It sounds like a medical procedure that’s too good to be true, but platelet-rich plasma (PRP) therapy really does work as advertised. Find out how it’s being put to use in dentists’ offices across the country, including at Michigan Maxillofacial Surgery and Implant Center in Lansing and St. Johns, Michigan.
Let’s take a look at how this advanced treatment works, and how it can help your teeth.
What is PRP therapy?
PRP therapy is designed to take advantage of your body’s own natural ability to heal itself by accelerating the process. When there’s a wound in your body, your immune system immediately begins healing by sending many kinds of cells to the wound area, including platelets. These platelets help the blood to clot and they release growth factors into the wound area, helping stimulate stem cells to generate new tissue. The more platelets there are in the area, the more new tissue growth and the faster the healing process.
To get started, your provider takes a small amount of blood from your body and spins it in a centrifuge. The centrifugal force separates the platelets from the rest of the blood; the platelets, which contain up to five times the amount of growth factors as normal blood, can then be injected into the site on your body that needs healing.
Athletes have long used PRP therapy to recover from tendon, muscle, and ligament injuries more quickly, and it’s also used to treat hair loss and to encourage facial rejuvenation.
Now, dentists are using PRP therapy right in their offices to help your mouth heal more quickly from dental procedures.
How can PRP therapy help your teeth?
Because PRP therapy speeds up the healing and recovery time from injury, studies have shown that it’s becoming more valuable in dental procedures as well. Dental implants, for example, require a small post to be implanted in your jawbone with a prosthetic tooth added on top. When PRP is injected, the gum healing time is improved and it helps the bone better accept the implant, including accelerating new bone growth around the implant. One of the growth factors that platelets release is bone morphogenetic protein (BMP), which has been shown to encourage new bone growth in the body. When the amount of BMP is increased through a PRP injection, the growth is quicker.
PRP is also useful for recovery after tooth extractions. In one study of patients who had tooth extractions, those who had PRP injected afterward healed much more quickly than a control group — in fact, the bone density of those with PRP was the same after one week as that of the control group after six weeks. PRP made a huge difference, which is especially important in older patients whose bones aren’t as strong. If the bone doesn’t heal well, it could result in too much bone loss, which could require extensive and expensive reconstructive surgery.
PRP can also be used in bone grafting and other dental procedures to increase healing.
Dr. William Schiro and the team at Michigan Maxillofacial Surgery and Implant Center in Lansing and St. Johns are experts in PRP therapy to aid healing and recovery from your dental procedures. Contact them at either location today to set up an initial appointment so you can begin the healing process as soon as possible!