Platelet Rich Plasma (PRP) is an extract of blood plasma that is rich in platelets. The use of this excellent product has been confined to hospital settings in time past due to the cost of separating the platelets and the large volume of blood that will be required to produce a substantial amount of platelets. However, new technologies have empowered doctors to harvest and separate a useful quantity of platelets from 55 cm of blood drawn from the patient during outpatient surgery.

Why the excitement about PRP?

PRP is autologous to the body; hence, it accelerates the rate of the normal healing pathway. During the healing process, many cells travel to the site of injury for the initiation of the healing process, and one of them is platelets. Platelets are responsible for the formation of a blood clot and the release of growth factors to the wound area. These growth factors, which are platelet-derived growth factors (PDGF), transforming growth factor-beta (TGF), and insulin-like growth factor (ILGF), speeds up healing by assisting the body in repairing itself via the stimulation of stem cells to regenerate new tissues. Thus, the PRP allows the healing of the body in a faster and efficient way. 

A subclass of TGF is the Bone Morphogenic Protein (BMP), which has been shown to induce the regeneration of new bone and often used by oral surgeons during dental implant placement. The addition of PRP and BMP to the implant site with bone substitute fragments allows the growth of new bones more predictably and faster than ever before.

Clinical applications of PRP

PRP can be used for bone grafting for dental implantsincluding onlays, in-lays, sinus lift surgeries, ridge augmentationclosure of cleft and/or lip, or palate defects, and lots more. It has been useful in bone repair, fill up defects from missing teeth or small cyst, and accelerates the growth of new bones at a faster rate. 

Advantages of PRP

  • It is safe for the patient because it is a by-product of the patient’s plasma; hence, there is no issue of disease transfer via blood.

  • It is very convenient to obtain; it can be gotten in the doctor’s office while the dental procedure is in progress.

  • It is cost-effective; only 55 cc of blood is required in the doctor’s office, no need to pay blood bank or hospital.

  • It is easy to use as its gel-like nature makes it easy to apply to wound sites along with bone substitute materials and bone grafting products.

Common Questions about PRP

Is PRP Safe? 

Yes, the product is gotten from your own blood, and the blood is handled and centrifuged in your presence. Everything is done in less than fifteen minutes, and there is no risk of contamination. 

Can PRP be used in all bone-grafting cases?

Not every case requires PRP use. However, in most cases, applying PRP to a bone graft increase the final amount of bone and makes the wound heal faster and efficiently. 

Will my Insurance Cover for the cost of PRP?

Unfortunately, No. The individual patient pays the cost of PRP application (usually around $400).

Can PRP be used to stimulate bone formation alone?

No. It has to be mixed with bone-forming fragments or the patient’s bone for the formation of new bone or bone substitute.

What are the side effects of PRP?

If there are bleeding disorders or hematologic diseases, PRP contraindicated. They do not qualify for this in-office procedure. You need to consult your primary care physician to determine if PRP is right for you.