What is PRF?
Platelet-rich fibrin (PRF), a patient blood-derived living biomaterial, is increasingly being used worldwide to promote bone and soft tissue healing and regeneration. PRF technology has grabbed the attention of clinicians because it is derived from the patient’s own blood, is easy to prepare, and can be produced immediately at the chair side. PRF treatment concentrates the growth factors necessary to facilitate wound healing. PRF treatment can be beneficial for a variety of dental procedures:
- Bone Grafting. Often done in preparation for implants, bone grafting involves regenerating bone that a patient has lost, whether it be through age, congenital disabilities, or trauma. PRF stabilizes the bone graft and incorporates concentrated growth factors necessary for healing.
- Soft tissue repair is accelerated leading to faster closure of surgical sites and better protection of the bone graft.
PRF treatment is a safe, convenient option to accelerate healing after oral surgery. PRF treatment assists in increasing tissue synthesis and speeding up tissue regeneration. In turn, this may decrease the incidence of complications after surgery.
What is the process for harvesting and processing PRF for use?
The PRF process is simple:
- At the beginning of the procedure a small amount of blood is collected in vials. This is very similar to a standard blood test.
- The vials are then placed in a centrifuge to separate the portion of the blood that contains the concentrated growth factors.
- This process takes place during the procedure and typically does not add a significant amount of time to the appointment.
- After the centrifugation process, the portion of the blood that contains the concentrated growth factors is mixed with the bone graft and allowed to sit for a few minutes.
- A membrane is created from the patient’s blood that serves as a barrier for the bone graft and improves soft tissue healing.
What are the advantages of using PRF to promote bone healing?
PRF eliminates the need for bovine collagen membranes in many cases, instead using a membrane that is derived completely from the patient’s own blood. PRF allows for a steady prolonged release of growth factors to the sites to promote healing. PRF has been shown to improve healing of soft and hard tissue in multiple studies.