Smile lines – those vertical lines that appear between the nose and mouth, and the mouth and jawline – are often one of the first reminders we get in the mirror that we aren’t getting any younger. Caused by both genetics and the extrinsic aging process, smile lines (Also known as marionette lines or nasolabial folds) are not something we can avoid in most cases, but they are something we can treat once they appear. Dr. Maas offers a variety of treatments at The Maas ClinicTM, ranging from quick injectable procedures to minimally-invasive surgical options that provide long-lasting results.

Why do Smile Lines Occur?

The underlying culprit in the formation of smile lines is collagen loss. Collagen is a protein that is produced by the body and supports the underlying dermal structure to give skin its smooth, supple appearance. Over time, we make less collagen, which leads to skin laxity and the development of facial creases like those nasolabial folds. Extrinsic aging, which is caused by sun damage, smoking and lifestyle habits can also accelerate collagen loss, leading to aging symptoms even earlier. These factors can affect the skin’s elasticity, and as the skin becomes loose, gravity can take over and cause skin sagging and wrinkles as well.

Smile Line Fillers

Fillers are a practical solution to nasolabial folds when they are used correctly. Many of the smile line fillers available today were explicitly studied for this purpose, as the FDA created a pathway to companies seeking approval for filler products. Dr. Maas uses a wide range of fillers for treating nasolabial folds, but particularly likes some of the newer choices like Juvederm’s Vollure and Volift as well as Restylane’s Refyne and Defyne formulations. These products feature revolutionary cross-linking technology that produces smoother, natural results and last much longer than other filler products. Patients may enjoy their more youthful look for as long as 18 months before needing a touch-up session.

While the cross-linking products are a popular choice, Dr. Maas has also had great success using established fillers like Juvederm XC for smile lines, due to its water-retaining capacity, and Radiesse, a formula containing calcium hydroxyapatite. With extensive experience in filler treatments, Dr. Maas is qualified to select the formulation that will produce the best results for you. While many of our patients ask about Botox for smile lines, this product is generally used for wrinkles on the upper face such as frown lines that appear on the forehead or between the. brows, and not nasolabial folds.

Dr. Maas takes care to treat these lines while preserving the natural anatomic boundary between the cheeks and the mouth. Overfilling the area creates an unnatural appearance, so care needs to be taken to reduce the fold without creating a zero-transition in the midface. First, he will select the filler that will work the best for you, based on the product’s softness, pliability and the duration of the effects. Fillers are administered in a 15-minute office procedure that requires no downtime afterward. Comprehensive treatment tends to create more dramatic results as the entire lower face can be rejuvenated in a single treatment session.

Surgical Solutions for Smile Lines

Patients looking for more dramatic, long-lasting results for their nasolabial folds also have surgical options to consider. The least invasive option in this category is the Silhouette Lift or the Silhouette Instant Lift. This procedure uses a thread suture technique to lift the skin in the midface and get rid of smile lines. Dissolvable sutures are placed underneath the skin in strategic locations to rejuvenate the facial contour with natural results. A series of tiny cones hold the sutures in place for a look that is long-lasting, although not permanent. Dr. Maas performs this outpatient procedure right in his office in most cases and recovery time afterward is minimal. In addition to creating instant lift, the sutures used in the Silhouette Lift stimulate collagen production to extend and enhance your outcome.

Another surgical option for nasolabial folds accompanied by significant skin sagging and other aging signs is a mini-facelift. This procedure is more invasive than a Silhouette Lift but less extensive than a full, traditional facelift. The mini-facelift addresses sagging and wrinkles between the temple and jawline, with an incision that is hidden behind the hairline to avoid visible scarring afterward. Dr. Maas will reposition the underlying tissue to create a natural look, before excising excess, loose skin. Patients can expect to have some swelling and bruising after the surgery, and about one week of downtime to rest and recover. Results of facelift procedure typically last for many years.

Smile lines tend to be one of the first aging symptoms to appear and can progress quickly to become deep, prominent creases on the face. If you are ready to get rid of smile lines and achieve a refreshed, more youthful look, now is the time to contact The Maas ClinicTM. Dr. Maas and his team will listen carefully to your concerns, so you receive the treatment that meets your needs the best. Contact our office now at (415) 567-7000 or contact us by email for your consultation with Dr. Maas and find out which smile line treatment is the right one for you. The information about frown/smile lines was reviewed by Corey S. Maas MDTM. If you have any questions, please don’t hesitate to contact us using our contact form on the sidebar.

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