Leukocyte-Platelet Rich Fibrin

Leukocyte-platelet rich fibrin (L-PRF) is a by-product of your own blood (plasma). Technology now allows doctors to process blood drawn from a patient to harvest a sufficient quantity of platelets from only 20-50 cc of blood. The patient’s blood is placed into a centrifuge to separate the different components: red blood cells, platelets, and leukocytes. The result is a L-PRF clot rich in platelets and growth factors. The clot is placed into the patient’s surgical site to enhance and quicken the healing process.

Why All The Excitement About L-PRF?

L-PRF permits the body to take advantage of the normal healing pathways at an accelerated rate. During the healing process, the body rushes many cell types to the wound in order to initiate the healing process. Platelets and leukocytes are some of those cell types.

Platelets perform many functions, including formation of a blood clot and release of growth factors (GF) into the wound. These growth factors; platelet derived growth factors (PDGF), transforming growth factor beta (TGF), and insulin-like growth factor (ILGF), function to assist the body in repairing itself by stimulating stem cells to regenerate new tissue. The more growth factors released and sequestered into the wound, the more stem cells are stimulated to produce new tissue.

Leukocytes are known as white blood cells. They play a crucial role in the body’s natural healing and immune response. Specifically in oral surgery, leukocytes help protect against infection. Leukocytes also assist in inflammation control, helping to regulate and control the inflammatory response and preventing excessive inflammation. They also release growth factors that promote tissue repair and regeneration. These factors help stimulate the growth of new blood vessels and accessorate formation of new bone and soft tissue which is essential for healing post oral surgery.

The option to add L-PRF to your procedure deliberately increases the concentration of leukocytes and platelets to enhance the healing process. Thus, L-PRF permits the body to heal quicker and more efficiently.

L-PRF and bone benefits

L-PRF can be used to aid bone grafting for dental implants. This includes sinus lift procedures, ridge augmentation procedures, and palate defects. It can also assist in repair of bone defects created by removal of teeth, or small cysts and repair of fistulas between the sinus cavity and mouth.

A particularly important component is bone morphogenic protein (BMP). It has been shown to induce the formation of new bone in research studies, a great significance for placing dental implants. By adding L-PRF to the implant site with bone substitute particles, the oral surgeon can now grow bone more predictably and faster than before. The combination of the two can provide a more stable and favorable environment for the dental implant to fuse with the surrounding bone increasing the probability of success for the implant.

L-PRF Has Many Advantages

Natural: L-PRF is a derived product of the patient’s own blood.

Safe: Because L-PRF is produced from the patient’s own blood, there is no cross contamination.

Convenience: L-PRF is processed in our office while the patient is undergoing a surgical procedure such as the placement of dental implants or tooth extraction.

Faster healing: The supersaturation of the wound with L-PRF, and thus growth factors, produces an increase of tissue synthesis and faster tissue regeneration.

Ease of use: L-PRF 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.

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Frequently Asked Questions About L-PRF

Is L-PRF 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 L-PRF centrifuge machine and spun down. In 15 minutes, the L-PRF is formed and ready to use.

Should L-PRF be used in all bone-grafting cases?

In some cases, there is no need for L-PRF. However, in the majority of cases, application of L-PRF 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, the cost of the L-PRF application is the responsibility of the patient.

Can L-PRF be used alone to stimulate bone formation?

L-PRF 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.

Are there any contraindications to L-PRF?

Patients with bleeding disorders or hematologic diseases do not qualify for this in-office procedure.

Speak with your oral surgeon to determine if L-PRF is right for you.