Plasma Rich in Growth Factors (PRGF)
PRGF is an acronym for Plasma rich in Growth Factors. It is a technique used to regenerate bone and soft tissue using a small amount of your own blood. New technology and the PRGF technique separates certain plasma proteins from your blood which are used to stimulate healing, foster new bone synthesis and repair the soft tissue in surgical sites. The process is safe and effective because it uses your own resources to speed healing. Using your own tissue eliminates risk of rejections and disease transmission.
PRGF has many clinical applications:
– Bone grafting for dental implants. This includes onlay and inlay grafts, sinus lift procedures, ridge augmentation procedures, and closure of cleft, lip and palate defects.
– Repair of bone defects created by removal of teeth or small cysts.
– Repair of fistulas between the sinus cavity and mouth.
PRGF also has many advantages:
– Safety: PRGF is a by-product of the patient’s own blood, therefore, disease transmission is not an issue.
– Convenience: PRGF can be generated in the doctor’s office while the patient is undergoing an outpatient surgical procedure, such as placement of dental implants.
– Faster healing: The supersaturation of the wound with PRGF, and thus growth factors, produces an increase of tissue synthesis and thus faster tissue regeneration.
– Cost effectiveness: Since PRGF harvesting is done with only 20–55 cc of blood in the doctor’s office, the patient need not incur the expense of the harvesting procedure in hospital or at the blood bank.
– Ease of use: PRGF is easy to handle and actually improves the ease of application of bone substitute materials and bone grafting products by making them more gel-like.
Frequently asked questions about PRGF:
Will my insurance cover the costs? Usually not, however our experienced Insurance Specialist will be glad to check with your insurance before the procedure. Since PRGF often allows bone growth without bone grafting, the cost of PRGF may offset by the savings from not having to have or pay for a bone graft.
Is PRGF safe? Yes. During the outpatient surgical procedure a small amount of your own blood is drawn out via the IV. This blood is then placed in the PRGF centrifuge machine and spun down. In less than fifteen minutes, the PRGF is formed and ready to use.
Should PRGF be used in all bone-grafting cases? Not always. In some cases, there is no need for PRGF. However, in the majority of cases, application of PRGF to the graft will increase the final amount of bone present in addition to making the wound heal faster and more efficiently.
Can PRGF be used alone to stimulate bone formation? Yes, often a fibrin clot of PRGF can be used to stimulate bone formation. This process allows us to grow bone with no other bone or substitute material in many cases. Patients have the comfort of knowing that no foreign bone will be introduced into their system. PRGF must be mixed with the patient’s own bone, a bone substitute material such as demineralized freeze-dried bone, or a synthetic bone product such as Pepgen for larger augmentations.
Are there any contraindications to PRGF? Very few. Obviously, patients with bleeding disorders or hematologic diseases do not qualify for this in-office procedure. Check with your surgeon and/or primary care physician to determine if PRGF is right for you.