The human body is more than capable of regenerating and healing itself when an injury is on a small scale. Minor cuts, scrapes, bruises are not a problem. Even internal injuries can be overcome naturally as the body repairs and replaces damaged cells and tissues. Your skin, the body's largest organ, renews it's cells every 27 days.
However, human regenerative prowess has notable limits. We cannot, for example, grow a new set of adult teeth. We also cannot repair damage to our gums or regrow lost dental bone ourselves. In the arena of oral health and cosmetic dentistry, it is clear that the body’s natural regenerative abilities aren’t enough to stave off inevitable decay, destruction, and dental aging. This is especially apparent when it comes to treating progressive gum disease, or periodontal disease, which affects nearly half of all adults in the country.
"Portland Perio Implant Center is an implant center that performs the latest generation of PRF regenerative therapies."
DR. KAMRAN HAGHIGHAT, B.D.S., M.S., P.C.
Platelet Rich Fibrin (PRF) Therapy
Periodontal disease is well known for causing irreversible, permanent damage to the mouth which progresses over time. Receding gums and the formation of gum pockets make conventional treatment difficult and sometimes ineffectual.
With Platelet-Rich Fibrin (PRF) therapy doctors and patients now have a cutting-edge new treatment designed to directly harness the natural regenerative abilities of the human body and focus them efficiently on dental applications. Platelet Rich Fibrin techniques can be used to accelerate the recovery process following a dental procedure, or it can be utilized to repair and replace damaged oral tissues directly.
What is Platelet Rich Fibrin?
Platelet Rich Fibrin (PRF), sometimes referred to as Leucocyte-and-Platelet-Rich Fibrin (L-PRF), is the latest, cutting-edge iteration on a surprisingly well-established therapeutic technique. The healing potential of platelets has been known for over 20 years. PRF regenerative therapy merely represents the latest effort to harness and realize that enormous potential.
Platelet Rich Fibrin is derived from a small amount of a patient’s blood which is centrifuged and processed to separate red blood cells from platelets and leukocytes which form the basis of a complex fibrin matrix membrane. When a PRF matrix membrane is placed over a wound, the platelets are activated releasing several regenerative proteins with real therapeutic potential.
Essential regenerative proteins and growth factors include:
Platelet-derived growth factor
Healing matrix proteins
Transforming growth factor-B
Insulin-like growth factor
Vascular endothelial (blood vessel) growth factor
Bone morphogenetic protein
Other regenerative materials
Benefits of Platelet Rich Fibrin Therapy (PRF)
The benefits of Platelet Rich Fibrin (PRF) therapy are threefold: first, regenerative proteins and growth factors released by activated platelets accelerate the body’s natural healing process. This is backed up by a variety of controlled clinical studies that reported “positive wound healing events associated with the use of PRF.”
Second, because PRF material mostly consists of a patient’s cells, all Platelet Rich Fibrin therapies are 100% biocompatible with a near zero chance of immune rejection. When a foreign material, whether it is synthetic or borrowed from another donor, is introduced into a patient’s body, foreign body rejection can occur. This can be dangerous and lead to delayed wound healing, chronic inflammation, or even outright tissue death. Foreign body rejection can be a problem in the dental field where there is a high degree of reliance on prosthetic replacements for teeth and other parts of the mouth. PRF membrane materials present no such challenges.
Clinical illustration of L-PRF application in oro-maxillo-facial surgery defect regeneration: natural guided tissue bio-engineering using L-PRF as a “bio-scaffold”. (A) L-PRF membrane preparation; (B) clinical application in IBDs or for the treatment of periodontal intra-bony defects; (C) Clinical application under CAF or coronally advanced flaps in the treatment of gingival tissue recession; (D) clinical application in PAOO, or periodontally accelerated osteogenic orthodontics—an orthognathic procedure.
Third, PRF materials can be readily sourced and produced. All it takes is a sample of a patient’s blood and a centrifuge calibrated for the Platelet Rich Fibrin-producing process. Many high-end and cutting-edge dental clinics and surgical centers have their own centrifuges, allowing them to produce PRF materials for use in surgical and post-surgical applications for a variety of dental procedures. Patients seeking dental implants, for example, may benefit significantly from PRF-enhanced bone healing. PRF regenerative technologies allow patients of clinics that provide such services reduced recovery times. Better yet, PRF material can be produced while the patient is still in the dentist’s chair.
Popular applications for PRF technology include:
The Role of Platelet-Rich Fibrin in Periodontal Regeneration
Platelet-rich fibrin is a second-generation platelet concentrate which can boost both soft and hard tissue healing. Its benefits over platelet-rich plasma include simplicity in preparation, ease of application, minimal expense, and lack of biochemical modification.
Platelets play an essential role in periodontal regeneration. Platelets are the supply of growth factors and cytokines which are the crucial elements for the restoration of the bone and maturation of the soft tissue. Platelet-rich plasma (PRP) and platelet-rich fibrin (PRF) are autologous platelet concentrates prepared from the patient's blood.
Platelet-rich fibrin is a natural fibrin-based biomaterial prepared from an anticoagulant-free blood harvest without any artificial biochemical modification that allows obtaining fibrin membranes enriched with platelets and growth factors. There is evidence that the presence of growth factors and cytokines in platelets play vital roles in inflammation and wound healing. This has led to the concept of using platelets as therapeutic tools to improve tissue repair, particularly in periodontal wound healing which is accelerated by the use of platelet concentrates. The wound healing process initiated by the formation of a blood clot and after tissue injury in periodontal surgery causes adherence and aggregation of platelets favoring the formation of thrombin and fibrin. Also, there is a release of certain materials from platelets that stimulate tissue repair, angiogenesis, inflammation, and immune response.
Tomorrow's Platelet Rich Fibrin Regenerative Medicine Today
Advanced platelet-rich fibrin technology has demonstrated promising results in its applications as an accelerator of the body’s natural regenerative capabilities. While scientists do not fully understand the precise mechanisms behind natural healing processes, they do know that platelets play a crucial role in triggering these healing processes.
Next-generation platelet-rich fibrin regeneration takes advantage of activated platelet concentrates on speeding up and enhancing a patient’s regenerative capabilities. Better yet, this new and exciting technology is already available in the market today and at Portland Perio Implant Center.
"Portland dentists, this is what we can do for your patients."
DR. KAMRAN HAGHIGHAT, B.D.S., M.S., P.C.