What is Platelet Rich Plasma (PRP)?
Platelet Rich Plasma is a product made from blood, which is rich in platelets. It used to be used mostly in a hospital setting, but now can easily be processed in the office from a small amount of the patient’s own blood which is drawn at the time of surgery.
The PRP obtained from blood is very rich in platelets, which provide growth factors to promote healing (including bone morphogenic protein BMP, which promotes bone growth and healing). These platelets also help to promote quick formation of a stable blood clot at the surgical site to reduce bleeding, swelling, bruising and discomfort
PRP contains several other growth factors (such as platelet derived growth factors PDGF, transforming growth factor beta TGF, and insulin-like growth factor ILGF) which all assist in healing and promote stimulation of stem cells.
How is PRP made?
At the time of surgery, a small amount of blood (usually only 20 to 50 cc.) is drawn from the patient’s arm. The blood is then processed in a sterile fashion in a centrifuge to produce PRP. The process usually takes about 10 minutes.
How is PRP used?
PRP can be used for many applications, since it helps to form a blood clot and releases growth factors into a wound or surgical site. The advantage in using PRP in certain procedures is that it provides many factors to assist the body in healing and soft and hard tissue (bone) repair by stimulating stem cells to produce new tissue allowing faster and more efficient healing. It also promotes vascularization (ingrowth of blood vessels) at the sites of surgical defects or bone grafts to promote healing.
PRP’s most common applications for Oral Surgery include:
- Bone grafting procedures for repair of bony defects, sometimes caused by cysts or defects in the jaws, or following removal of teeth
- Bone grafting for dental implants, including onlay grafts, sinus lifts, and minor grafting for ridge preservation
- Repair of openings between the mouth and sinus
- Closure of cleft palate defects
- Soft tissue grafting and repair of soft tissue defects
Is PRP safe to use?
Since PRP is made from the patient’s own blood, there is little or no risk of disease transmission or contamination. It has been shown in multiple clinical studies to be very safe and effective.