The Magic Elixir: PRP
Can you imagine a solution, made from your own blood, that when applied to a wound, your gums or bones that can rapidly speed the healing process? The effect of this injected elixir is to concentrate the growth factors to your cells to have them act like they’ve stepped back in time and grow back like a teenager sprouts.
Imagine, if you will, the ability to apply a substance, totally made from you, that, when applied like a blanket, will take your cells on a time travel trip, making them appear and act younger to speed healing. There would be no mutation, no weird side effects, as this is all you.
What is Platelet-Rich Plasma Therapy (PRP) and why may it be important to me at the Dental office?
Platelet-rich plasma (PRP) is concentrated blood plasma that is used for treatment for many dental issues. Plasma is the liquid part of the blood made up mostly of water and protein. PRP therapy has been found to support healing processes in many effective ways. Our blood consists of many cells referred to a plasma and millions of platelets rich in growth factors with the ability to regenerate and repair tissue. The ability of platelets to significantly accelerate the healing of damaged tissues is applied not only in aesthetic medicine. The use of platelet-rich plasma is used to accelerate healing and has proven valuable when used in conjunction with dental implant procedures, tooth extracts and bone grafts. PRP therapy is used to reduce post-operative pain, promote tissue repair, reduces healing times, and contribute to faster tissue and bone growth.
You have obviously heard of PCR (polymerase chain reaction) which is a chemical chair reaction that is used by molecular biologists to amplify pieces of DNA allowing for just a few copies of DNA to be replicated into millions or billions of copies. What platelet-rich plasma therapy does is concentrates the platelets after spinning in a centrifuge that have growth factors that are placed in the wound site allowing for the faster healing and regeneration of the damaged tissue all while using your own natural material without fear of rejection and completely FDA and ADA approved in the dental office. This process takes full advantage of the body’s natural healing concentrating it in a specific area, amplifying the growth factors concentrated in the platelet-rich plasma and accelerating the positive effects. This process forms a large fibrin clot serving like a blanket or membrane over the area providing the concentrated materials to the tissue.
PRP injections have been in use for over twenty years in a variety of surgical scenarios. PRP is shown to have great benefits in periodontal regenerative therapy and plastic surgeries. They can be used in a wide range of procedures including onlay and inlay grafts, sinus lift procedures, ridge augmentation procedures, and in cleft, lip, and palate surgeries. It can also be used after tooth extractions or cysts removal to repair bone defects.
There are many other benefits to using platelet-rich plasma in dentistry, including:
- Convenience – the amount of blood used is minimal, and is drawn directly prior to surgery. The PRP is produced in office while the patient is undergoing their procedure
- Cost – PRP injections are more affordable than ever, because they do not have to be produced at a blood bank, or in a hospital
- Faster healing – application or injection of PRP speeds up recovery after dental surgery by stimulating the body’s natural healing process.
- Ease of use – platelet -rich plasma is easy to handle and improves eh ease of application of bone substitute materials by making them ore gel-like.
- Safety – because the patient’s own blood is used to create PRP, disease transmission is not a concern. PRP has also been seen to reduce instances of infection, thus minimizing the need for antibiotics and pain killers.
The process for using PRP is simple and begins right here in the office before your procedure. A qualified medical professional will draw a small amount of your blood, about 55cc. Then your blood will be placed in a centrifuge machine to separate the platelet-rich plasma from the rest of your blood. Typically, your blood will be spun two to three times to achieve the best results. Once the PRP is isolated from the rest of the blood, your dental provider will collect it and apply It to the appropriate areas, either via thick application directly to the wound, or via injection into the tissue or bone. PRP procedure typically takes about 30 minutes. Most patients experience little to no downtime after their PRP procedure.