Platelet-Rich Plasma Myths and Facts

PRP patient and doctor with syringe

Flushing Oral Surgery and Dental Implants offers platelet-rich plasma (PRP) therapy to our patients undergoing oral surgery to aid in healing and encourage successful bone grafting. While many people have heard about PRP, many do not fully understand how it works. As a result, some myths have sprung up around its uses and capabilities.

Myth #1: PRP is a Cure-All

There is no such thing as a cure-all. However, PRP has shown promise for a wide range of medical and dental applications. Its effectiveness depends on the condition being treated and how a patient’s body responds. In dentistry, PRP is highly successful in promoting the body’s ability to heal itself faster and promotes better adhesion of bone graft materials.

At Flushing Oral Surgery & Dental Implants, we may offer PRP to patients receiving bone grafts for dental implants, including sinus lift procedures, ridge augmentation, and inlay or onlay grafts. We may also recommend PRP for palate defect surgery and closure of a cleft palate or lip. Patients may also benefit from PRP if a cyst or fistula repair damages their jawbone. Each patient is unique, and your surgeon can determine whether PRP therapy is right for you after evaluating your medical history and the type of surgery you are undergoing.

Myth #2: Platelet Rich Plasma Therapy is Painful

Withdrawing blood to be used for PRP is no more uncomfortable than donating blood or having blood drawn for testing. PRP injections cause mild discomfort, but most patients tolerate them very well. A numbing gel can be applied to the injection site for patients with a low pain threshold. The benefits of platelet-rich plasma far outweigh any temporary discomfort.

Myth #3: PRP is Like Stem Cell Therapy

PRP and stem cell therapy are both innovative therapies, but they are distinct in how they operate. PRP isolates and concentrates the patient’s own blood platelets. Stem cell therapy uses stem cells that can be coaxed into differentiate into specific types of cells. Both therapies promote tissue regeneration but use different mechanisms.

Myth #4 Platelet-Rich Plasma Therapy Isn’t Safe

PRP uses the patient’s own blood, greatly reducing the risk of an immune or allergic reaction. There is no chance of blood contamination. As with any approved medical procedure, PRP therapy is safe when performed by trained medical professionals. Side effects such as infection, nerve damage, or bleeding are rare and will be discussed by your surgeon before treatment.

Myth #5: PRP Works Immediately

It would be wonderful if PRP, or any treatment, worked instantaneously, but that isn’t how most medical applications work. While some patients may respond very well to PRP therapy and require only one treatment, others may need a series of treatments. Regardless of the number of PRP injections, results develop over a few weeks as patients experience faster healing.

Myth #6: PRP is a New, Untried Therapy

It depends on your interpretation of “new.” Platelet-rich plasma therapy has been used since the 1970s when it was first used to treat some blood disorders. Oral surgeons have been using PRP therapy since the 1980s, and dentists began using it increasingly in the 1990s. Today, almost every branch of medicine uses PRP therapy in some way to promote healing and tissue regeneration.

Myth #7: PRP Therapy is Expensive

The cost of obtaining and using platelet-rich plasma is minimal compared to the many benefits. It is generally less than $500 for a patient undergoing oral surgery or dental implant placement. Patients receiving PRP heal more quickly, have fewer complications and experience greater satisfaction with their procedures. It is an investment in your health that is well worth the price.

If you are interested in enhancing your oral surgery or dental implant procedure with PRP therapy, be sure to mention this to your surgeon. To learn more, contact our office at Flushing NY Office Phone Number 347-943-1960 and schedule a consultation with Dr. Li or Dr. Fan.