Platelet rich plasma (PRP) is a product of blood (plasma) that is rich in platelets. Dr. Cameron Lee is a leader in this area of cellular regenerative medicine, as he has published and lectured extensively on this subject. In 2000, Dr. Cameron Lee was the first surgeon to introduce PRP to Hawaii. He was also the first surgeon to use PRP in a reconstructive jaw surgery at Pali Momi Medical Center in Aiea, Hawaii. To earn his PhD degree, Dr. Cameron Lee’s doctoral dissertation led to the publication of several peer reviewed manuscripts on PRP for bone graft reconstruction of the atrophic maxillary sinus that were published in implant surgery journals.
Platelet rich plasma stimulates normal wound healing pathways at a greatly accelerated rate. Platelets perform many functions, such as the formation of a blood clot during surgery or trauma. They also release many different growth factors (GF) at the wound site such as platelet derived growth factor (PGDF), transforming growth factor beta (TGF), insulin-like growth factor (ILGF) and vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF). All of the different growth factors enhance wound healing by stimulating stem cells to regenerate new tissue. Therefore, PRP permits the human body to heal faster and more efficiently.
A subfamily of TGF, is bone morphogenic protein (BMP). BMP has been shown to induce the formation of new bone in animal and human research. This is of great significance to the surgeon who is attempting to reconstruct the jaws of their patients to places dental implants. By adding PRP and BMP to the implant site, the surgeon can now grow bone more predictably and faster than ever before.
Bone grafting for dental implants. This includes onlay and inlay grafts; sinus lift procedures; repair of bone defects created by removal of cysts and tumors of the jaws. Dr. Cameron Lee has published several articles in implant surgery journals demonstrating the advanced healing of bone grafts with PRP using histological and histomorphometric methods.
Safety: PRP is a by-product of the patient’s own blood, therefore, disease transmission is not an issue.
Convenience: PRP can be generated in the doctor’s office while the patient is undergoing an outpatient surgical procedure, such as placement of dental implants.
Faster healing: The supersaturation of the wound with PRP, and thus growth factors, produces an increase of tissue synthesis and thus faster tissue regeneration.
Cost effectiveness: Since PRP harvesting is done with only 55 cc of blood in the doctor’s office, the patient need not incur the expense of the harvesting procedure in hospital or at the blood bank.
Ease of use: PRP is easy to handle and actually improves the ease of application of bone substitute materials and bone grafting products by making them more gel-like.
Is PRP safe? Yes. During the outpatient surgical procedure a small amount of your own blood is drawn out via the IV. This blood is then placed in the PRP centrifuge machine and spun down. In less than 15 minutes, the PRP is formed and ready to use.
Should PRP be used in all bone-grafting cases? Not always. In some cases, there is no need for PRP. However, in the majority of cases, application of PRP to the graft will increase the final amount of bone present in addition to making the wound heal faster and more efficiently.
Will my insurance cover the costs? Unfortunately not. The cost of this procedure is paid by the patient.
Can PRP be used alone to stimulate bone formation? No. PRP 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 PRP? Very few. Obviously, patients with bleeding disorders or hematologic diseases do not qualify for this in-office procedure. Check with your surgeon and/or primary care physician to determine if PRP is right for you.