The technique of using platelet-rich plasma (PRP) in medicine stretches back at least 40 years, when it began to be used as a natural, safe method of speeding healing and aiding recovery after maxillofacial surgery and skin grafting. Today, PRP is in wide use in medicine, from sports injuries to gynecology, urology, plastic surgery, cardiac surgery, and even hair growth. In some situations it can even be used in place of surgery. Dentists can take advantage of PRP, too, to help patients experience less pain, heal faster, and suffer fewer complications from surgery. We are proud to now offer PRP treatments at Bunker Hill Dentistry, so be sure to inquire about the procedure at your next visit and consult the following for more information. What is PRP? What makes PRP so safe to use is the fact that it originates in the patient’s–a.k.a. in your–body. Inside your blood are trillions and trillions of platelets, which serve an important role in your body: they bind together at the site of damaged blood vessels, causing clotting, but also aiding healing through the special proteins called growth factors that they contain. Platelets–along with white and red blood cells, salts, enzymes, and water–are carried through the bloodstream by plasma. Platelet-rich plasma, then, is plasma that has been lightly manipulated to result in a high concentration of platelets (up to 10 times the typical amount). This prepared treatment can then be re-introduced into the same body it originated from at a damaged site as a type of 100%-natural healing balm. How Can PRP Be Used in Dentistry? Virtually any oral surgery is a potential opportunity for PRP to be used. This includes: gum surgerywisdom teeth removaldental implants, especially when bone grafting is requiredsinus lift(surgical) tooth extraction Moreover, issues such as gingivitis and periodontitis can be addressed with PRP treatment, even before they’ve advanced to the stage where they require surgery to correct them. It can even be used as a facial rejuvenation tool, which is often included under the rubric of cosmetic dentistry services. Faster Healing and Other Benefits of PRP Here’s why we love PRP so much and why we’re excited to be able to offer it to our clients…. It speeds up the healing processA 2020 review of 27 studies found PRP results in better wound closure or healing, reduced wound size, and shorter healing time. It increases bone densityAdequate jawbone density is a must-have before dental implant surgery, so that the implant has a stable foundation to attach to. By applying it to the implant site, PRP can help the bone heal faster and better so that your implant can be placed sooner and more securely. It cuts down on inflammation and painSurgery and inflammation go hand-in-hand. Adding PRP to the equation can help the pain and swelling in your mouth after oral surgery. It minimizes rejectionBecause the donor tissue is from your own body, there is less risk of rejection by your body’s immune system. It’s naturalSynthetic materials can cause a number of bad reactions when injected into the body; PRP is the definition of “all-natural.” It’s safeBecause it’s natural and unlikely to be rejected, PRP injections are widely recognized as safe, and it carries much lower risk than surgery. It’s cost-effectivePRP is typically not covered by insurance, but the treatment can eliminate or reduce the need for expensive donor tissue. Combined with faster healing and less pain, patients can see a reduction in overall costs. What Makes PRP Effective? When the platelet-rich plasma is applied to a damaged area, the growth factors inside it attract un-differentiated cells to the site, which promotes new cell growth to replace the damaged cells. They also initiate connective tissue healing, energizing the wound healing process. Proteins from the platelets also attract macrophages, which kill bacteria, remove dead cells, and stimulate other immune system cells. “Normal” blood is of course directed by the body to the damaged site as well, but the normal range of platelets ranges from 150,000 – 350,000 per liter; platelet-rich plasma packs 1 million platelets per liter. This is why PRP speeds up the typical healing time, because the healing material is much more potent than it otherwise would be. Who Benefits from PRP? Everyone! Universal applicability is one of PRP’s major advantages. Even patients who aren’t healthy enough to undergo surgery, such as seniors and those with underlying health conditions, usually can undergo PRP therapy. Understanding the PRP Procedure A PRP treatment happens in three simple steps–extraction, concentration, and injection. First, the dentist draws blood from your arm. The blood is then spun in a centrifuge to isolate the growth factor-containing platelets from the other components in the plasma. The prepared PRP is injected into the damaged area or surgery site, potentially with x-ray or ultrasound guidance to ensure accuracy. The concentration time can vary slightly, depending on the application. But the entire process takes less than an hour (not including your surgery time). Inquire about PRP when you make an appointment. Schedule An Appointment Today Not been to Bunker Hill Dentistry before? To help you prepare for your first visit, read our new patient information page.