Platelet-Rich Plasma (PRP)
Platelet Rich Plasma or PRP is a by-product of blood that is exceptionally rich in platelets. PRP has long been used in hospitals to accelerate the body’s own healing process, but it is only fairly recently that advances in technology have allowed this same technique to be used in the dental office.
What Are Blood Platelets?
The blood platelets perform several essential functions in the body, including blood clot formation and the release of growth factors that help to heal wounds. These growth factors stimulate the stem cells to produce new host tissue as quickly as possible, which is why platelet rich plasma is so effective in the post-treatment healing process.
There are several ways in which PRP can be used in clinical dentistry:
- Bone Grafting For Implants – This includes closure of a cleft lip and cleft palate deformities, sinus lifts, ridge augmentation, and both inlay and onlay grafts.
- Bone Repair – PRP can be used in facial trauma reconstruction, repairing of defects due to tooth removal, or the removal of growths and cysts.
- Fistula Repair – This includes the repair of fistulas between the mouth and the sinus cavity.
Benefits of Platelet Rich Plasma Treatment
Platelet rich plasma application is now widely used to expedite the post-procedure healing process and is completely safe. Since the blood used will come from the patient’s own body, disease transmission is not a factor. Almost all patients report a much greater degree of comfort immediately after their procedure.
There are also several more distinct advantages of PRP:
- Lower Infection Risk – PRP is smeared thickly on the wound after the procedure by the dentist and actually seals the wound away from infectious agents, lowering the risk of problems
- Accelerated Healing – The saturation of the wound with PRP helps increase tissue synthesis due to its growth factors, and this in turn results in faster tissue regeneration. Speedier healing decreases the risk of later infections, complications, and discomfort.
- Safety and Convenience – Disease transmission is non-issue since the blood is harvested from the patient’s own blood supply. The amount of blood needed is small and can be collected during a routine outpatient procedure.
What does platelet rich plasma treatment involve?
The dentist will initially assess if your candidate for PRP treatment. Patients with blood clotting disorders will be unable to take advantage of this treatment. A small (about 2 oz) sample of your blood will be collected during a scheduled outpatient treatment.
The blood will be placed into a centrifuge to separate the plasma from the red blood cells. A second centrifuge will be used to concentrate the platelets which contain the growth factor.
Immediately after suturing the wound, the dentist will apply the PRP to the surgical area in a high concentration. This will expedite your healing and decrease the amount of discomfort following the surgery. The dentist will provide aftercare instructions pertaining to the surgery and a prescription for pain medication as required.