At Bupa Dental Hornsby, the team are constantly looking for ways to improve your oral health, your treatment outcomes, and your overall experience in the clinic. That’s why one of their dentists was keen to adopt an increasingly accepted technique with an appealing benefit: faster healing after oral surgery.*

After spotting the technique at an implant dentistry* event in the United States, Dr Cameron White was one of the first dentists in Australia to make use of platelet rich fibrin (PRF). Using PRF after surgery can help make the recovery process smoother for patients.

With a long-time interest in oral surgery and extensive training in dental implants, Dr White has spent years keeping up with the latest in new technologies and techniques: “I’m always looking to get a better result for patients, whether that’s less pain, shorter recovery times or more predictable outcomes from surgery. PRF is a simple protocol that can help provide that for patients, so it made sense to bring it to Hornsby.”

Let’s take a look at what PRF is, how it’s used and how it can benefit you when you’re recovering from a complex procedure.

PRF: what it is and how it’s used

PRF stands for “platelet rich fibrin” and is used as a post-treatment healing process. “PRF accelerates healing and may also help promote growth of bone when used correctly,’ says Dr White. “It’s used across dentistry, oral surgery and even general surgery.

“PRF is made by centrifuging (spinning) a patient’s blood to separate out the fibrin and create membrane,” he explains further. “Within the membrane are white blood cells that fight infection, stem cells that help regrow tissue and, most importantly, the fibrin containing growth and regeneration factors.”

In other words, Dr White uses a patient’s own blood to support and speed up the healing process after surgery, primarily after procedures like tooth extractions and bone grafting surgeries. Since bone grafting is a common prerequisite for dental implants, PRF may help you while you’re getting ready to replace a missing tooth.

Benefits for dental patients

Improving your recovery process

Any type of oral surgery typically involves a recovery process with dietary restrictions, possible discomfort, and a heightened risk of infections or complications.

Quicker recovery time after surgery can then mean a lower risk of complications. Dr White has seen improved recovery in his patients by using PRF after the extraction of wisdom teeth.

“After wisdom teeth removal, PRF can be put into the socket, accelerating the healing and reducing the risk of complications such as dry socket,” says Dr White. “Dry socket” refers to when a blood clot is dislodged from the tooth socket left by an extracted wisdom tooth, which can be painful and prolong the healing process.

“PRF can really shorten the healing time. Since I’ve been using it, many of my patients have recovered better and more quickly.”

Reducing the chances of further surgery

PRF doesn’t just help with the healing process, though. In some cases, it can also mean reducing your chances of further invasive procedures.

“By using PRF you can sometimes avoid the need for second surgeries, such as to harvest bone for implant surgeries - meaning less post-operative discomfort,” Dr White explains.

Post-surgery healing: what you can do at home

While Bupa Dental teams will always strive to make your experience as comfortable as possible, there are a couple things to remember if you’re recovering from oral surgery.

Your dentist or oral surgeon will give you detailed post-treatment instructions, but almost all recovery periods will require the avoidance of alcohol, smoking, exercising, lifting heavy objects and consuming hot food or drink. Dr White notes that you might want to avoid chilli-heavy foods.

You can also rinse your mouth with lukewarm salty water to promote healing and help reduce inflammation and the risk of dry socket.

Your recovery can vary based on the type of procedure you need, as well as your individual circumstances – but, no matter what, you can be sure that Dr White is actively searching for ways to make your recovery time shorter and smoother.

Questions about oral surgery or your oral health? Get in touch with Dr White or the rest of the friendly Bupa Dental Hornsby team. They’re conveniently located in Westfield Hornsby and are always happy to advise patients.

If you aren’t in the Hornsby area, you can find your local Bupa Dental clinic here.

*Any surgical or invasive procedure carries risks. Before proceeding, you should seek a second opinion from an appropriately qualified health practitioner.