What is Platelet Rich Plasma?
Platelet Rich Plasma (PRP) is exactly what its name suggests. The substance is a by-product of blood (plasma) that is rich in platelets. New technology permits Dr. Lockhart to harvest and produce a sufficient quantity of platelets from a small amount of blood drawn from the patient while they are having outpatient surgery.
Why all the excitement about PRP?
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 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 GF function to assist the body in repairing itself by stimulating stem cells to regenerate new tissue. Thus, one can easily see that PRP permits the body to heal faster and more efficiently.
PRP has many clinical applications:
- Bone grafting for dental implants. This includes onlay and inlay grafts, tooth extraction, sinus lift procedures, ridge augmentation procedures, and closure of cleft lip and palate defects.
- 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 patient’s own blood; therefore, disease transmission is not an issue.
- Convenience: PRP can be generated in the doctor’s office while the patient is undergoing an outpatient surgical procedure, such as 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 thus faster tissue regeneration.