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What Is Platelet Rich Plasma?

Platelet rich plasma (PRP) is a by-product of blood (plasma) that is rich in platelets. Until recently, 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 to produce a suitable quantity of platelets. New technology permits our doctors to harvest and produce a sufficient quantity of platelets from less than 60 cc (about 2 ounces) of blood, which is drawn from the patient while they are having outpatient surgery.

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PRP Has Many Clinical Applications

PRP can be used to aid Bone grafting for dental implants. This includes onlay and inlay grafts, sinus lift procedures, ridge augmentation procedures, closure of cleft and/or lip, and palate defects. 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; platelet derived growth factors (PDGF), 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 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. A subfamily of TGF is bone morphogenic protein (BMP). BMP has been shown to induce the formation of new bone in research studies in both animals and humans. This is of great significance to the surgeon who places dental implants. By adding PRP and BMP to the implant site with bone substitute particles, the implant surgeon can now grow bone more predictably and faster than ever before.

PRP Also Has Many Advantages

Safety

PRP is a by-product of the patient’s own blood, therefore, disease transmission is not an issue.

Convenience

PRP can be generated in the doctor’s office while the patient is undergoing an outpatient surgical procedure such as the placement of dental implants.

Faster Healing

The supersaturation of the wound with PRP, and thus growth factors, produces an increase of tissue synthesis and faster tissue regeneration.

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.

Cost-Effectiveness

Since PRP harvesting is done with less than 60 cc of blood in the doctor’s office, the patient need not incur the expense of the harvesting procedure in hospital or at a blood bank.

Frequently Asked Questions About PRP

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