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After Teeth Are Pulled, Platelet-Rich Plasma May Speed Healing

Process speeds formation of jaw bone, researchers say

FRIDAY, April 23 (HealthDay News) -- Platelet-rich plasma accelerates healing and bone formation after tooth extraction, a new study shows.

Poor healing after tooth removal can result in excessive jaw bone loss that may delay the use of dental prosthetics or implants, require expensive reconstructive surgery, or be impossible to repair, according to the researchers.

The study included patients who had surgery to remove wisdom teeth. One extraction site was treated with platelet-rich plasma (PRP) while the site on the other side of the mouth was used as a control. During 24 weeks of follow-up, the patients were checked for jaw bone density, healing, bleeding, inflammation, pain and facial swelling.

"The PRP treatment has a positive effect on bone density immediately following tooth extraction," while the control sites showed a decrease in bone density in the first week after surgery, the researchers said.

"It took approximately six weeks for the control sites to reach the same bone density that the PRP-treated site had reached by week one," they wrote. "The immediate start of bone formation seen with PRP treatment is of clinical relevance because it is the initial two weeks following bone manipulation oral surgery that are important."

PRP had little effect on bleeding, inflammation, pain and facial swelling.

Using PRP to promote faster jaw bone formation may reduce the waiting time for dental prosthetics or implants to two to four months instead of the current four to six months, according to the researchers.

The study was recently published in the Journal of Oral Implantology.

More information

The American Association of Maxillofacial and Oral Surgeons has more about wisdom teeth.

-- Robert Preidt

SOURCE: Journal of Oral Implantology, news release, April 19, 2010

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