Platelet Rich Plasma
PRP is a healing enhancer. PRP stands for Platelet Rich Plasma and has alternatively been called autologus platelet concentrate (APC). PRP is made from your own blood [just 20-60 ml (2-4 tablespoons)], by processing it in a special machine we have in our office. The process concentrates the platelets found in the blood sample. These platelets naturally contain growth and healing factors. The highly concentrated growth factors accelerate and enhance your body’s normal healing processes. Our team uses PRP to enhance healing in complex and sensitive cases such as implants, bone grafts and face lifts. PRP is natural, it comes from the patients own body. PRP is safe.
More on Platelet Rich Plasma: A Healing Enhancer
Your own platelets carry all the healing factors you need. Platelet Rich Plasma (PRP) is exactly what its 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 20 cc’s of blood drawn from the patient while they are having outpatient surgery.
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 placement of dental implants.
- Faster healing: The supersaturation 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 with only 20 cc’s of blood in the doctor’s 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.
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 GF (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 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). 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, and thus TGF, 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. It can be applied to any soft or hard (bone) tissue healing situation. It is especially recommended for bone and soft tissue procedures such as face lifts and gingival grafting.
Frequently Asked Questions about PRP (FAQ)
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 single patient use containers which go into the PRP centrifuge machine and spun down. In less than fifteen 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 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?
In most cases unfortunately not. The cost of the PRP application is paid by the patient. But we will submit it to insurance in any case.
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.
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.