Platelet Rich Plasma

Platelet Rich Plasma (PRP) is a tool that has been used by surgeons (neurosurgeons, cardiovascular surgeons, oral and maxillofacial surgeons, orthopedic surgeons and plastic surgeons) for some time to help improve surgical outcomes. The substance is a by-product of blood (plasma) that is rich in platelets. It is made from a small sample of your own blood. Until now, its use has been confined to the hospital setting. This was due mainly to the laboratory cost of separating the platelets from the blood, the machines used and the large amount of blood needed to produce a suitable quantity of platelets. New technology permits us 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 in our own office.

PRP permits the body to take advantage of the normal healing pathways at a greatly accelerated rate. Many cells within the body migrate to the wound in order to initiate the healing process. Platelets are among these cell types. Platelets perform many functions, including formation of a blood clot and release of natural growth factors into the wound. These platelet derived growth factors function to assist the body in repairing itself. Potential benefits of PRP include the reduction of bleeding and bruising, decreased inflammation and swelling, enhanced wound closure, accelerated bone growth, and reduction of overall healing times. The enhanced bone growth that occurs as a result of the use of PRP is advantageous to patients who have this procedure incorporated into their surgery. Dr. Schmitt is very pleased to offer this technology to you in the ease and comfort of our own office.

PRP has many clinical applications:

  • Bone grafting for dental implants
  • Sinus lift procedures
  • Ridge augmentation procedures
  • Alveolar and palatal cleft repair.
  • Repair of bone defects created by removal of teeth or small cysts
  • Repair of fistulas between the sinus cavity and mouth

PRP also has many advantages:

  • Safety: PRP is a by-product of the patientís own blood, therefore, disease transmission is not an issue.
  • Convenience: PRP can be generated in the doctorís 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 55 cc of blood in the doctorís 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.

Frequently asked questions about PRP.

  • 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 about 30 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? Unfortunately not. The cost of the PRP application is paid by the patient.
  • How is it used for bone formation? PRP can be mixed with either the patientís own bone, a bone substitute material such as demineralized freeze-dried bone, or a synthetic bone product, such as BIO-OSS.
  • Are there any contraindications to PRP? Very few. Obviously, patients with bleeding disorders or hematologic diseases do not qualify for this in-office procedure.

Please feel free to ask Dr. Schmitt about Platelet Rich Plasma (PRP) and to determine if is right for you.

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