Platelet-rich fibrin (PRF) is an autologous blood product, meaning it is made from your own blood. It is a substance that contains not only a high concentration of platelets, but also white blood cells and growth factors that stimulate improved healing. PRF is commonly used in conjunction with injectables, dermal fillers, microneedling, and vampire facials, but it is also used in dental surgery. This versatile product provides a wealth of benefits.
Platelet-Rich Plasma (PRP) vs. Platelet-Rich Fibrin
Both PRP and PRF are derived from whole blood, but how they are prepared creates distinct advantages for using PRF. Blood is drawn from the patient and placed in a centrifuge, where it is spun to separate the blood components into different layers.
PRP is spun at high speed, which causes the heavy white blood cells, growth factors, and stem cells to gather at the bottom, while the lighter platelets and plasma rise to the top. Anticoagulants are also added to PRP before spinning to prevent rapid clotting. The plasma substance contains a platelet concentration that is two to five times higher than naturally found in the body. The PRP is then injected into the body to promote tissue healing.
PRF is spun at a lower speed allowing some white blood cells, stem cells, and growth factors to remain with the platelets and plasma at the top of the test tube. No anticoagulants are added to keep the product pure, and the slower spin speed results in less trauma to the cells. As the blood begins to slowly clot, natural fibrinogen is converted to fibrin. The white blood cells help to form a thicker fibrin matrix with a spongy consistency. When applied to a dental implant site or injected into the skin, the matrix releases growth factors slowly while also activating platelets to trigger tissue healing. PRF contains a platelet concentration that is around ten times higher than what naturally occurs in the body, which may further enhance its healing properties.
How is PRF Used?
Many oral surgeons have shifted from using PRP to PRF in recent years due to the significant benefits of PRF. The spongy material can be used during oral surgery to:
- Plug a socket following tooth extraction
- Fill in gaps around a dental implant
- Hold together bone graft material
- Support soft tissue repair around the surgical site
In addition, PRF can be administered by oral and maxillofacial surgeons as part of skin rejuvenation treatment such as dermal fillers, hair restoration, and vampire facials. Administering a concentrated form of platelets and white blood cells to the skin encourages new cell growth, repairs damaged tissue, promotes collagen production, and may help smooth fine wrinkles and tighten skin.
Benefits of Platelet-Rich Fibrin
The unique composition of PRF versus PRP offers a wealth of benefits. Whether used in conjunction with oral surgery or cosmetic skin treatment, PRF helps to speed up the healing process by boosting the body’s natural response and signaling cells to repair targeted areas. This may shorten recovery time and reduce swelling and the risk of infection.
Other benefits of PRF include:
- No adverse reactions: PRF is a natural substance derived from your own blood and contains no additives, which helps mitigate the risk of an adverse reaction. The blood product is reabsorbed into your system over time.
- In-office administration: PRF can be made and administered in the oral surgeon’s office. Blood is drawn, placed in the slow-spinning centrifuge, and the PRF is removed and applied within less than one hour.
- Minimal downtime: When used as part of skin rejuvenation treatment, any redness typically resolves within a few days, and you can return to your normal activities. Following dental surgery, PRF can help reduce recovery time and speed healing.
Is Getting Platelet-Rich Fibrin Painful?
No, this should be a very comfortable procedure. Blood can be drawn from the same IV line used to provide sedation, avoiding a second exposure to needles. Additionally, a topical anesthetic can be applied to numb the area prior to treatment. Facial aesthetic procedures can also be performed under local anesthesia or IV sedation, depending on the patient’s preferences.
Supporting Healing Using Platelet-Rich Fibrin
The doctors at Lighthouse Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery use PRF in conjunction with other modalities to stimulate healing and promote recovery following oral surgery or skin rejuvenation. PRF is prepared and administered in the office for more comprehensive and convenient care.
Contact us today with any questions you may have about PRF and whether you are a good candidate. Call us at (713) 790-1995.