Platlet Rich Plasma (PRP) – has been touted as the secret weapon for the cosmetic and elective medical industry for the last half-decade in supplementing procedures. Ever heard about “vampire facials?”
In large part, we have the cosmetic industry to thank for their willingness to pursue unorthodox (and many times, risky) methodologies in the pursuit of cosmetic nirvana and the next celebrity-inspired, Rodeo Dr – approved-earth-shattering FOUNTAIN OF YOUTH sorcery. Us regular folk bow in reverence to your ability to side-step millenia of evolutionary self-preservation to experiment on yourselves on the altar of beauty. We thank you. Namaste.
The nuts & bolts
At its core, PRP uses a patient’s own blood (consisting of plasma, red blood cells, white blood cells, and platelets), drawn and spun with a centrifuge. The result after an extreme blood vial tumble session is that the blood separates into 3 distinct visible layers (yes there are more), but 2 predominant strati: a platlet poor plasma region (“PPP”) (less dense stratifies to he top of the blood vial), and the sought-after PRP (i.e. the “plug”), or as some patients have called it, the Gummy Bear, sublimated to the bottom half of the vial.
I can see the allure and simplification of calling the PRP “plug” a Gummy Bear. If you look at it, the substance is jelly, clear or yellow, and possesses a rich and dense consistency similar to a gummy candy, except formed into the shape of the bottom of the convex blood vial.
If you haven’t lost your lunch yet, then bear with me.
Most dentists, or a specialty practice like us will use these cutting edge procedures for many reasons. Chief among these reasons is patient recovery, infection control, and patient comfort.
On a recent patient, this person suffered facial trauma to the jaw and lost nearly all of his teeth. With 8 PRP sites prepped and delivered, I saw decay and abscess sites, stop bleeding immediately upon contact, and then within 24 hours, multiple healing sites on the gumline and jaw that looked like it had been healing for 2-3 weeks already. OVERNIGHT.
What Sorcery is at Work?
If you take a step back from all the medical mumbo jumbo and 10-syllable words, Platlets in the blood are responsible for many functions. Clotting is a huge function of what platlets performs. And, upon super tumble-drying blood in a centrifuge, the concentration of platlet (ie the platlet rich plasma) becomes super concentrated in the order of 5-12 times as much platlet as regular blood.
What we’re doing is putting your body’s own blood into a site where trauma or injury occurred and healing needs to take place. Unlike organ transplants where surgeons and team need to bombard the body with immuno-suppressing drugs to “trick” the body into accepting an organ from another human being (not your own) and thereby force integration (incorporate the foreign organ) as if it were your own, PRP is not like that.
PRP takes your own blood in super-concentrated form (the healing and nurturing part), and puts it into another part of your body rather than waiting for your body to heal on its own time. If thus be witchcraft that we are all witches, because we all produce our own blood.
While PRP is akin to the old adage: “tell me what a consultant is, and I’ll show you a person who will borrow your own watch to tell you what time it is, then charge you for the trouble,” specialists like us at Elegant Implants aren’t charging you for your own blood.
Mainly patients are paying this extra service for doctors and surgeons to assess the need for and likely success of utilizing advanced treatment like PRP for the patient’s benefit. Preparing the wound site(s) for PRP treatment, removing abscess, decay, infection, and other non-desirables, then sealing or finishing up the site once the gummy is delivered.
Each PRP treatment can range from $500-$2,500 depending on the location, depth, volume, complexity, and preparation of the wound site.