The ability of a wound to heal quickly is obviously important; the thought of wounds taking extra time to heal is unpleasant, and certainly detrimental. What you may not appreciate is that wound healing is a critical part of all our surgery.
Of course there are surgical incisions that heal quickly in the right circumstances, but most of the healing we are dealing with is different. When a tooth is removed, however carefully, we are left with a space.
Frequently we are aiming to replace a missing tooth with an implant supported restoration (crown or bridge), and this works best where implants are placed into healthy jaw bone. The space left when a tooth is extracted will heal, but slow healing, where a site becomes even slightly infected, leads to significantly less bone.
Promoting quick healing involves stabilising the extraction site, the body knows how to heal itself efficiently. The stabilised site is really important, and that is why we take so much trouble to encourage you to follow the post-operative instructions.
The site will attract proteins and start the healing process. Any means to speed this up has been eagerly anticipated, however the available options have been far too expensive, and often involve these proteins from other people, or animals. New technology allows us to collect these proteins, known as growth factors, and concentrate them, and place them where they are needed.
We refer to these proteins as Plasma Rich Growth Factors (or PRGF). A small amount of your blood can be collected (just like a blood test), and then processed here at the practice during your surgical appointment. This processing provides a number of products, which are used in various ways to stimulate and speed up healing, for example when a tooth is extracted.
The technology also provides material to help with healing after implant placement, which is a special kind of wound healing, and also material to help healing following bone augmentation procedures. The use of PRGF can avoid the need for additional bone augmentation later in some cases, and by using your blood is 100% safe.