For a long time I was insecure and uncomfortable with my smile. I did not have bad teeth or a horrible smile but nonetheless I was not happy with my teeth and mouth and would even smile showing no teeth to cover up what others would see as a small imperfection – if they even noticed the two small gaps on either side of my two front teeth. After taking action my smile makes me happy now – this is my cosmetic dentistry and lip fillers story.
When I was around 27 I decided to get the gaps corrected with composite resin, which is cheaper but less durable than porcelain. There was an initial consultation and then about an hour long appointment to have the teeth amended using the composite resin which is moulded and shaped to the existing teeth. I freaked out a bit at first as I wasn’t aware until the procedure that I would be receiving a needle to numb my mouth. This isn’t because the procedure is painful in anyway but just because I would sitting in the dentist chair with my mouth wide open for an hour or more and the anaesthetic would make this more comfortable. I needn’t have worried – the needles didn’t hurt at all and in about an hour I had perfect teeth and finally felt confident enough to smile with my teeth showing.
The freedom to smile without worry or insecurities about how I look is an amazing feeling and I am so glad I got my teeth done. I am now almost 35 and the composite resin has not chipped or worn away like the dentist said it may do after 5 years. Mine are going strong 7 years later and for $600-$800 I think it was money well spent and an investment in my confidence and well being.
Taking the next step – Lip Fillers
Another insecurity I had around my smile is my mouth. I think I have a lovely shaped mouth but I am always concerned with my belief of my lack of upper lip, especially when I am smiling. I had made an appointment for lip fillers when I was about 28 and never ended up going, having convinced myself it was too expensive. The quote I got was $600 for 1ml of Juvederm.
Alas, a few years later and perhaps a little richer, I walked in off the street with no appointment and managed to get in to see one of the ladies at the same clinic. It was fantastic as she squeezed me in when she could have got me to make an appointment in which case I may not have turned up as I was being impulsive.
While I was waiting to have my injections in my lips for a fuller mouth the nurse applied some numbing cream to my lips which I let do its thing for a good 20mins. Once they were numbish she got me to lay on the bed in the office and discussed the procedure with me and asked what sort of results I was after. In this particular instance of getting filler the nurse did inject me with anaesthetic also. I felt on my first occasion of getting lip fillers I got the most needles. She really jabbed and squeezed my lips around with her fingers to mould the product which I haven’t experienced when I’ve had lip filler since. It felt uncomfortable and unpleasant – the pricking and the squeezing of my lips to mould the Juvederm is not something I have experienced since getting lip filler again. There was swelling and slight bruising afterwards but this just added to the vavoom factor of my new pout. When I went to sit up after the procedure a side effect of the anaesthetic for me was that I experienced dizziness and lightheadedness. I laid back down and got up after five minutes and was ready to go. I only used half a ml of product this time and it cost $300 and lasted about 6 months but the top lip was still noticeably fuller after the 6 months, just a lot more subtly so. That afternoon I picked my daughter up from school and a friend asked if I had new lipstick on and I couldn’t help laughing and fessed up. My friend was very impressed with the results even though I probably looked like I’d just been stung by a bee!
A year after getting lip fillers for the first time I decided I wanted a top up. This time my experience was totally different. The nurse was a male and it was a lot quicker and less painful. He used the whole 1ml in one go which I think is great because I’ve found other times the nurses do not want to inject the product all in one go as they say it is harder to see the quality of their work when the lips start to swell and that it is better to go back in a week and have the top up done when the swelling goes down.
I went in and sat up on the bed in the treatment room and the nurse explained the procedure and asked what results I would like and which product I would prefer him to use. I think I got Juvederm but the one that lasts longer. This time I would not be receiving an anaesthetic which I told him I was worried about. He assured me it would not hurt and the way he injected minimised bruising and swelling. I was pleasantly surprised with the painlessness of the procedure. He did not inject into the lips but above them whereby he pricked the needle above my mouth and injected the product above the mouth and then from below the bottom lip. There really was very minimal pain, just a tiny pricking sensation and all without numbing cream or anaesthetic. The results were less noticeable due to his technique being less invasive and thus not producing bruising and swelling caused by injections and rubbing. I was disappointed however that one side of my lip was bigger than the other. Naturally my lips appear this way but can be corrected and not made more obvious when the product is injected in a way to compensate for unevenness. Apart from this error I was satisfied with the results. My friend preferred the results I got the first time at the first clinic. I did too, however, the procedure itself was more comfortable the second time around at the second clinic. As I got a full 1ml of product it cost $600. Once again, I was ready for a top up within 6 months but waited a year. In a year I opted to go to a third clinic, This was the most affordable as they used 1ml for $400 injected over two appointments.
The third clinic used an anaesthetic and injected into the lip with minimal squeezing and moulding of the lip. She took a lot of care and pride in her work. Strangely enough I kind of freaked out even though it was my third time getting lip fillers so one of the beauticians brought me in a Valium and some jelly beans as I had an empty stomach and literally felt like I was going to shit myself with nerves!!! The practitioner was insistent on not using all the product at once and had me come back a week later to inject the rest. I am hoping that next time, now that she has an awareness of my lips and how they react and settle down we can just do the filler all in one go as I am hoping to achieve an even fuller more long lasting result.
It has been around a year and half to two years since I had lip fillers and my lips are still more shapely and full than they were prior to injections. I am ready for more though!