When you suffer severe loss of jawbone it becomes impossible for the dentist to place an implant. Implants are inserted into the jaw and allowed to heal and then a crown is securely put in place, However if you have suffered jaw deterioration this procedure can be impossible to undertake. The usual procedure is for the dentist to do a bone implant – they will take a small piece of bone form another part of your body and place it in the affected area and then allow it to fuse to the jaw. This is a procedure that usually takes a few months. When you have missing teeth you don’t want to wait a few months to have them replaced, hence the use of platelet-rich fibrin.
Fibrin is a component of blood. It is greatly beneficial in enabling quick healing in all parts of the body. When blood is placed in a centrifuge for about 10 minutes it separates into three components – the acellular plasma layer, a platelet-rich fibrin layer and a red blood cell layer. The fibrin separates from a section of blood called platelets and since it is loaded with growth factor it helps to fuse the implanted bone in the jaw faster. In the past fibrin was mainly used by surgeons in hospitals but today dental surgeons are using it to reduce the healing time for dental bone grafts.
What are the benefits of platelet-rich fibrin?
Although the use of platelet rich fibrin is relatively new in dental surgery it has generated quite a bit of excitement in dental surgery. This is because it comes with benefits that are hard to ignore:
• There is no risk of transmission of diseases because the blood that is used is drawn by the patient. About 10 cc of blood is enough for the procedure, so the patient will not suffer any ill effects.
• Plasma-rich fibrin is not just for use in dental implants; it has also proved extremely useful for repairing bone defects after removal of teeth or cysts and it is used to repair fistulas between the mouth and sinus cavity.
• The procedure is extremely convenient. The fibrin can be generated in the dentist’s office while you undergo the procedure because it doesn’t take more than a few minutes to complete.
• The use of platelet-rich fibrin is extremely beneficial for elderly dental patients. When you are younger your jaw can rejuvenate fast – it can fuse with bone in just a few months, but as you grow older it takes a long time. Sometimes dental patients have to wait for half a year or more before they can have an implant placed. If the dentist uses platelet-rich fibrin healing takes only a few weeks so the dental patient can have implants placed much faster.
• The procedure is cost effective as it doesn’t involve much – all the dentist has to invest in is a centrifuge machine. If the dentist doesn’t have a centrifuge he can harvest the blood and take it to a hospital or a lab that has the proper equipment for the extraction of fibrin. This is significant when you consider that many dental procedures are very expensive.
• The use of platelet-rich fibrin allows the use of bone-like substitutes as it makes them easier to place within the jaw.
FAQ about the use of platelet-rich fibrin
Is the procedure safe?
Yes, the procedure is safe so long as you use a dental surgeon who has experience with it. The blood that is used belongs to the patient so there is no risk of contracting a disease form someone else’s blood.
Is the procedure painful?
One of the biggest concerns when it comes to dental procedures is pain, so you maybe rather worried about this. Dental implants require some drilling into the jaw, but you will not experience any pain because the dentist with anesthetize you before he begins. All you will fill is a numb ache, and you may be in a little pain afterwards. Your dentist will give you painkillers hat you can use any time you are in pain.
Is there a risk of infection?
There is a risk of infection with any invasive dental procedure. The dentist will provide you with antibiotics to prevent this. Make sure that you take them as prescribed.
Is this procedure covered by insurance?
In many cases it is not, so you will have to pay for it out of pocket. However, you should talk to your insurance company just in case they are willing to foot the bill. The procedure itself is not expensive so paying for it yourself will not set you back by a lot.
Are there cases where the procedure is not recommended?
In very few cases, particularly where patients have bleeding disorders the dental surgeon may have to find alternative treatments.