Platelets play an essential role in clot formation by changing shape, releasing alpha-granules and aggregating in response to blood vessel injury. Growth factors released during degranulation increase tissue regeneration by increasing cell mitosis, chemotaxis and stimulating angiogenesis. In the presence of a wound, as with the open socket left behind after molar extraction, growth factors signal to surrounding epithelial cells to increase proliferation.
Complete healing from tooth extraction requires the regeneration of soft tissue and, in many cases, bone. Postoperatively a healthy patient will regenerate connective tissue and osteoblasts as needed. Growth factors contained in PRP such as insulin-like growth factor, vascular endothelial growth factor, epidermal growth factor, nerve growth factor, transforming growth factor-β1&2, and platelet-derived growth factors rapidly increase the patient’s healing potential by increasing collagen production and vascular ingrowth at the surgical opening. Platelets also release cytokines such as angiopoietin-2 and interleukin-1 which notify surrounding and distant cells to migrate to the site of injury.
After extraction, filling the open tooth socket with activated PRP gel acts as a natural clot, but with the added benefit of growth factors and far superior adhesion. A natural blood clot is composed primarily of red blood cells with approximately 5% platelets and less than 1% white blood cells. The activated PRP gel forms a dense fibrin clot composed of 94% platelets, 5% red blood cells and approximately 1% white blood cells.¹