What is Platelet-Rich Fibrin (PRF)?
Platelet-rich fibrin (PRF) is a fibrin meshwork, in which platelet cytokines, growth factors, and cells are entrapped and discharged after a period and serve as a resorbable film. PRF is made from the patient’s own blood and is widely used in oral surgery. Platelets and fibrin are components of blood which form bio-active clots to promote healing. PRF accelerates the healing process, decreases surgical pain and swelling for dental implants and tooth removal.
How do you get Platelet-Rich Fibrin (PRF)?
The PRF process is very easy. From the IV sedation line, blood will be drawn. A small amount of blood from your arm will be collected. It is then spun in a centrifuge to separate the blood components. At the top of the vial is a yellowish fluid called plasma. The bottom of the vial holds a thick, viscous “slug” made up of fibrin and red blood cells. The “slug” is removed from the vial and placed onto a metal container and compressed. The turns the fibrin into a membrane.
PRF in Simple Terms.
PRF treatment is essentially a super blood clot that helps patients heal faster with less pain and reduces post op bleeding time. PRF dramatically lowers the risk of dry socket. Since patients already will have IV sedation, Dr. Ragsdale will already have access to collecting a small amount of their blood to create the PRF plug. Before Dr. Ragsdale extracts the patient’s wisdom teeth, the patient’s blood will be drawn (about the same amount needed for a normal blood sample) and spun in a centrifuge to create the PRF plugs. Once the procedure is over the PRF plugs are placed into the lower third molar extraction sites.
Spinning the blood at a high speed separates the plasma/PRF (useful for healing) from the red blood cells (not useful). The plasma/PRF is rich in not only platelets, but other healing proteins and growth factors that stimulate the body’s natural healing abilities. It has been used in a wide variety of dental and medical procedures for years, and it’s especially helpful when it comes to oral surgery.
Why should you receive PRF?
Alveolar osteitis (dry socket) and reduced bone regeneration (often adjacent to the second molar) are two complications following third molar extractions which can be addressed by PRF treatment. Smokers, patients older than thirty, and diabetic patients are more prone to develop these complications. However, ALL patients benefit from PRF treatment in third molar extraction sites by having a speedier recovery and less discomfort overall.
The destruction of the blood clot in the third molar extraction site by alveolar osteitis causes bone reduction due to the absence of platelet growth factors and cell adhesion molecules (fibrin, fibronectin, vitronectin) needed for osteoconduction and bone regeneration via the socket’s bony walls. Administering PRF can help compensate for the loss of the blood clot by reducing the incidence of dry socket occurring and by increasing final bone height.
PRF use can also help to eliminate the periodontal defect adjacent to the second molar and to increase the final bone height as well.
PRF can obstruct bacteria that causes alveolar osteitis due to PRF’s acidic pH, concentrated leukocytes, and creation of an oxygen rich environment through increased vascularization (macrophages and neutrophils).
Benefits of Platelet-Rich Fibrin (PRF)
- Less Pain after Dental Surgery
- Facilitates faster healing of tooth extraction sites
- Decreased swelling
- Greatly reduces the chance of painful dry socket after tooth extractions
- Improved bone grafting success
- Increased early blood supply to Tooth Extraction Socket
- Heals soft tissue margins by joining them
- For its antibacterial properties (helps to prevent infections)
- It is prepared simultaneously while performing other surgery. Thus, it does not consume extra time.
- It can be acquired easily and uses the patient’s own blood and healing factors.
- Safe with no published instances of risk of infections, the transmission of diseases like hepatitis and HIV, reactions or unfavorable effects.