PRP, BMP and STEM CELLS
Platelet Rich Plasma

Platelet rich plasma (PRP) is a by-product of blood (plasma) that is rich in platelets. Until now, its use has been confined to the hospital setting. This was due mainly to the cost of separating the platelets from the blood and the large amount of blood needed to produce a suitable quantity of platelets. New technology permits doctors to harvest and produce a sufficient quantity of platelets from only 55 cc of blood, which is drawn from the patient while they are having outpatient surgery.

Why all the excitement about PRP?

PRP permits the body to take advantage of the normal healing pathways at a greatly accelerated rate. During the healing process, the body rushes many cells and cell-types to the wound in order to initiate the healing process. One of those cell types is platelets. Platelets perform many functions, including formation of a blood clot and release of growth factors (GF) into the wound. These growth factors; platelet derived growth factors (PDGF), transforming growth factor beta (TGF), and insulin-like growth factor (ILGF), function to assist the body in repairing itself by stimulating stem cells to regenerate new tissue. The more growth factors released and sequestered into the wound, the more stem cells are stimulated to produce new tissue. Thus, PRP permits the body to heal faster and more efficiently.

A subfamily of TGF, is bone morphogenic protein (BMP). BMP has been shown to induce the formation of new bone in research studies in both animals and humans. This is of great significance to the surgeon who places dental implants. By adding PRP, and BMP, to the implant site with bone substitute particles, the implant surgeon can now grow bone more predictably and faster than ever before.

PRP Has Many Clinical Applications

PRP can be used to aid bone grafting for dental implants. This includes onlay and inlay grafts, sinus lift procedures, ridge augmentation procedures, closure of cleft and/or lip, and palate defects. It can also assist in repair of bone defects created by removal of teeth, or small cysts and repair of fistulas between the sinus cavity and mouth.

PRP Also Has Many Advantages

  • Safety: PRP is a by-product of the patient’s own blood, therefore, disease transmission is not an issue.
  • Convenience: PRP can be generated in the doctor’s office while the patient is undergoing an outpatient surgical procedure such as the placement of dental implants.
  • Faster healing: The supersaturation of the wound with PRP, and thus growth factors, produces an increase of tissue synthesis and faster tissue regeneration.
  • Cost effectiveness: Since PRP harvesting is done with only 55 cc of blood in the doctor’s office, the patient need not incur the expense of the harvesting procedure in hospital or at a blood bank.
  • Ease of use: PRP 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 PRP

Is PRP 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 PRP centrifuge machine and spun down. In less than 15 minutes, the PRP is formed and ready to use.

Should PRP be used in all bone-grafting cases? Not always. In some cases, there is no need for PRP. However, in the majority of cases, application of PRP to the bone graft will increase the final amount of bone present, in addition to making the wound heal faster and more efficiently.

Will my insurance cover the costs? Unfortunately not. The cost of the PRP application (approximately $400) is paid by the patient.

Can PRP be used alone to stimulate bone formation? No. PRP must be mixed with either the patient’s own bone, a bone substitute material such as demineralized freeze-dried bone, or a synthetic bone product, such as BIO-OSS.

Are there any contraindications to PRP? 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 PRP is right for you.

Bone Morphogenetic Protein

Bone morphogenic protein is an isolated protein that induces specific cells in our body to form new cartilage and bone. During surgery, the BMP is soaked onto and binds with a collagen sponge. The sponge is then designed to resorb, or disappear, over time. As the sponge dissolves, the bone morphogenic protein stimulates the cells to produce new bone. The BMP also goes away once it has completed its task of jump starting the normal bone healing process.

Since there is no need to harvest bone from the patients’ hip for BMP, recipients were spared donor site pain. Complications from the graft harvest site are also eliminated with the use of bone morphogenic protein.

Dr. Katz would be happy to discuss all grafting options with you at the time of consultation.

