We often get calls from patients asking if this office uses PRF (Platelet Rich Fibrin). More and more patients are doing research and want to avoid the pain and discomfort of a tooth extraction. After all, what could be better than your own blood, drawn onsite and then spun into a membrane for the extraction area? Don’t get me wrong, PRF is a great way to go as it’s a graft made from your own body, as your own blood contains all the antibodies and platelets necessary to fill in the site and promote healing. As great as PRF is, as it turns out, there is actually something better.
PRF Alternative for Holistic Patients
So, what is it that is better than PRF? Drum roll. Laser treatment with ozone. There are actually problems with PRF. Sometimes the blood draw can be difficult. Sometimes the clot is lost. The last patient who called about this service was surprised to hear that the PRF membrane always requires suturing. And if something goes wrong with the sutures the membrane can be lost.
With the laser, specific frequencies of light energy are used to stimulate regeneration. No blood draw, no stitching, no clot to protect. When PRF is used in this office, we sometimes have to make an extra covering to protect the area. Not with a laser. The extraction is done and the site is treated with a laser. Simple. We sometimes use ozone as well to oxygenate the blood and soft tissue. This further promotes healing and prevents infection. It’s the ultimate one-two punch.
Here is what one patient had to say, “I just had a tooth extraction and I didn’t have any pain after. Zero. I didn’t even have to take a pain pill. The healing was very fast.” Many patients say that, or they say that they only had to take only one Advil. Our experience with the new laser and ozone protocol is that most patients have discomfort for a few hours or the first evening after the procedure. The other experience our patients report is that there was no pain at all, like Radmilla shared above.
So What Exactly is PRF?
PRF is a membrane created from the patients own blood. It is concentrated immune cells, platelets and fibrin in a strip.
This is a picture of the PRF right after coming out of a centrifuge before being placed in the patients mouth.
This is what the PRF looks like after being placed in an extraction site with sutures to hold it in.
Notice that the PRF looks a lot like the gums around it. That’s because it is derived from the body of the patient rather than from a cow or porcine source.
Advantages and Disadvantages of PRF
The Advantages are:
- It’s derived from the blood of the patient so it is very safe and biologically active
- Healing times are faster than with other kinds of grafting materials
- The health of the gums after healing is improved
The Disadvantages are:
- You need to do a blood draw
- It has to be sutured to hold in place so there is minor discomfort from that
- Some of the PRF can be lost due to sutures loosening up during the initial healing process
- Bone can be exposed if this happens causing pain and slowing down the healing process
What Makes Laser and Ozone Different?
The main difference is that the initial healing is much faster with Laser Ozone. As you can see from the picture on the left, the soft tissue is already healing into the extraction site after 2 days! This is extremely fast! Usually it takes 2-3 weeks for this to happen.
Advantages and Disadvantages of Laser Ozone vs PRF
- Biofriendly as it works with the patients own blood and soft tissue
- The clot stabilizes within hours, reducing the risk of losing the clot to practically zero
- Less pain. Usually the patient has to take 1 Advil and sometimes none at all
- We have never had a complication or healing problem with this protocol
So What’s the Best Way to Go, PRF or Laser Ozone?
In short, laser bio-stimulation provides a better initial healing response. Don’t get me wrong PRF is also a great technology and ends up in the same place. However, it may take a week or two for PRF to catch up to what laser and ozone can accomplish in a few days.
Also, laser ozone has less complications as there is no suturing and no 3-5 day period to achieve initial stability, as there is with PRF.
Let me show you what I’m talking about with pictures:
One week into the healing process after using laser and ozone, one can see that the blood flow is already very active throughout the area. This is because the blood vessels have already penetrated throughout the clot. This results in much faster healing times than with other grafts.
Compare this with PRF one week into the healing process. Don’t get me wrong this is a great result. However, the clot still has a lot of fibrin and less vascular activity, meaning less blood has penetrated into the graft.
Final Result of Laser Ozone. After 21 days the tissue is totally healed, pink, and stable throughout.
In a nutshell, the end result in terms of biological compatibility and quality of tissue is the same. However, the process to get there has less risk of complications with the laser ozone. This is because the initial stabilization of the healing clot is so much faster with the laser ozone, again hours vs days.
There you have it! My bottom line opinion on the most biofriendly grafting options for the holistic, health conscious patient.
To find out more about how laser ozone therapies can be of help in your situation, give us a call. Dr. ORielly is a holistic dentist and Dr. Bae is a integrative periodontist. Here is how we use lasers in our practice:
- To heal infections and gum disease. This is called LANAP
- Bio-stimulation with the placement of zirconia implants for faster healing
- To heal infected root canals and re-establish secondary blood supply. This laser ozone protocol is called SWEEPS or PIPS
- To heal inflammation and infections around implants. This is called LAPIP
If you think laser ozone therapies might help you improve the health of your mouth, you may contact our office for more information at 760-632-1304.
Carey O’Rielly DDS has been a practicing dentist for 35 years. He went to USC Dental School and Duke University for his undergraduate degree. He grew up in Laguna Beach and now lives in La Costa with his wife Victoria, who runs his office.
He began his career by owning and operating a network of six offices in the San Francisco Bay Area. Presently he owns a private holistic practice in North County San Diego’s Encinitas.
Dr. O started looking for solutions to his health challenges that resulted from the stress and environmental toxicity that built up over a ten year period running his dental network. He has dedicated himself to learning about oral systemic problems and how dentistry can affect your health. He has applied what he has learned over the last twenty years to ensure he, his staff and his patients are protected from the chemicals and toxic materials found in most dental offices. He has produced an environmentally friendly office that is also peaceful and calm.
He is an expert on dental materials having looked at hundreds of biocompatibility lab tests over the years. He has identified the most bio-friendly materials to use in his practice and which dental materials can be used to replace metal fillings and crowns, including BPA free and fluoride free ‘white’ fillings. He also uses metal-free Zirconia or ceramic implants and PRF (platelet-rich fibrin) grafting materials which come from the patient’s own blood.
Dr. O’Rielly teaches C.E. courses on the systemic effects of gum disease. He is an expert in using phase contrast microscopy for analyzing dental infections, where he shows patients what kind of microbes, i.e. bacteria, amoeba, and yeasts like candida are populating the mouth and affecting the body as a whole.
He has an educational blog and is writing a book on dental health called ‘Hidden Dental Infections: Healing Root Canals and Infected Teeth with the Erbium Laser’ where he discusses dental nutrition, toxic dental materials and the effects of old root canals on inflammation and overall health.