As an assured method of cheek augmentation, implants have been around for over three decades. While current cheek implant styles remain relevant for many patients, contemporary cheek and midface looks have changed. To address these evolving aesthetic trends, newer designs for cheek implants need to be used.
More younger patients are requesting the so called ‘model cheek’ look. To put that in anatomic terms, these means augmentation that extends along the whole cheekbone. Structurally the cheek bone means the zygoma proper or main body of the zygoma AND its tail or that back along the zygomatic arch. It is the extended zygomatic arch component that is absent in all standard cheek implant designs. Putting the two areas together creates an implant design that not only covers the whole cheek bone but creates an interconnected linear look. This is why a model’s cheeks look like they do….it is the whole cheek bone that you see which creates a high malar line across the whole midface.
While there may be variations in the design of differing thickness and extent of vertical bone coverage, it is fundamentally a more complete skeletal implant. This can be seen in comparing it to one of the many types of cheek implants which appear more oval or crescent in shape. In this patient example the smaller cheek implant sits below the extended cheek implant sitting on top its intended bone position.
Such extended cheek implants do not have to be big in terms of thickness. But the key is that they have t0 cover a large bony surface area which is the why the natural bone is shaped. The model cheek implant is not an oval sphere sitting on the front end if the cheekbone, it is an extended implant that sweeps back across the entire cheek bone creating a defined high malar aesthetic line.
Dr. Barry Eppley