What is PRP Therapy?
Platelet rich plasma (PRP Therapy) is a revolutionary new treatment that can help accelerate the healing process. PRP is a by-product of blood (plasma) that is rich in platelets. New technology permits doctors to harvest and produce a sufficient quantity of platelets from only 55 cc of blood, which is drawn from the patient while they are having outpatient surgery.
PRP can be used to aid bone grafting for dental implants. This includes onlay and inlay grafts, sinus lift procedures, and ridge augmentation 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.
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 growth factors 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.
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 15 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 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.
- Can PRP be used alone to stimulate bone formation? No. PRP 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? 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 is right for you.
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