Platelet rich fibrin is a by-product of blood that is exceptionally rich in platelets. PRF has long been used in hospitals to accelerate the body’s own healing process, but it is only fairly recently that advances in technology have allowed this same technique to be used in dental office.
The blood platelets perform several essential functions in the body, including blood clot formation and the release of growth factors that help to heal wounds. These growth factors stimulate the stem cells to produce new host tissue as quickly as possible, which is why platelet rich fibrin is so effective in the post-treatment healing process.
There are several ways in which PRF can be used in clinical dentistry:
- Bone grafting for implants- this includes closure of a cleft lip and cleft palate deformities, sinus lifts, ridge augmentation, and both inlay and onlay grafts
- Bone repair- PRF can be used in facial trauma reconstructions, repairing of defects due to tooth removal, or the removal of growths and cysts
- Fistula repair- this includes the repair of fistulas between mouth and the sinus cavity
Reasons for platelet rich fibrin treatment
PRF application is now widely used to expedite the post-procedure healing process and is completely safe. Since the blood used will come from the patient’s own body, disease transmission is not a factor. Almost all patients report a much greater degree of comfort immediately after procedure. There are also several more distinct advantages of PRF:
- Lower infection risk- PRF is secured on the wound after the procedure by the dentist and actually seals the wound away from infectious agents, lowering the risk of problems
- Accelerated healing- the saturation of the wound with PRF helps increase tissue synthesis due to its growth factors, and this in turn results in faster tissue regeneration. Speedier healing decreases the risk of later infections, complications and discomfort
- Safety and convenience- disease transmission is non-issue since the blood is harvested from the patient’s own blood supply. The amount of blood needed is small and can be collected during a routine outpatient procedure
What does PRF treatment involve?
The dentist will initially assess if your candidate for PRF treatment. Patients with blood clotting disorders will be unable to take advantage of this treatment. A small amount (about 2 oz) sample of your blood will be collected during a scheduled outpatient treatment. The blood will be placed into a centrifuge to separate plasma and fibrin from the red blood cells. The centrifuge concentrates the platelets, fibrin and white blood cells which contain a growth factor called Platelet Derived Growth Factor. Immediately after suturing the wound, the dentist will apply the PRF to the surgical area in a high concentration. This will expedite your healing and decrease the amount of discomfort following the surgery. The dentist will provide aftercare instructions pertaining to the surgery.