On Blood Thinners? Here’s What You Need To Know

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On Blood Thinners? Here’s What You Need To Know

If you take ‘blood thinner’ medication and feel worried about going to the dentist – you’re not alone.

Many dental patients have a medical condition caused by a blood clot from strokes, heart attacks, deep vein thrombosis and pulmonary embolism.

As a result, anticoagulant or antiplatelet medication will be given to help you manage the condition. The most common forms of antiplatelet medication are Ticlid and Plavix while the most common anticoagulant medication is probably Coumadin (warfarin).

The concern behind taking blood thinners while going to a dentist is the risk of increased bleeding. Especially when undergoing an invasive dental procedure like tooth extraction. Although bleeding from dental procedures is easy to control and stop, even if you’re taking blood thinners. Therefore your dentist will ask for a detailed medical history including details on any heart issues, liver or kidney disease and strokes.

Once they have that information, your dentist may run a few tests and even consult with your GP before doing any procedures.

Patients who are on warfarin are monitored using the International Normalised Ratio (INR). This is a measurement of how long it takes for your blood to clot. If you are on warfarin, your doctor normally measures and records your INR values in a yellow booklet.

Will my dentist stop my blood thinners?

One thing your dentist is unlikely to do is to stop the medication altogether. That is because cases have shown that stopping the medication can be extremely dangerous. Also, considering that bleeding from dental procedures isn’t hard to control and instances of serious bleeding are very low, it’s safer not to.

How can I stop any bleeding after treatment?

Apply firm pressure on it for at least 30 minutes with a moist gauze or tea bags. Avoid drinking hot drinks, spitting, rinsing your mouth, drinking through a straw and smoking in the first 24 hours.

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