Platelets are one of the three solid components found in the liquid of blood (plasma). The platelets are part of cells that are created in the bone marrow. Plasma that is rich in platelets has five to ten times the average amount of platelets normally found in blood. Because platelet-rich plasma contains growth factors that stimulate healing, San Francisco patients who receive platelet-rich plasma (PRP) experience less healing time than patients who do not receive this treatment. SF Oral Surgery uses PRP treatments to help our patients in their oral surgery journey.

Dr Yang explaining x ray to patient sf oral surgery

How Are Platelets Harvested?

The procedure for harvesting platelets has evolved from a costly procedure that requires a substantial amount of blood to a method that filters enough platelets from a 20 cc blood sample drawn during surgery. This new technique has resulted in more platelet-rich plasma used at SF Oral Surgery. By being able to apply PRP treatments for a greater number of treatments, our approach to harvesting platelets has led to shorter recovery times for San Francisco patients who require oral surgery.

What Are the Benefits of Platelet-Rich Plasma?

The main purpose of platelets is to aid in clotting. Because platelets are formed out of protein, they are able to adhere to broken blood vessels as well as each other, forming a barrier that keeps you from bleeding. A lack of platelets (thrombocytopenia) can cause you to bleed more and bruise easily. You can develop a platelet deficiency from:

  • Taking certain medications regularly.
  • Drinking too much alcohol.
  • Kidney disorders.
  • Cancer, such as lymphoma and leukemia.
  • Genetic predisposition.

For San Francisco patients with a platelet deficiency, platelet-rich plasma can restore normal function and avoid excess bleeding and discomfort during oral surgery. Even patients with normal platelet counts can benefit from additional platelets as long as it does not exceed the recommended threshold.

Who Is a Good Candidate for Platelet Rich Plasma

Dr. Michael Chan, Dr. Kirsten Rittenbach, or Dr. Brian Yang will test patients prior to treatment to determine if you are a good candidate. San Francisco patients who fall into the low or average range for platelet count are good candidates for platelet-rich plasma. If you have an excess of platelets (thrombocytosis), you will not receive platelet rich plasma because this can raise your risk of stroke and heart attack.

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Which Oral Surgery Procedures Use Platelet Rich Plasma?

Your recovery from oral surgery is mainly dependent on the ability of your body to heal from procedures. By using platelet-rich plasma to raise your platelet count, your implant site or wound will grow bone and recover more predictably and faster than otherwise. Platelet-rich plasma can alleviate symptoms and speed healing for:

  • Bone grafting for dental implants. This includes onlay and inlay grafts, sinus lift procedures, ridge augmentation, and the closure of cleft lip and palate defects.
  • Repair of fistulas between the sinus cavity and mouth.
  • Repair of bone defects created by removing teeth or small cysts.


When Will Platelet Rich Plasma Be Used?

Dr. Michael Chan, Dr. Kirsten Rittenbach or Dr. Brian Yang will evaluate platelet-rich plasma while developing your treatment plan and discuss the benefits in greater detail during your consultation. If you approve of using platelet-rich plasma for the procedure, then a small quantity of blood will be extracted after your anesthesia has been administered and the platelets separated. Your oral surgeon will then inject the platelets back into your body before completing the surgery.

For more information about platelet-rich plasma and how it can benefit your oral surgery, contact our San Francisco office at (415) 776-6710.

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