As we say, the best dental material of all is natural tooth. There’s simply nothing better.
But there are times when decay or damage means we need to repair or replace it. In that case, the best material is one that you’re biocompatible with, be it composite, ceramic, gold or platinum. (Mercury amalgam, of course, is out of the question. It’s biocompatible for exactly no one.)
And if surgery is ever required, we now have an absolutely biocompatible option for stimulating and speeding up healing and lessening post-op pain and discomfort: platelet rich fibrin (PRF).
What makes it inherently biocompatible is that we make it with a small sample of your own blood. No synthetic products are added. No animal-derived compounds are used.
We merely take that sample and spin it in a centrifuge for 12 minutes to create a plug of protein – the fibrin. The platelets are a natural source of growth factors. The membrane they form also contains a high number of white blood cells (leukocytes), which are the part of the blood most involved in healing.
This plug can then be shaped to fill or cover the surgical site.
While PRF may be used routinely following tooth extraction, there’s another situation for which PRF is especially well-suited. As explained on the blog of biological dentist Bill Glaros,
Its ability to spur angiogenesis – capillary formation – makes PRF especially suited for cavitational surgery. Circulation problems are inherent at these sites of dead and decaying tissue. But by effectively increasing blood flow, PRF also helps with clearing toxins from the infected area, as well as helping the damaged bone and gums regenerate.
Through recent years, there’s been an explosion of research into PRF – its various applications in both dentistry and medicine, as well as its efficacy. (This review, published earlier this year in the International Journal of Clinical and Experimental Medicine, gives a comprehensive overview.) A recent study in BioMed Research International showed PRF to be
a useful procedure in order to manage the postoperative pain and to promote the soft tissue healing process, reducing the early adverse effects of the inflammation.
Using PRF is a high benefit, low risk technique that can make your healing a lot more comfortable following surgery and play an important role in supporting your body’s creation of new healthy tissues – both hard and soft, bone and gum. It helps your body repair itself
And in this sense, it’s kind of emblematic of biological dentistry in general, which fuses the best, most advanced clinical practice with traditional healing wisdom, starting with your own body’s natural ability to self-regulate and heal. The goal: Don’t get in the way of that ability; support it.
Image from Beachton Denture Clinic