Thinking about holding off on dental work because you're on blood thinners? As tempting as it may be to cancel a trip to the dentist for fear of complications, ultimately, you may end up compromising your oral health. Anti-coagulant medication will most certainly impact your dentist's approach to your care, but many procedures can still be conducted safely and successfully. If you're taking blood thinners due to a current or previous health condition, here's what you need to know.
Commonly prescribed anti-coagulants such as warfarin, dabigatran etexilate, or clopidogrel (more widely known by their respective brand names: "Coumadin", "Pradaxa" and "Plavix"), and even over-the-counter aspirins and NSAIDs (non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs like "Advil") help reduce the chance of a heart attack or stroke by keeping harmful clots from developing in blood vessels. Certain properties inhibit the release of the chemical thromboxane and other critical factors essential to the clotting process.
While this can be significantly beneficial for those with a coronary condition or history of coronary-related issues, heavy bleeding due to invasive surgical procedures is a serious risk, as are autoimmune reactions. Because of the probability for adverse side effects, it is critical that patients on anti-coagulants share their medical history with care providers prior to proceeding with any form of health treatment.
Although caution must always be used when dealing with patients on blood thinners, the good news is that many such individuals undergo common (and even some complex) dental procedures everyday without suffering any significant complications. Of course, if blood thinners are only being taken temporarily, it may make more sense to hold off on dental work until you have fully recovered, but in most cases, it is safer to undergo care for non-invasive procedures such as teeth cleaning, fillings, and restoration work without halting your medication. Bruising and slightly longer healing times may be expected, but by applying additional post-treatment measures such as fibrin sponges, silk sutures, and medicinal gauzes, your dentist can keep excess bleeding well under control.
For more invasive procedures that require oral surgery, such as a wisdom tooth extraction, root canal or dental implant, a consultation between your dentist and physician will be required. Approach for treatment will largely depend on weighing the severity of your dental needs against the nature of your larger health condition, and whether it is safe to pause medication for the surgery. Oftentimes, diagnostic blood tests will be requested to help determine your eligibility for surgery.
Anti-coagulants may also come with other oral health risks outside of the dentist's office. It is not uncommon to experience bruising and/or bleeding of the gums due to brushing and flossing, and injuries to the mouth due to an accident or sports may result in heavier bleeding than normal. See your dentist for changes you may need to make to your personal hygiene and everyday routine in order to help protect your oral health.
Dr. Rehder and the entire staff are friendly and compassionate. They accommodate my needs as a patient and treat me as a personal friend. Professionally, they provide the utmost care and advice, the patient always comes first. I can’t say enough positive comments about this practice.
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Dr. Rehder is very professional, yet not too serious as he is doing your teeth. He makes it relaxing and is able to keep your mind away from his work (I have never liked going to the dentist, but Dr. Rehder makes the experience as close to pleasant as a dentist visit can be).
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Thank you Dr. Rehder and Christine for the "always exciting" and "never a dull moment" orthodontist appointment. See you in two weeks to do it all over again. Ok maybe-not ALL over again.
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I had a great experience with Dr. Rehder. He is very informative and professional. All of the staff were so nice and helpful. My overall experience was one of the best I had with a dental office. I would definitely recommend people to come here.
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Professional staff. Makes you feel at ease, would highly recommend.
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Always wonderful visits at Pinefield Dental. I've been a patient since the very early 90s. The staff is my extended family & takes care of my teeth with the utmost professionalism. This is my dental home.
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The doctor and staff were wonderful. My experience is always great. The staff is very caring and always professional. The hours are very convenient as well. They will be able to accommodate anyone's schedule.
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Richard F. Gittleson, DDS Reviews No one likes/enjoys going to the dentist, but our dentist (Dr. Gittleson) and his staff are so pleasant they help relieve a patient fears.
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Highly recommended, I’ve been a patient since 1983.
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