Many people take anticoagulant or blood thinning medications (Warfarin(Coumadin), Plavix, Heparin, Lovenox, Fragmin or even aspirin, for example) to treat conditions or to avoid medical problems like vascular disease or strokes. These medications can make people hesitant to get dental care because of the potential for excessive bleeding or bruising.
A great deal of research has been done on this topic, and dentists have a variety of procedures and techniques in place to help patients properly manage their medication—and get the dental treatments they need.
The consensus among dental and medical professionals is that medications should NOT be altered before most dental procedures. In some cases, with specific dental surgery, it may be necessary to review medications in advance to avoid bleeding issues.
But for most routine dental procedures, it’s possible to stay on your meds and get the treatment you need.
Always advise your dentist of any medications you are taking, and if you have specific questions, be sure to ask them. You can also use the “Ask the Expert” feature of our website to get answers.
If you take anticoagulants, it’s still important to take care of your teeth. And your dentist can help you do that while making sure your medications are properly managed.