Oral surgeons have many tools they use to correct or reconstruct the maxillofacial bones and tissues. After a surgery is performed healing must take place, and as far as patients are concerned, the sooner the better. One tool available at Sedaros Oral Surgery enables the patients who undergo various procedures to heal faster. It’s called Platelet Rich Plasma, and it is quite amazing.
What is Plasma?
To understand what Platelet Rich Plasma (PRP) is and how it works we must first discuss what plasma is. Plasma is a component of blood. It is what remains after red and white blood cells, platelets, and other cellular components of blood are removed after a spin in the centrifuge. Plasma is what transports nutrients, enzymes, salts, and hormones through the bloodstream and to vital organs. It also helps remove waste from the body. Plasma is important in surgical applications because it contains many healing components such as blood clotting factors, immunoglobulins, and essential proteins albumin and fibrinogen. All the things the human body needs to heal itself.
Often plasma is donated by healthy volunteers after being screened. They donate whole blood and healthcare professionals separate the plasma from red blood cells with a process called plasmapheresis. The remaining blood cells are then returned to the donor’s body along with a saline solution. The donated plasma is then used in treatments that help people heal from trauma, burns, and medical procedures. This vital blood component is also used in treatment of several chronic conditions like autoimmune disorders or hemophilia.
Platelet Rich Plasma
While the use of plasma is vital in many situations, PRP is proving to help patients heal without the need for donor plasma as it is separated from the patient’s own blood. PRP is collected in your oral surgeon’s office often during your outpatient procedure. Dr. Sedaros only needs to draw 55 cc of blood that he will separate into PRP. PRP, as the name suggests, is plasma that is rich in platelets. Blood platelets are rich in growth factors, and as such can help a patient’s tissue heal much faster and more efficiently. This plasma, rich in growth factors, allows the body to take advantage of its natural healing pathways. Once the PRP is mixed with the patient’s bone or grafted bone tissue, the body can begin to regenerate new tissue by stimulating stem cell growth and eventually the growth of new host tissue.
PRP is an amazing technology that is advantageous for a patient for many reasons. Because it is derived from the patient’s own blood, disease transmission is a non-issue. It is generated in a short amount of time, usually while the patient is receiving the surgery they will utilize the PRP for. Finally, it is saturated with growth factors and increases synthesis of tissues and promoted healing.
Clinical Applications of PRP
Not every surgery that Dr. Sedaros performs in his Melbourne, Florida office will require the use of PRP. However in the circumstances it is used, the benefits are easy to see. The healing of dental implants, as one example, is greatly accelerated by PRP due to a subfamily of a transforming growth factor, bone morphogenetic protein (BMP) that stimulates the growth of new bone. BMP, along with all the other naturally-occurring growth factors present in platelets, can help Dr. Sedaros grow bone at an implant site much more predictably and faster than before.
Aside from dental implants, oral surgeons are able to use PRP in many other applications. They include:
- Inlay and onlay grafts
- Sinus lift procedures
- Ridge augmentation procedures
- Closure of a cleft palate, lip or other palate defects
- Repair of bone that was removed due to cysts or tooth removal
- Repair of fistulas in sinuses or mouth
Not every case of bone grafting will be helped along by the use of PRP. If your case would not benefit from the use of PRP, Dr. Sedaros will let you know and proceed accordingly. Also, patients with bleeding disorders or hematologic diseases will not be eligible for the in-office procedure. However, Dr. Sedaros will educate the patients in these cases on their options and how they can best heal after oral surgery.
If you have any questions about how platelet rich plasma might help you accelerate your healing time after an oral surgery, give us a call today. We would be happy to review your case and inform you if the use of this technology is right for you.