Platelet Rich Plasma

What is PRP?

Platelet rich plasma (PRP) is a by-product of blood (plasma) that is rich in platelets. PRP is an available and practical tool for enhancing the rate of bone formation and the final quantity of bone formed.  PRP permits the body to take advantage of normal healing at a greatly accelerated rate.

Until now, platelet rich plasma has been confined to the hospital opperatories. New technology now allows Dr. Hribernik and Dr. Gray to use PRP for in office surgeries.  PRP can be used to aid bone grafting for dental implants, sinus lift procedures, and 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?

Today’s understanding of bone science recognizes the pivotal role of growth factors in clinical bone grafting success.  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. Becauses it is a concentration of platelets, it is also a concentration of the seven fundamental protein growth factors proved to be actively secreted by platelets to initiate all wound healing.  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: It is used in a situation that is autologous, which means that the individual that is the donor is also the recipient.  The fact that PRP is an autologous preparation introduced at the time of surgery eliminates concerns about disease transmission and immunogenic reactions.
  • 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 super saturation of the wound with PRP, and thus growth factors, produces an increase of tissue synthesis and faster tissue regeneration.
  • Ease of use:
  • Cost effectiveness: Since PRP harvesting is done 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

  1. 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 the PRP centrifuge machine and spun down. In less than 15 minutes, the PRP is formed and ready to use.
  2. 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.
  3. Will my insurance cover the costs? Dr. Steven Hribernik and Dr. William Gray do not charge a separate fee for PRP.
  4. 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, such as BIO-OSS.
  5. Are there any contra-indications to PRP? Very few. Obviously, patients with bleeding disorders or hematologic diseases may not be good candidates for this in-office procedure. Check with your surgeon and/or primary care physician to determine if PRP is right for you.