500.

Facial Fillers

Facial or dermal fillers can also be used for wrinkle treatment, but usually focus on decreasing smile lines and plumping up the cheeks or lips. They can also be used to lessen the presence of scars and decrease hand lines. This type of wrinkle treatment cannot be used to increase the size of other parts of the body, such as the breasts.

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has approved a few options for fillers. Like Botox, these are injectable, but some are temporary and used for soft tissue lines.  The following options have been FDA approved:

  • Radiesse (calcium hydroxylapatite): temporary gel solution that lasts for 18 months
  • Collagen: temporary solution that can last for up for 4 months
  • Hyaluronic acid: temporary solution that will last between 6 and 12 months
  • Sculptra Aesthetic (poly-L-lactic acid): man-made solution that will last 2 years
  • Polymethylmethacrylate beads: the only permanent dermal filler

Normally, facial fillers will last longer than Botox treatments. Since they are different types of procedures, they do produce unique results and facial fillers will require maintenance once the initial injections wear off. Like Botox, facial fillers can have side effects, but there is a higher possibility of risks. Any moderate side effects will usually disappear within two weeks.

Potential side effects of facial fillers can include bruising, infection, allergic reaction, itching, redness, numbness, swelling, scarring, or sores. Long-term swelling of the face can occur in rare cases. Ice packs are beneficial to decrease numbness and swelling. As with Botox, you will typically experience fewer and less severe side effects if you are in good overall health. Often, individuals who live an active lifestyle (such as intense athletes) and have lost volume in their face can benefit from the use of facial fillers to restore the loss. Anyone who desires more volume in the face would be a suitable candidate, but be sure to communicate with your physician about any preexisting medical conditions.

A few questions to ask your plastic surgeon before having Botox or facial fillers include:

  • What are your qualifications?
  • How satisfied are your patients with their results? Do you have examples of before and after pictures that I could see?
  • Do you prefer a certain brand of product? Why?

Botox treatments will not last as long as facial fillers, but do not have as many side effects. Remember that Botox and facial fillers treat different parts of the face for slightly different issues. Before deciding on a certain treatment, be sure to ask Dr. Stephanie Teotia all of the necessary information so that you can make an informed decision.