Painful dental treatments and lengthy procedures should be a thing of the past. Dentistry is healthier, safer, and more effective than ever before. From laser-assisted gum disease treatments and the Perio-Protect system to zirconia dental implants and pinhole gum rejuvenation – there’s more reason than ever to seek a progressive and holistic periodontal dentist like Dr. Kelly Blodgett.
At Blodgett Dental Care, we are committed to the continual integration of new strategies and proven methods to make dental care faster, longer-lasting, and more comfortable. In today’s blog post, we’ll discuss a new advanced strategy that our team is proud to offer our patients:
Leukocyte and Platelet-Rich Fibrin for faster healing.
Using leukocyte and platelet-rich fibrin during a dental surgical procedure makes an incredible difference in the ability to regulate inflammation and increase the speed and quality of healing. This groundbreaking technique is useful for a variety of surgical treatments, specifically dental implants, teeth extractions, and other oral surgery and periodontal surgeries, and has completely changed the healing process as we know it.
Keep reading to learn how this healing strategy will improve your oral health and overall dental experience.
What Are Leukocytes and Platelets?
Before we dive into the healing benefits of leukocyte and platelet-rich fibrin, let’s take a look at some blood basics. Blood is made up of four components:
- Plasma – The liquid component of blood. Plasma transports blood cells (as well as nutrients, antibodies, clotting proteins, and more) throughout your body
- Red blood cells – The most prevalent cell in the body. Red blood cells help carry oxygen from the lungs to the rest of the body.
- White blood cells – Also called leukocytes, these cells account for just 1 percent of your blood. White blood cells help protect the body from infection.
- Platelets – Tiny fragments of blood cells. Platelets help your body from clots to stop bleeding and promote healing.
When your body needs to heal or protect itself from infection, leukocytes and platelets are both very important. What if there was a way to separate these components and use them to
promote the healing process in the mouth? That’s where leukocyte and platelet-rich fibrin comes in.
What is Leukocyte and Platelet-Rich Fibrin?
Leukocyte and Platelet-Rich Fibrin (L-PRF), sometimes referred to as just platelet-rich fibrin (PRF), is biomaterial substance that is produced when blood is put in a centrifuge. A centrifuge separates fluids of different densities and so works to separate the blood into 3 layers:
- The plasma layer
- The red layer, rich in red blood cells
- The PRF/L-PRF layer
The PRF/L-PRF layer is a yellow and thick jelly-like biologic material comprised of fibrin (an insoluble protein that acts as a first responder when your body is injured), white blood cells, and bone growth factors. Thanks to its rich makeup, studies show that PRF has great potential for bone and soft tissue regeneration, inflammation reduction, and promotion of hemostasis, bone grown, and maturation.
The Use of Platelet-Rich Fibrin in Dentistry
The technique of using PRF/L-PRF in dentistry is minimally-invasive, low risk, and has had successful clinical results. Thanks to its healing properties and anti-inflammatory abilities, PRF/L-PRF is highly beneficial for surgical dental procedures – particularly when it comes to dental implants and tooth extractions.
After a tooth extraction, you’ll typically experience some pain and swelling. It’s very important to properly manage both of these factors so it doesn’t lead to infection or other issues. Additionally, because an extraction leaves a large wound area, it can take more than two weeks for the tissues to heal over the extraction site.
This is where the PRF/L-PRF strategy changes the game. By placing PRF/L-PRF in the extraction area, it works to decrease swelling, accelerate healing of the bone and gums, and reduces pain and inflammation.
Similar to tooth extractions, dental implants require time to heal. However, unlike an extraction, this healing process can take between 2 to 6 months. PRF/L-PRF will not only increase blood supply to the area and encourage proper (and faster) healing, but help improve the natural strength of bone integration to the dental implant.
Another amazing way that PRF/L-PRF improves the dental implant process is that it can be combined with a patient’s extracted root (which has been ground up like a bone graft) and used as a bone graft. This allows dentists to preserve the ridge of bone for an implant using the patient’s own biomaterials. As long as the tooth being replaced has not had a root canal, it can be converted into a bone graft.
The dentin bone graft process works by grinding up the extracted tooth and combining it with the patient’s own L-PRF. Not only is this a more effective way to strengthen your bone for an implant, it allows you to use the natural materials that come from your own body!
Top Benefits of Using Platelet-Rich Fibrin in Dental Surgery
Let’s recap some of the most compelling benefits of using PRF/L-PRF for dental procedures.
- Accelerates the healing process
- Encourages proper healing
- Greater defense against infection
- Decreases swelling
- Reduces pain
- Improves strength of bone grafting (decreases change of dental implant failure)
- 100% natural
What to Expect During a Procedure Using Leukocyte and Platelet-Rich Fibrin
The PRF/L-PRF process is simple and minimally-invasive. The primary difference between a traditional dental surgical procedure and one utilizing L-PRF is having your blood drawn.
At Blodgett Dental Care, a licensed phlebotomist will draw some blood from your arm and place it in a centrifuge for 12 minutes. After this time, your blood will have successfully separated into three layers and the L-PRF can be extracted.
After your tooth has been removed, the L-PRF is placed into the extraction site. In an implant site, the L-PRF is placed in the space between the extraction site and the dental implant.
That’s it! You’ll head home knowing your surgery site is naturally protected from bacteria and other contaminants, increasing your chances of a smooth, healthy recovery.
Experience Advanced Holistic Care at Blodgett Dental Care
Our team at Blodgett Dental Care is committed to making dental care faster, healthier and more comfortable for our patients. We work hard to create an environment focused on your optimal health and wellbeing and are dedicated to providing progressive dental strategies like L-PRF.
Our Portland dental office houses a licensed phlebotomist who is an expert at providing a comfortable blood draw experience. Since first offering L-PRF, we’ve seen amazing healing results that exceed our patients’ expectations.
If you’re interested in learning more about this advanced healing strategy, give us a call to learn more at (503) 285-3620.
Dr. Blodgett completed his pre-doctoral sciences at Portland State University and graduated from the Oregon Health Science University School of Dentistry in 1999. As a modern pioneer in progressive dental care, Dr. Blodgett has become a leader in minimally-invasive dentistry, dental lasers, computerized dental technology, and holistic care. He is widely recognized for the innovative care he provides and is dedicated to helping his patients optimize their whole body health.