Dental Tips | 29 August, 2019

Whitianga Informer - Medication and Dental Procedures

I am taking blood-thinning medication and I think I need to have a tooth extracted. Do I have to stop taking my medication?

Do NOT stop taking any medication without you or your dentist discussing it with your doctor first. You may put yourself at risk of having a blood clot or a stroke.

It is best to have a consultation with your dentist, so that your dentist can give your doctor details of the planned procedure. For many simple tooth extractions, you can continue to take your blood-thinner as usual. You may need to have a blood test no less than 24 hours prior to your extraction appointment, to check how well your blood is clotting. Sometimes you may need to stop taking your medication a day or more prior to a tooth extraction, but this is a decision for your doctor to make, not you.

Many different medicines can thin the blood. Common ones are aspirin, Warfarin and Dabigatran. In order to minimise the risk to yourself of a blood clot, stroke, heart attack or uncontrollable bleeding, it is vital that you share with your dentist the full details of all the medicines you are taking. With good communication between yourself, your doctor and your dentist, your needs can then be met safely.

Written by Dentists Lisa Lailey and Ryan Smagalski