The evolving world of medicine is always finding new technologies and better, more effective ways to treat problems. The realm of oral health is no different. The use of platelet-rich plasma (PRP) in oral reconstruction is such advancements.
What is Platelet-Rich Plasma?
Plasma is a natural blood by-product. As the name suggests, platelet-rich plasma has an exceptionally high concentration of platelets. In recent research, PRP has been used successfully to treat pain and regrow tissue. Since platelets in the blood naturally play a major role in healing (imagine how a scab forms over a cut or a scrape), it makes sense that platelet-rich plasma would help speed up healing time. In the past, platelet-rich plasma was available only for use in hospitals. As technology has continued to advance, more and more oral surgery offices have been able to take advantage of new procedures for using a patient’s own blood to produce platelet-rich plasma for treatment.
Uses for Platelet-Rich Plasma
Platelet-rich plasma has many applications within oral surgery. It can be valuable in bone grafts for dental implants, because it can help speed the healing process. It also has proven useful in surgeries to correct birth defects such as cleft lip and cleft palate, repair defects in bone that occurred due to tooth removal, or to address fistulas between the mouth and sinuses.
Benefits of Platelet-Rich Plasma
Since the platelet-rich plasma produced in the surgeon’s office comes from the patient’s own blood, it’s a very safe method of treatment. The in-office production also makes performing it convenient for both the patient and the surgeon.
The very nature of platelet-rich plasma promotes faster tissue regeneration and healing after a surgical procedure. Producing platelet-rich plasma requires a relatively small amount of blood from the patient, thus making it much more cost effective than harvesting blood at a hospital. Finally, platelet-rich plasma is easy to handle, making the application of treatments like bone grafts much easier, as well.