What is Platelet Rich Fibrin (PRF)?
Platelet Rich Fibrin (PRF) is a by-product of blood's plasma that is rich in platelets. While the use of PRF has previously been confined to hospital settings due to high costs associated with separating platelets from blood and large quantities of blood needed, modern technology enables the doctor to harvest and produce a sufficient quantity of platelets from a smaller quantity of blood drawn from the patient during outpatient surgery.
Why all the excitement about PRF?
With PRF, the patient's body can take advantage of the normal healing pathways at a greatly accelerated rate. To initiate the healing process, your body rushes many cells and cell-types to the wound. One of these cell types is platelets, which perform many functions, namely clotting blood and releasing growth factors into the wound. Growth factors (e.g., platelet-derived growth factors (PGDF), transforming growth factor beta (TGF), insulin-like growth factor (ILGF)) assist the body in repairing itself by stimulating stem cells to regenerate new tissue. As more growth factors release into the wound, more stem cells stimulate to produce new host tissue. In summary, PRF permits the body to heal much faster and more efficiently.
Bone morphogenic protein (BMP), a subfamily of TGF, can induce the formation of new bone according to research studies in animals and humans. By adding BMP to the implant site with bone substitute particles, the implant surgeon can now grow bone more predictably and faster than ever before.
PRF Clinical Applications:
- Bone grafting for dental implant: includes onlay and inlay grafts, sinus lift procedures, ridge augmentation procedures, closure of cleft, lip and palate defects
- Repair of bone defects creating by removal of teeth or small cysts
- Repair of fistulas between the sinus cavity and mouth
- Safety: because PRF is a by-product of the patient’s own blood, there is no risk of disease transmission
- Convenience: PRF can be generated in the doctor’s office during the patient's outpatient surgical procedure, such as placement of dental implants
- Faster healing: PRF's higher instance of growth factors accelerates tissue synthesis and promotes faster healing and shorter recovery time
- Cost effectiveness: Since PRF harvesting is done with only 55 cc of blood in the doctor’s office, the patient does not incur the costs of in-hospital or blood bank harvesting
- Ease of use: PRF is easy to handle and improves the ease of application of bone substitute materials and bone grafting products
Frequently asked questions about PRF:
- Is PRF safe? Yes. During your outpatient surgical procedure, we draw a small amount of your own blood via IV. We then place this blood in the PRF centrifuge machine and spin it down. In less than fifteen minutes, the PRF is ready to use.
- Should PRF be used in all bone-grafting cases? Not always. In some cases, there is no need for PRF. However, in the majority of cases, utilizing PRF does increase the final amount of usable bone present in addition to healing the wound faster and more efficiently.
- Will my insurance cover the costs? Unfortunately not. Patients are responsible for the cost of the PRF application.
- Can PRF be used alone to stimulate bone formation? No. PRF must be mixed with either the patient’s own bone, a bone substitute material such as demineralized freeze-dried bone, or a synthetic bone product, such as BIO-OSS.
- Are there any contraindications to PRF? Yes, but very few. Patients with bleeding disorders or hematologic diseases may not qualify for this in-office procedure. Check with your surgeon to determine if PRF is right for you.