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.
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.
The use of platelet rich plasma in the medical field of dentistry has been utilized for 2 decades with clinical success. Some dental procedures that benefit from prp application include implant placement, periodontal bone and soft tissue surgery, and jaw reconstructions. For example, a dentist that performs a tooth extraction procudure can utilize prp treatment to improve the wound healing after the tooth has been pulled. It’s very important the wound heals after tooth extraction so that dental implants can be placed with no issues.
Frequently asked questions about PRP:
Is PRP 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 fifteen minutes, the PRP is formed and ready to use.
Should PRP be used in all bone-grafting cases? Not always. In some cases, there is no need for PRP. However, in the majority of cases, application of PRP to the 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? The cost of the PRP application (approximately $50) is paid by the patient.
Are there any contraindications to PRP? Very few. Obviously, patients with bleeding disorders or hematological diseases do not qualify for this in-office procedure. Check with your surgeon and/or primary care physician to determine if PRP is right for you.