The following article was written by Registered Dental Assistant Tajalane Firmin, in completion of requirements to become an IABDM Certified Biological Assistant. Congratulations, Tajalane!
Biological dentistry is about being aware of how our entire body relates to our dental health. This knowledge leads to our offices providing procedures that, although nontraditional, are very beneficial to our patient’s overall health. Some of the more important reasons include being exposed to non-toxic materials, biocompatibility, and less invasive treatments.
One particular procedure that embodies what biologic dentistry stands for is the use of platelet rich fibrin (PRF) during extractions.
Firstly, what is a platelet? Platelets are cells found in our blood that recognize when we have damaged a blood vessel (i.e., experienced some form of an injury), and they rush to the area to start the healing process in the form of a clot. Fibrin is the main component of blood clots, and when its long threads combined with platelets, it forms what we call a platelet rich fibrin.
As you can imagine this fibrin, full of platelets and growth factors, acts almost as a healing bomb that our body naturally produces.
The process of making PRF is a very simple one with the rights tools and a patient with a healthy platelet count. At my office, we first take two samples of the patient’s blood. We then centrifuge our samples to separate the red blood cells from the PRF. We make sure to place the vials across from each other to balance out the centrifuge.
We bring the vials back into the room once they have gone through the centrifuge. The blood should now be separated into plasma and red blood cells. The “plasma” is what will be our PRF.
We remove our blood sample from the vial and, using scissors, cut away the red blood cells from our PRF. We then place the PRF in the RGF box, which presses the PRF into a flat membrane-like shape. Once the bone graft is placed, this membrane will be sutured overtop the extraction site.
Using PRF is amazing because not only is it produced by the patient so they will not have any reaction to the PRF, but it also will accelerate wound healing. PRF can replace collagen membranes, which some dentists use. However, the biocompatibility that PRF provides is unmatched considering it’s 100% for the patient’s blood. The collagen membrane can be pig or cow derived and therefore will never be more compatible than something from our own bodies.
Platelet Rich Fibrin is an amazing procedure that should be implemented in all offices that are interested in a biological approach!