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Technique Speeds Healing for Dental Patients

Technique speeds healing for dental patients

DR. LINDA NIESSEN / Baylor College of Dentistry

Platelet rich plasma, or PRP, was first used in orthopedics. Now, it's being used in dentistry to reduce healing time for patients.

(“It’s used for oral surgical procedures where we want to improve our healing—not only in volume but in density of bone tissue," explained oral surgeon Dr. Bob Schow. "It’s also used where we want to improve soft tissue healing." More information

Periodontists and oral surgeons speed up healing by applying PRP to surgical sites. The process begins with the patient's own blood.

"It’s just a concentration of the tiny cells, complete cells that carry the coagulation factors that causes our blood to clot," Dr. Schow said. "It’s also a concentration of growth factors."

Think of PRP as tissue engineering. It contains proteins or growth factors that promote healing by helping mouth tissue and bone grow at a faster rate.

PRP helps patients who undergo periodontal or gum surgery; oral surgery to build bone for dental implants; and bone graft surgery to repair damage from trauma or cancer.

"[It] gives us a greater volume of bone when we’re through," Dr. Schow said.

Insurance may or may not cover the additional cost of platelet rich plasma.

If you are planning to have oral surgery, discuss the treatment with your surgeon along with any procedures that will speed up your recovery.


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