Originally posted October 25, 2018; updated
While platelet rich fibrin (PRF) is an amazing support for healing after tooth extraction, this is hardly the only use for it. For instance, it can be used to enhance the stability of dental implants and encourage their integration with the supporting bone.
For an implant is essentially designed to function as a tooth root, situating the tooth within the jawbone. If there’s bone loss, as is often the case – particularly when teeth have been lost to periodontal (gum) disease – additional measures must be taken to restore or preserve its height.
For an implant, you need a good foundation.
One way to provide it is to use PRF during the extraction phase, as we discussed last week. But we can also use it – and other “scaffolds,” if necessary – when placing implants themselves, lending further bone support and encouraging the implant to integrate with it.
We’ve seen great results with this clinically, but of course you want sound research to back this up.
A review of the science to date was published last fall in Clinical Oral Implants Research. Specifically, its authors looked for human studies using PRF for bone regeneration and implant therapy. After evaluating nearly 6000 titles to see if they met their criteria, they settled on 12 randomized controlled trials.
While they couldn’t conduct a meta-analysis of the studies – they were too different from each other for that – they could evaluate their results. Overall, they wrote, only three of the studies showed no benefit. The remaining nine
showed superior outcomes for PRF for any of the evaluated variables, such as ridge dimension, bone regeneration, osseointegration process, soft tissue healing.
Thus, PRF, they concluded,
might reduce alveolar width resorption, and might enhance implant stability during the early phase of osseointegration.
While they found less evidence in these studies that PRF could help with issues such as pain and soft tissue healing, non-implant studies such as those we looked at earlier suggest that these might be expected, as well.
Couple PRF with compatibility testing and the metal-free ceramic dental implants we place here in our Arlington office, and you get the most biocompatible option yet for replacing missing teeth.