What is PRP and PRF and Why is it Helpful?

Why Should You Care About PRP and PRF?

Occasionally we may require more extensive dental procedures than just your typical fillings and cleanings. Sometimes we need surgery. One of the most common types of surgery involves dental implants. Implants can be a long and tedious procedure but are worth it in the end. Our office now offers two new methods to make the process of dental implants and bone grafts a little easier and increase the healing process for our patients.

These two methods are referred to as Platelet-Rich Plasma (PRP) and Platelet-Rich Fibrin (PRF). Both of these methods involve using the patient’s own blood (autogenous) to naturally increase the speed of the healing process in bone and soft tissue. Platelet products like these are known to facilitate hemostasis, osteogenesis, bone growth, and angiogenesis. These are all important in healing after surgery. Dental implants require penetration through the gums (soft tissue) and drilling into the jaw (bone). Increasing the speed of healing will significantly decrease your recovery time and get you back on your feet.

So, what is the difference between PRP and PRF?

PRP is produced when a patient’s blood in placed into a centrifuge and then run through a double spin procedure. The first spin is a hard spin that forces red blood cells to separate from platelets and white blood cells. Then it is followed up with a soft spin that separates the white blood cells from the platelets. After the double spin procedure is completed, you are left with three different types of material; Platelet-Rich Plasma (PRP), Platelet-Poor Plasma (PPP), and red blood cells. The PRP is then added directly to the bone creating a more predictable and successful bone graft. PRP is often used when an area can be easily covered by the patient’s gum tissue or in the event that there is not soft tissue available it can then be easily added to a piece of synthetic material that is sutured into the space.

PRF is produced through a centrifuge process as well, but does not undergo the rigorous double spin process. Instead, it only is separated once. The middle layer of the separated blood is then extracted. This material contains fewer platelets, but more clotting factors. After some time this material creates a fibrin network that traps in cytokines, which are important in healing. After this is completed then the fibrous material is run through a PRF centrifuge creating a plasma and platelet fibrin layer. The process of initially creating PRF might be a bit more complicated, however once applied to the grafting site it will heal faster than PRP and often does not require sutures.

PRF is usually preferred over PRP due to the usage of all natural materials. PRP often requires a synthetic material to be used with the PRP to adhere to the bone graft. PRF uses the patient produced fibrous material only to regrow the surgical site, which creates a faster healing time than PRP. Both surgical techniques are incredibly helpful in healing for many different procedures including dental implants, sinus lifts, and bone grafting. However, one technique may be more effective than the other, depending on your specific case. If you find you will need one of these procedures, we can explain which technique is best for you and provide the safest and most effective solution to your dental needs.


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