Platelet Rich Plasma Dental Procedure
Our office is proud to provide our patients with “cutting edge” developing technologies that accelerate the healing process in the most natural way possible. It is a consistent goal throughout our practice to improve our surgical technique and predictably provide our patients with the very best results possible. We accomplish these goals through additional continuing education and taking advantage of the latest in what the rapidly advancing Biotechnical industry has to offer.
The latest advancement involves understanding how our own body’s natural growth factors help to accelerate the healing process and is currently being applied in our oral reconstruction procedures. The technique involves the use of very specific healing factors found in our blood stream and more specifically in our blood cells or platelets.
Platelet Rich Plasma (PRP) is a volume of autogenous (your own) plasma that has a platelet concentrate above the body’s normal baseline. Normal platelet concentrates in the blood range from 150,000 to 350,000. Today, scientific proof has unequivocally demonstrated dramatically enhanced bone and soft tissue healing using Platelet Rich Plasma with concentrations of 1,000,000. Until now, the use of PRP 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. Our office now possesses the technology to harvest, process, concentrate and deliver these growth factors directly to our operative sites. This technique represents the latest in bio-tissue engineering and cellular therapy and has been perfected over the past 10 years. Now with the help of Harvest Technologies Corporation our office can harvest and produce a high quality concentrate of platelets from blood drawn directly from our patients while they are undergoing outpatient surgery.
Why all the excitement about Platelet Rich Plasma (PRP or more specifically Autogenous Platelet Concentrate, and we emphasize autogenous which refers to your own)?
PRP 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 surgical site in order to initiate the healing process. One of those cell types is platelets. Platelets are carriers of proteins specifically involved in regeneration of injured tissues; these proteins are termed Growth Factors. Platelets perform many functions, including formation of a blood clot and ultimately the release of growth factors (GF) into the wound. The GF (platelet derived growth factors PGDF, transforming growth factor beta TGF, vascular endothelial growth factor, epithelial growth factor 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 sequestered and released into the wound, the more stem cells stimulated to produce new host tissue. Thus, it has been demonstrated that PRP permits the body to heal more rapidly and more efficiently.
One of the aforementioned growth factors TGF, contains a sub-family of growth factors that is valuable in our bone grafting procedures. This factor is bone morphogenic protein (BMP) and it has been shown to induce the formation of new bone when concentrated around living bone cells (osteoblasts). This is of great significance when it is used in conjunction with the placement of dental implants. By adding PRP, and thus BMP, to the implant site with autogenous (your own) bone cells, we can grow bone more predictably and faster than ever before. This enables us to place implants in areas of the mouth that may not have been previously possible!
Platelet Rich Plasma has many clinical applications:
- Bone grafting for dental implants. This includes onlay and inlay grafts, sinus lift procedures, ridge augmentation procedures, and closure of cleft lip and palate defects.
- Repair of bone defects created by removal of teeth or small cysts
- Repair of fistulas between the sinus cavity and mouth
Platelet Rich Plasma has many advantages:
- Safety: PRP is a by-product of our patient’s own blood; therefore, disease transmission is not an issue.
- Convenience: PRP is processed in our office, under strict sterile conditions, simultaneously while the patient is undergoing an outpatient surgical procedure, such as placement of dental implants. The patients own blood is removed at the time of preparation of the IV site for general anesthesia.
- Faster healing: The super saturation of the wound with PRP, and the described growth factors, produces an increase of tissue synthesis and thus faster tissue regeneration.
- Cost effectiveness: Since PRP harvesting is performed with only a small portion of blood in the doctor’s office, the patient need not incur the expense of the harvesting procedure in the hospital or at the blood bank.
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 a specially designed centrifuge machine (Harvest Technologies Corporation) and processed under the strictest guidelines. In less than fifteen minutes, the Platelet Rich Plasma is formed and ready to use.
How long has PRP been in use? As a hospital adjunctive procedure, application of PRP has been in use for about a decade by Oral Surgeons, Plastic Surgeons, Orthopedic Surgeons and Cardiovascular Surgeons.
Why hasn’t it been used in an office sooner? Until recently the technology to properly produce the concentrate was not available in private practice. The process was complex, time consuming, expensive, and required large volumes of the patient’s blood. It involved outside personnel and the transfusion of blood products. Furthermore, through research we have discovered that it is not enough to merely concentrate platelets but equally as important, we must concentrate them and produce a quality concentrate. Normal centrifugation will concentrate platelets but it destroys the integrity of the platelets rendering them useless.
How then is the PRP produced in your office? At the same time we begin our general anesthesia IV line we withdraw a small portion of your own blood. This blood is then processed in a specialized centrifuge (designed by Harvest Technologies Corporation) that spins and automatically separates the red blood cells from the plasma. Then, using a double centrifuge technique the plasma is further processed and an autologous platelet concentrate and its effective growth factors are produced. The entire process takes only 15 minutes and is completed simultaneously while we are treating you surgically!
Can PRP be used alone to stimulate bone formation? No. PRP must be mixed with your own bone for the most beneficial effects
Are there any contraindications to PRP? Very few, patients with bleeding disorders or hematologic diseases do not qualify for this in-office procedure.