We’ve recently reported on how we use platelet-rich fibrin (PRF) to help with pain reduction and faster healing after tooth extractions, and to speed up the implant process. Did you know that Winchester Dental is one of the only general dentistry practices in Winchester to offer PRF? In this interview, Dr. Kelly Richardson, DDS, discusses how successfully PRF is working for our patients, and team member Monica Boyd discusses completing phlebotomy training that allows us to accomplish the entire PRF procedure in our office and among our team.

Dr. Richardson, how frequently do the dentists at Winchester Dental use PRF?

We use it for nearly all our implant patients, and for most of our patients who require extractions.

How quickly does PRF help patients heal?

PRF reduces healing time by half, and in many cases, by almost two-thirds. When we use PRF during extractions and implant procedures, after one week we see the same level of healing that we’d expect after two or three weeks without it.

Using PRF requires a patient’s own blood. Do you draw the blood in the office?

Yes—in fact, we used to have a lab technician come in to draw patients’ blood, but recently our team member Monica Boyd has completed the phlebotomy training necessary for her to do the blood draws. After Monica draws the patient’s blood, we spin it in the centrifuge we have in our office lab. The blood forms a clot that we then apply to the treatment site, and it is this clot that provides a restorative matrix of healing proteins.

How much time does the PRF process add to patient appointments?

The process only takes about 10-15 minutes. It’s fast!

Are there any additives in PRF?

No, there are no additives—the entire process requires only the patient’s own blood. This makes it 100% biocompatible and lowers the risk of complications.

Monica, what was the coursework you completed?

I took an 8-week course in phlebotomy at Blue Ridge Community College, and then completed an externship at Advanced Health Lab Services here in Winchester.

What did your externship involve?

The externship lasted four weeks, and within that time I completed the requirement of 100 hours of practice and 100 blood draws.

Wow! How are you enjoying your new responsibility in the office?

I like it, and I’m also glad to work as part of the office administrative team. The combination is a good match for my skills and interests!