Many patients today are taking medications that thin the blood or make it less likely to clot and block an important artery in the heart, lungs or brain. Coumadin is a common medication that has been used for over a half century, prolonging the lives of thousands of people. If you have been instructed by your physician to take this medication, you should continue it. You can undergo most oral surgery without fear of excessive bleeding. With a few local measures familiar to all oral surgeons, you will be able to have your procedure completed without risk. Be sure to inform our staff of your prescribed medications and particularly Coumadin.
Aspirin is a very safe and effective drug that many people take daily to decrease the risk of heart attacks. This can be continued right through your oral procedure. Two other commonly prescribed medications are Plavix and Persantine. These can also be prescribed without fear of excessive bleeding following oral surgery. Physicians are referred to an excellent review in the Archives of Internal Medicine/Vol. 158, Aug. 10/24, 1998, entitled “Dental Surgery in Anticoagulated Patients” by Michael J. Wahl, D.D.S. A summary of the article regarding this subject is included below. Unfortunately, there are several documented cases of serious embolic complications in patients where Coumadin therapy has been withdrawn for dental treatment.
“There are virtually no cases of oral bleeding that could not be controlled by local measures, even at PT or INR levels well above the therapeutic range.”
Even extensive oral surgical procedures such as full mouth extraction, alveoloplasty or the placement of dental implants, can be accomplished with the patient in a therapeutic range. Do not stop or alter your prescribed dose of Coumadin unless specifically instructed by your physician or surgeon.