Stem Cells

The Restorative Properties of Stem Cells

Stem cells are unique because they drive the natural healing process throughout your life. Stem cells are different from other cells in the body because they regenerate and produce specialized cell types. They heal and restore skin, bones, cartilage, muscles, nerves and other tissues when injured.

As a result, amazing new medical treatments are being developed to treat a range of diseases contemporary medicine currently deems difficult or impossible to treat. Among them are:

  • Parkinson’s Disease
  • Brain Injuries
  • Heart Disease
  • Diabetes
  • Arthritis
  • Muscular dystrophy
  • Leukemia
  • Crohn’s disease
  • Multiple Sclerosis
  • Periodontal Disease
  • Sports Injuries
  • Cosmetic and Anti-aging Applications

While stem cells can be found in most tissues of the body, they are usually buried deep, are few in number and are similar in appearance to surrounding cells. With the discovery of stem cells in teeth, an accessible and available source of stem cells has been identified.

A digital illustration of a stem cellThe tooth is nature’s “safe” for these valuable stem cells, and there is an abundance of these cells in baby teeth, wisdom teeth and permanent teeth. The stem cells contained within teeth are capable of replicating themselves and can be readily recovered at the time of a planned dental procedure. Living stem cells found within extracted teeth were routinely discarded every day, but now, with the knowledge from recent medical research, your Doctor provides you the opportunity to save these cells for future use in developing medical treatments for your family.

Aside from being the most convenient stem cells to access, dental stem cells have significant medical benefits in the development of new medical therapies. Using one’s own stem cells for medical treatment means a much lower risk of rejection by the body and decreases the need for powerful drugs that weaken the immune system, both of which are negative but typical realities that come into play when tissues or cells from a donor are used to treat patients.

Further, the stem cells from teeth have been observed in research studies to be among the most powerful stem cells in the human body. Stem cells from teeth replicate at a faster rate and for a longer period of time than do stem cells harvested from other tissues of the body.

Stem cells in the human body age over time and their regenerative abilities slow down later in life. The earlier in life that your family’s stem cells are secured, the more valuable they will be when they are needed most.

Stem cell recovery and cryopreservation from teeth also has many advantages:

Accessible – The stem cells contained within teeth are recovered at the time of a planned procedure: Extraction of wisdom teeth, baby teeth or other healthy permanent teeth.

Affordable – when compared with other methods of acquiring and preserving life saving stem cells: Peripheral blood, Bone Marrow, Cord blood etc, recovering Stem Cells from teeth is the most affordable and least invasive.

Convenience – the recovery of stem cells from teeth can be performed in the doctor’s office anytime when a healthy tooth is being extracted.

Ease of Use – The recovery of stem cells from teeth does not add any additional time on to a planned procedure. Your doctor does not require any additional equipment or training.

Frequently Asked Questions about Stem Cell Recovery and Cryopreservation from Teeth

Why should someone recover and cryopreserve their own stem cells from teeth?

Healthy dental pulp contains stem cells that are among the most powerful stem cells in the body and replicate at a faster rate and for a longer period of time than other types of stem cells. Stem cells from teeth show great promise for future regenerative medical treatments of neurodegenerative diseases, heart disease, diabetes, bone diseases and brain and nerve injuries.

Which teeth are candidates for stem cell recovery and cryopreservation?

Any extracted tooth with a healthy pulp contains stem cells. Wisdom teeth, baby teeth and other permanent teeth i.e. healthy teeth that are fractured and teeth recommended for extraction for orthodontic purposes are all candidates for stem cell recovery and cryopreservation.

At what age am I no longer eligible to recover and preserve stem cells from teeth?

Age does not seem to play a major factor. All extracted healthy teeth contain stem cells. The younger you are then the younger the cells and these may be more beneficial in future regenerative therapies.

Is one tooth enough or should I try to bank as many teeth as I can as the opportunities arise. I banked deciduous teeth, should I bank third molars?

Diseases of different severity or tissue defects of different size will undoubtedly require different amounts of stem cells to heal. Conceptually, the more teeth are banked, the greater the potential for sufficient stem cells to treat various diseases.