The use of platelet-rich plasma (PRP) was previously confined only to hospital settings because of the high cost of separating platelets from blood and the high volume of blood needed to produce sufficient platelet counts. Today it has become a useful tool during dental surgery with the advent of new technology that allows doctors to harvest and produce high levels of platelets from just a few cc’s of blood drawn from a patient during surgery.
PRP is a by-product of blood that is rich in platelets, as its name would suggest. These tiny platelets help your body accelerate normal healing pathways—more platelets in an area that experienced trauma can initiate stem cell regeneration at the site of the injury by releasing growth factors into the wound. More growth factors means a higher volume of stem cells and more new tissue produced for a faster, more efficient healing process.
Clinical Applications for PRP
Platelet-rich plasma has several potential clinical applications in a dental setting:
- Bone grafting for dental implants
- Closure of cleft, lip, and palate defects
- Repairing bone defects created by removal of teeth or cysts
- Repair of fistulas between sinus cavity and mouth
PRP is also a safe and effective treatment option because the platelets are derived from the patient’s own blood, so disease transmission or complications from rejection are not an issue. With the new technology available, PRP can be safely generated in just a few minutes with 55 cc’s of blood drawn during any surgical procedure. It’s easy to handle and promotes faster healing for patients following a dental procedure.
Answering Common Questions About PRP
While PRP may not be appropriate for every bone grafting or dental procedure, it can be used in many cases to improve the amount of bone available and help wounds heal faster. One potential downside to PRP is that it is generally not covered by insurance, so the total cost of around $400 would have to be covered out of pocket.
Platelet-rich plasma is also not a miracle bone growth material, and on its own won’t stimulate new bone growth. It must be mixed with the patient’s existing bone or a bone substitute material to be effective.
Patients with bleeding disorders or hematologic diseases will not be eligible for this type of procedure, so it’s important to discuss your health history and your goals with your surgeon and your primary care physician before you get platelet-rich plasma.
Find Out If PRP is Right For You
If you are planning a procedure at the Utah Oral Surgery & Dental Implant Center, contact us today to discuss platelet-rich plasma and whether it might be an option for you.