A Quick Guide to Injectables and How NPs Can Expand Their Practice With Dermal Filler Training

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Radiesse. Restylane. Sculptra. Bellafill. With so many dermal fillers to choose from, the difference between them—or which ones nurse practitioners should choose for their patients—isn’t always clear. That’s why in this piece, we’ll shed light on this question by providing a quick guide to four types of fillers and how you can successfully expand your practice with dermal filler training. 

Related post: 5 Top Skills Dermal Filler Training Gives You to Grow Your Medical Aesthetics Practice

Dermal Filler Class, Brands, Applications, and Longevity

Dermal fillers (also sometimes called facial fillers) treat much more than wrinkles. They restore lost volume or boost existing volume, improve skin hydration and luster, redefine lip borders, and can erase or improve scarring. Dermal fillers can also be used for a broad array of cosmetic applications, making them the gold standard for non-invasive aesthetic medicine.  

Dermal fillers are classified according to their composition. This means that for each class of dermal filler, multiple products with different brand names are available. We’ll cover each class below, along with well-known brands within them as well as applications and product longevity. 

Calcium Hydroxylapatite Dermal Fillers

Composition: Calcium hydroxylapatite is a mineral-like compound found in human bones. This injectable is biosynthetically produced, making it safe for vegans. This class of fillers is renowned for its long and proven safety record and also for producing very natural results. Because this product does not migrate, results are highly predictable. 

Brand names: Radiesse, Voluma, Belotero Balance


  • Moderate-to-severe creasing in the lower face
  • Cheek-volume restoration or enhancement
  • Temple-volume restoration or enhancement
  • Jowl correction or jawline enhancement
  • Hand-volume replacement

Longevity: About 12 months

Hyaluronic Acid Dermal Fillers

Composition: Hyaluronic acid is a naturally occurring polysaccharide found in many areas of the human body, including in connective tissues, the fluid surrounding the eyes, and cartilage and joint fluids. Rather than being derived from animal sources, it is created in a lab through a process of bacterial fermentation. 

Brand names: Restylane, Elevess, Hylaform, Juvederm, Perlane


  • Cheek or tear trough hollowing
  • Deep furrows in the lower face
  • “Eleven” lines between eyebrows (glabella)
  • Lip border enhancement and reduction of “smoker’s lines”
  • Lip-volume enhancement
  • Forehead lines

Longevity: Typically 6-18 months

Polylactic Acid Dermal Fillers

Composition: Unlike calcium hydroxylapatite and hyaluronic acid, polylactic acid is a synthetic bio stimulator that catalyzes collagen production. Multiple treatments may be needed, and results appear over several months with peak effect developing between 6-12 weeks. 

Brand names: Sculptra

  • Skin enhancement
  • All lower face volume-loss restoration applications (jowls, jawline, nasolabial folds, marionette lines)
  • Cheek-volume enhancement
  • Temple-volume restoration
  • Decolletage improvement
  • Hand-volume restoration

Longevity: Between 1-2 years

Polymethyl-Methacrylate Microspheres (PMMA) Dermal Fillers

Composition: PMMA is a long-lasting semi-permanent filler. It can require multiple rounds of injections to achieve desired results and may take as long as 3 months to reach peak effect. PMMAs enjoy a broad array of applications but may be visible under the skin. For this reason, they should be injected only by an advanced practitioner at the dermal subcutaneous junction using precise threading or tunneling techniques. 

Brand name: Bellafill


  • Cheek-volume restoration or enhancement
  • Temple-volume enhancement
  • Mid-to-deep lines and furrows in the lower face
  • Lip-volume enhancement
  • Lip-border redefinition
  • “Smoker’s lines” reduction 
  • Hand-volume restoration

Longevity: 5+ years

Expand Your Practice With a Dermal Filler Training 

Enrolling in a dermal filler training course with AAAMS is the easiest and most accessible way to incorporate these popular products into your practice. In fact, if you’re a currently licensed NP, RN, or PA, you’re qualified to begin your dermal filler training immediately. At AAAMS, we are fully-accredited industry leaders in world-class aesthetics training. We deliver an enjoyable and rewarding training experience that gives you the knowledge, skills, and an aesthetic network to successfully grow your practice. And with both virtual and hybrid courses to choose from, you can learn at your own pace and on your own schedule.

Ready to see what the AAAMS has in store for you? Check out our aesthetic courses to make a winning career move into the exciting world of medical aesthetics! We look forward to training with you!