Dr. Shankland offers an interesting and unique surgical procedure: Platelet Rich Protein (PRP) and Platelet Rich Fibrin (PRF). Blood is exceptionally rich in platelets and other bioactive substances which, when used at a surgical site, accelerate the body’s healing processes. This concentrated blood has long been used in hospitals and clinics to accelerate healing. Dr. Shankland provides this valuable service.

In the blood are blood platelets, fibrin and growth factors. All of these important substances perform several essential functions in the body, including blood clot formation and triggering the release of other growth factors that help to heal wounds. These growth factors stimulate the stem cells to produce new host tissue as quickly as possible, which is why PRF and PRP are so effective in the healing process.

Platelet Rich Protein and Platelet Rich Fibrin are derived from the patient’s blood. Blood is drawn, which is placed in a centrifuge and spun at a high speed for several minutes, which separates the blood into its various protein components. A thin, compressed layer of platelet rich fibrin is produced. This layer is strong, pliable and suitable for suturing. This natural fibrin network is rich in platelets, growth factors and other bioactive substances that are derived from the blood platelets and white blood cells. The presence of these proteins produce rapid healing, especially during the critical first seven days after surgery. This network promotes more efficient cell migration and proliferation without chemical additives.

PRP and PRF are two different products produced with this process. PRP is derived after subjecting the initially spun blood to a second procedure. Dr. Shankland will discuss and decide which or both PRP and PRF are important in various surgical procedures.

Specifically, there are several reasons why PRP and PRF are important in dentistry:

  • Bone healing and repair. PRP and PRF are used to improve and accelerate bone, which has been damaged due to fractures, trauma, bony defects after removal of a tooth or teeth or defects after the removal of a cyst or tumor. Using these substances in conjunction with bone grafting material is especially important if an implant is planned in the future.
  • Repair of bone after extractions. When teeth are removed for whatever reason, a bony defect normally develops during the healing process. Using PRP and/or PRF at the extraction site or sites greatly aids in the healing process, decreases the chances for post-operative problems (for example, dry socket) and helps decrease the amount of bony defect.
  • Bone grafting for implants. In the past, dentists removed teeth, waited for the body to heal the surgical site and then restored the area with a bridge or partial denture. Today, implants are standard of care and so often placed after an extraction, it is often good clinical practice to provide bone grafting to prepare the area for a future implant. PRP and PRF are very helpful in bone grafting.
  • Lower Infection Risk. PRF and PRP applied to the surgical area actually seals the wound away from bacteria, lowering the risk of problems.
  • Reduce pain and swelling. Covering the surgical site with PRF reduces both post-operative pain and swelling and protects the surgical wound.

Dr. Shankland will be more than happy to answer your questions concerning PRP and PRF procedures. Just as implant have become the standard of care and improved the quality of clinical dentistry, PRP and PRF also greatly improve surgical outcomes.