Platelet Rich Plasma/Fibrin
Platelet rich plasma (PRP) is a by-product of blood (plasma) that is rich in platelets. Until now, its use has been confined to the hospital setting. This was due mainly to the cost of separating the platelets from the blood and the large amount of blood needed to produce a suitable quantity of platelets. New technology permits doctors to harvest and produce a sufficient quantity of platelets from your blood, which is drawn from the patient while they are having outpatient surgery.
Why all the excitement about PRP?
PRP/PRF permits the body to take advantage of the normal healing pathways at a greatly accelerated rate. During the healing process, the body rushes many cells and cell-types to the wound in order to initiate the healing process. One of those cell types is platelets. Platelets perform many functions, including formation of a blood clot and release of growth factors (GF) into the wound. These growth factors; platelet derived growth factors (PDGF), transforming growth factor beta (TGF), and insulin-like growth factor (ILGF), function to assist the body in repairing itself by stimulating stem cells to regenerate new tissue. The more growth factors released and sequestered into the wound, the more stem cells are stimulated to produce new tissue. Thus, PRP permits the body to heal faster and more efficiently.
PRP/PRF Has Many Clinical Applications
PRP/PRF can be used to aid bone grafting for dental implants. This includes onlay and inlay grafts, sinus lift procedures. It can also assist in repair of bone defects created by removal of teeth, or small cysts and repair of fistulas between the sinus cavity and mouth.
PRP/PRF Also Has Many Advantages
- Safety: PRP is a by-product of the patient’s own blood, therefore, disease transmission is not an issue.
- Convenience: PRP can be generated in the doctor’s office while the patient is undergoing an outpatient surgical procedure such as the placement of dental implants.
- Faster healing: The supersaturation of the wound with PRP, and thus growth factors, produces an increase of tissue synthesis and faster tissue regeneration.
- Cost effectiveness: Since PRP/PRF harvesting is done with only your blood in the doctor’s office, the patient need not incur the expense of the harvesting procedure in hospital or at a blood bank.
Frequently Asked Questions About PRP/PRF
Is PRP/PRF safe? Yes. During the outpatient surgical procedure a small amount of your own blood is drawn out via the IV. This blood is then placed in the PRP centrifuge machine and spun down. In less than 8 minutes, the PRP/PRF is formed and ready to use.
Should PRP/PRF be used in all bone-grafting cases? Not always. In some cases, there is no need for PRP/PRF. However, in the majority of cases, application of PRP/PRF to the bone graft will increase the final amount of bone present, in addition to making the wound heal faster and more efficiently.
Will my insurance cover the costs? Unfortunately not. The cost of the PRP/PRF application (approximately $400) is paid by the patient.
Can PRP/PRF be used alone to stimulate bone formation? No. PRP/PRF must be mixed with either the patient’s own bone, a bone substitute material such as demineralized freeze-dried bone, or a synthetic bone product, such as BIO-OSS.
Are there any contraindications to PRP/PRF? Very few. Obviously, patients with bleeding disorders or hematologic diseases do not qualify for this in-office procedure. Check with your surgeon and/or primary care physician to determine if PRP/PRF is right for you.