Platelet Rich Plasma

Platelet rich plasma (PRP) is exactly what the name suggests. The substance 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 (one unit) to produce a suitable quantity of platelets. New technology permits the doctor to produce a sufficient quantity of platelets from as little as 20 cc (less than 1 ounce) of blood drawn from the patient while they are having their implant or bone grafting procedure.

Why All The Excitement About PRP?

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 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 platelet derived growth factors PGDF, 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 sequestered into the wound, the more stem cells stimulated to produce new host tissue. Thus, one can easily see that PRP permits the body to heal faster and more efficiently.

A subfamily of TGF is bone morphogenic protein (BMP), commercially available as Infuse . BMP has been shown to induce the formation of new bone in research studies in animals and humans. This is of great significance to the surgeon who places dental implants. By adding PRP with bone graft particles or BMP, to the implant site with bone substitute particles, the implant surgeon can now grow bone more predictably and faster than ever before.

PRP Has Many Clinical Applications

Bone grafting for dental implants. This includes onlay and inlay grafts, sinus lift procedures and ridge augmentation procedures.

Repair of bone defects created by removal of teeth, cysts and tumors.

Repair of fistulas between the sinus cavity and mouth.

PRP Also Has Many Advantages:

Safety- PRP is a by-product of the patients own blood.

Convenience- PRP can be generated in the doctors office while the patient is undergoing their procedure.

Faster healing-The super saturation of the wound with PRP, and thus growth factors, produces an increase of tissue synthesis and thus faster tissue regeneration.

Cost effectiveness- Since PRP harvesting is done in the doctors office, the patient need not incur the expense of the harvesting procedure in hospital or at the blood bank.

Ease of use –PRP is easy to handle and actually improves the ease of application of bone substitute materials and bone grafting products by making them more gel-like.

Frequently Asked Questions About PRP

Is PRP safe? Yes. During your 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 12 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 many cases, application of PRP to the graft will benefit healing.

Will my insurance cover the costs? Generally not. The patient pays the cost of the PRP application.

Can PRP be used alone to stimulate bone formation? No. PRP must be mixed with either the patients own bone, a bone substitute material, or a synthetic bone product.

Are there any contraindications to PRP? Very few. Obviously, patients with bleeding disorders or hematological diseases do not qualify for this in-office procedure.