So many people around the world today are living on anticoagulants (also referred to as blood thinners) to protect them from
stroke, heart attack, and other medical conditions. The function of these anticoagulants is to prevent clots from firming within the blood. These drugs, over the years, have helped to save many lives, but they also have their disadvantages, especially increase in bleeding.
Some of the very popular anticoagulants include heparin, clopidogrel, warfarin, and dabigatran etexilate. Some common aspirins can also have an anticoagulatory effect on them. Therefore, if you are on any of these medications, and you want to undergo a dental process, necessary precautions must be taken. Why? Because it takes a longer time for blood to clot in such a patient. So, in such instance, we need to take a record of the type of antiplatelet drugs you’re using and also consult your cardiologist if the need arises.
Having Dental Work with Blood Thinners
There are generally laid down rules for testing patients that are on anticoagulants. Although each case differs per individual; For example, a patient who just had a knee replacement would not be advised to have a dental procedure during that period. However, in most situations, some people can still carry on with their dental processes while on anticoagulants medications. There must be an equilibrium between the risks of increased bleeding and the consequences of stopping the medication.
Some research has attested to the fact that it is safer to continue with anticoagulant medications while undergoing some dental processes such as cleanings, fillings, and restoration than to stop the medicine. The reason being that it is easier to stop bleeding using local methods and some mild invasive surgical techniques.
Also, it would be good for such patients to go for the dental procedure at the early hours of the day. It will afford them enough time to rest and control any possible bleeding that might arise.
More Complicated Procedures
In some situations, patients on anticoagulants might require complex dental processes such as tooth extraction or implantations. As usual, the doctors have to analyze the risks from both sides before deciding to continue or quit. To also ensure proper decision-making, some diagnostic tests have to take place. Analysis for Prothrombin time or International Normalized Ratio might be carried out. Afterward, a decision will be made based on the outcome of the tests.
Although it is a rare situation for conventional dental processes to lead to such complications as stated above, we still have to take the necessary precautions. That is why you need to tell us about your past and current medication while visiting the dental office. It is very vital as it will help you to get the best choice of treatment.