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Dimpleplasty / Dimple Creation / Dimple Procedure

Dimple creation or dimpleplasty is a plastic surgery procedure used create cheek dimples.

Some people prefer the appearance of dimples because they believe dimples brighten their smiles or add character to their faces. Some individuals are born with a variation in the attachment of their facial muscles which results in natural dimples. For those born without dimples, a simple procedure can create dimples without any external scar. Dimple-bearing celebrities including Mario Lopez, Amanda Kerr, Chris Howard and Gabrielle Union contribute to the growing popularity of dimpleplasty. (DISCLAIMER: the above mentioned individuals are NOT patients and are shown for illustrative purposes only)

dimpleplasty celebrity


dimple  is a small natural indentation in the skin on any part of the body, especially in the cheek or on the chin.   Dimples may play a role in perceived beauty. In the Asian and Indo-ethnic cultures, dimples are perceived as signs of attractiveness and veracity. In traditional Asian folklore,  the presence of a dimple suggests good fortune and fertility. In the West, dimples are more typically viewed as cute and unusual facial attributes.   Natural dimples occur on both sides of the face, and are generally present only when the face is animated, often to an unnaturally exaggerated degree. They are caused by a defect in the muscle of the cheek (buccinator muscle) and an inherited split in the zygomaticus major facial muscle that normally raises the upper lip. When a portion of this muscle is adherent to the overlying cheek skin, dimples may form. Muscle contraction during smiling causes the overlying skin to indent.
dimpleplasty diagram

Dimple Procedure Quick Review

GOALS Dimple Creation
PROCEDURE Dimpleplasty, Dimple Creation Procedure, Dimple Creation Surgery
ANESTHESIA Local anesthesia
LENGTH 30 minutes
AFTER PROCEDURE Sutures are dissolvable
RECOVERY Resume normal activities immediately. May return to work the day after dimpleplasty.

Surgical Dimple Creation

Surgical dimple creation, or dimpleplasty, is performed in the office setting using local anesthesia and takes about 30 minutes to perform. The dimple procedure involves forming an adhesion between the skin and cheek muscle. When the muscle contracts during smiling, an indentation occurs in the overlying skin. Once healed, scar tissue permanently connects the skin and underlying muscle and creates an indentation when the muscle moves, a process that mimics but does not exactly replicate the normal mechanism of natural dimple formation.

About Dr. Pearson

James M. Pearson, MD is a dual Board-Certified Facial Plastic Surgeon. His practice offers dimple creation in addition to non-surgical aesthetic procedures and cosmetic, functional, and reconstructive facial plastic surgery. Dr. Pearson has published numerous articles and textbook chapters in the facial plastic surgery literature and has presented his work at national and international specialty meetings. He practices in the Los Angeles area. Learn more about Dr. Pearson here

Dr. Pearson's surgical expertise and talent for attaining natural results can help you achieve your desired look safely. Call our office to schedule a consultation with Dr. Pearson today.

Frequently Asked Questions

How is the dimple creation procedure performed? The preferred location for your dimples is considered and marked on your face. The cheek area is anesthetized. A small incision is then made inside the cheek, underlying the preferred location of the dimple. Absorbable sutures are used to adhere the cheek muscle to the overlying skin.

The suture dissolves and absorbs over a couple of weeks. During this period, the skin flattens out creating a more normal appearance at rest. When the internal scar heals, the cheek muscle forms an attachment to the overlying skin thus creating a dimple when smiling. This period could vary from a few days to several weeks depending on the healing and how the procedure is performed.

How long does the dimple procedure take?
In most cases, the procedure takes approximately 30 minutes.

Where is the dimple creation procedure performed?
Dimple creation is performed in the office using only local anesthesia.

Where are the dimples placed?
The usual location for cheek dimples is at the intersection of a horizontal line extended from the corner of the mouth and a vertical line extending from the outer corner of the eye. See the diagrams below for an illustration of this point. However, dimples may be created at other areas per your preferences.

dimple creation procedure

Is the dimple procedure painful?
Dimple creation is generally well tolerated. Prior to the dimple creation procedure, the cheek area is anesthetized using local anesthesia. During the procedure, there is no pain. After dimpleplasty, some mild soreness is typical at the procedure site. This is typically well controlled for the first few days with prescription pain medications

Will I have an incision on my face after dimple creation?
No. There is no external skin incision used for dimple creation. 

Will I have stitches after dimpleplasty?
Yes. There will be dissolvable sutures on the inside of the cheek after the dimple procedure. Those sutures do not require removal.

Are the results of the dimple procedure permanent?
The dimple procedure is intended to provide permanent results. However, healing is variable.

Are the results of the dimple procedure reversible?
Surgically created dimples may be reversible depending on the method used to create the dimple. Not all dimple creation procedures are reversible. Ask Dr. Pearson if you have questions about this. 

What is the expected course of healing after dimple creation?
You may experience a couple days of mild swelling and rarely bruising which may be easily concealed using makeup. You may return to work the day following dimpleplasty.

When can I resume normal activities after the dimple procedure?
You may resume normal activities immediately following dimpleplasty. We recommend that you refrain from intense exercise for a few days after the dimple procedure.

How will I look when I leave the office after dimpleplasty?
During the initial period following the dimple procedure, the dimples are present even in repose or at rest. Over several weeks, the dimples become less evident while at rest, and deepen with smiling.

How much does dimpleplasty cost?
Please contact our office for information about the cost of the procedure. At our practice, a single all-inclusive fee covers the initial assessment, the procedure, and your post operative visits.

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& Reconstructive Surgery

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& Reconstructive Surgery
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Dr. Pearson sees patients from around the world including the following Southern California locations: Beverly Hills, Brentwood, Burbank, Culver City, El Segundo, Glendale, Hawthorne, Hermosa Beach, Hollywood, Huntington Beach, Laguna Beach, Long Beach, Los Angeles, Malibu, Manhattan Beach, Marina del Rey, Newport Beach, Orange County, Pacific Palisades, Palos Verdes, Playa del Rey, Playa Vista, Rancho Palos Verdes, Redondo Beach, Rolling Hills, Rolling Hills Estates, San Pedro, Santa Monica, Seal Beach, South Bay, Torrance, Venice, Ventura, Westchester, West Hollywood, Woodland Hills