Dental patients in Turlock, CA find relief and heal faster with platelet-rich fibrin from their own body
Dental restorations and treatments such as implants, periodontal therapy, and extractions rely on your body’s healing and bone-growing processes to be successful. When one part of your mouth is unhealthy, it can lead to a cascade of negative effects not only in your mouth, but also your whole body! Fortunately, exciting new technology enables dentists to use treatments such as your body’s own platelet-rich fibrin to enhance your body’s natural ability to generate new bone and restore tissues, which expedites the healing process so you can return to your normal life sooner and without complications. In Turlock, CA, Dr. Ramsin Davoud uses this cutting-edge therapy in his practice because it is a highly effective, natural way of restoring damaged tissues in your body using your body’s own healing mechanisms and can replace more traditional invasive methods of bone or tissue grafting.
A history of bone and tissue grafting
Before discussing platelet-rich fibrin, it is useful to have an understanding of what bone and tissue grafting is and how it has been used in dentistry over time. Put simply, bone grafting and tissue grafting are procedures that are used to generate new bone or soft tissues in places where those tissues have died or receded, such as in jaw bone loss or gum recession.
In bone grafting, bone tissue is harvested from another place in your body or a special bone grafting material is used, and then the extra bone or grafting material is adhered to the place in your jaw where extra bone is needed. Bone grafts are done to restore jaw bone that has decayed or lost due to trauma, gum disease, tooth extractions, or other dental issues. If a patient is missing a tooth, then a bone graft prior to the placement of a dental implant may be done to ensure that the implant is successful and can fully integrate with the jaw bone.
Similarly, in tissue grafting, soft tissues are taken from another place in your mouth (typically the roof of your mouth or the gums) and then grafted onto the location where they are needed. Tissue grafting is usually performed on the gums and is typically used to treat thinned gums or exposed tooth roots due to receding gums.
In 1991, the first synthetic bone grafting material, made of ceramic, was cleared by the Food and Drug Administration for use. In the 2000s, animal bones, typically bovine or porcine, became the mainstay in dental bone grafts. Bone from human donors is also used in dental bone grafts.
No matter what source is used, however, the process for bone and tissue grafting has historically been invasive and had long recovery times, with a chance that the body will reject the tissue and not properly heal. That’s where platelet-rich fibrin comes into play.
What is platelet-rich fibrin?
Platelet-rich fibrin (PRF) is like a natural band-aid for your body. It is made of platelets and proteins that are derived from your own blood that help your body form clots and stimulate your body’s natural growth factors that are important for wound healing. PRF is created using a centrifuge process that separates the blood into three layers:
- Plasma layer: This is the liquid component of the blood
- Red layer: This layer is rich in red blood cells
- PRF layer: This layer is what is used in the dental treatment; it is yellow and jelly-like, and is composed of white blood cells that help fight off infections, growth factors, and fibrin, which is an insoluble protein that is produced in response to bleeding
The use of PRF has increased greatly over the last few years to help regenerate hard tissue (bone) and soft tissues (gum) in the body. When PRF is used in dental treatments, it can result in a faster healing period with decreased recovery time because it naturally accelerates the body’s own healing mechanisms. As we discussed above, historically, dentists had to use bone grafting materials from animals, chemicals, or human donor sources, which could result in the patient’s body rejecting the material, improper healing, and toxic effects on the body. As a holistic dentist, Dr. Davoud is an advocate of PRF because it is 100% derived from your own blood, so your tissues and bones are inherently designed to work with the material and your body doesn’t see the PRF as an “outsider” that it may reject during the healing process. It is the most natural and biocompatible way of generating new tissues and healing!
Part of what makes PRF so remarkable is that there is no other type of grafting material that can be used to stimulate all three processes that are necessary to regenerate bone or soft tissues. These include:
- Angiogenesis: the development of new blood vessels in the treatment area
- Chemotaxis: the migration of bone- or tissue-forming cells to the area where they are needed
- Cell proliferation: an increase in the number of desired cells in the treatment area
There are multiple types of platelet-rich fibrin that can be used:
- i-PRF: Short for injectable platelet-rich fibrin, this is a liquid formulation of PRF that is injectable and does not contain anti-coagulants
- A-PRF: Short for advanced platelet-rich fibrin, this type of PRF forms a clot and is a thicker, more gel-like material
- L-PRF: Short for leukocyte-platelet-rich fibrin, this has a higher number of white blood cells than i-PRF or A-PRF
Studies on each type of PRF and their optimal uses in dentistry are continually being done, and new versions of PRF are under development; however, PRF has been successfully used for many years and its benefits for dental treatments and healing processes are well studied and documented.
You may have also heard of platelet-rich plasma, or PRP. This is a close relative to PRF, but has some crucial differences that make PRF more effective for healing and tissue regeneration in many dental applications. In PRF, all of the fibrin in the blood is included, which plays an important role in the treatment process. It enables a slow and continuous release of growth factors in the treatment area for up to a week or more, which enables the regeneration of both soft and hard tissues. Without fibrin, bone cannot be regenerated. This is because the fibrin acts like a natural scaffold for the bone to grown upon. The white blood cells and platelets then help stimulate the bone and promote effective healing.
Use of PRF in dental work
PRF can be used for faster healing time in a variety of dental treatments that involve repair and regeneration of bone or tissues. Dr. Davoud has successfully used PRF treatments for:
- Atrophy or defects of the jaw bone or palate
- Periodontal treatments such as open flap debridement
- Dental implants
- Sockets left by tooth extractions
- Augmentation of dental ridges
Many of the above treatments have traditionally required bone grafts or have varied success rates because they rely on your body to regenerate tissue or bone on its own, which may be impossible due to the severity of atrophy or the amount of tissue or bone that has been removed. When compared to a traditional bone graft, PRF treatment is simpler and more affordable and does not involve the use of unnatural chemical or bovine materials, which can introduce toxins or diseases into your body.
Collecting and preparing platelet-rich fibrin
Your physical and mental comfort during your dental experience is just as important to Dr. Davoud as treating your dental issue, because your mental health is just as important as your oral health. From your perspective as a patient, the collection of PRF is a simple process that is done while you are in the dental chair. PRF preparation starts with a small blood sample that your dentist takes before your surgery. Then, Dr. Davoud will use a centrifuge machine to separate the contents of your blood and collect the platelets and proteins that make up the PRF. Finally, the fibrin clot that these platelets and proteins form is molded into a compressed layer or a flat membrane of PRF that Dr. Davoud applies to the surgical area that is needed for healing. If the PRF is being used to expedite healing during a procedure such as a tooth extraction or other oral surgeries, it will help you recover more quickly, decreasing the amount of swelling, pain, and inflammation you experience, as well as accelerating the healing of your gums and bone.
At Ramsin K. Davoud DDS Inc. Family & Cosmetic Dentistry in Turlock, CA, Dr. Davoud and his team are committed to healing your dental issues using methods that give you the best chance of healthy recovery, and use PRF technology to make your road to health shorter and less painful than the traditional methods of dental restoration. Call Dr. Davoud at (209) 666-8867
to learn if PRF therapy is the right choice for you today.