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 (thousands) and the large amount of blood needed (one unit) to produce a suitable quantity of platelets. New technology permits the doctor to harvest and produce a sufficient quantity of platelets from only 55 cc of blood drawn from the patient while they are having outpatient surgery.
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.
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.
- Cost effectiveness: Since PRP harvesting is done with only 55 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.
- 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.