Q: I need to have some pretty major dental work done and I’m worried because I take a blood thinner. I don’t want to stop taking it but if I don’t I’m not sure if I can have my teeth fixed. Can you please help?
Thank you so much for the question. For a while there I was beginning to feel like an orphan because no one was sending in any questions. I really want to thank the Marco Eagle for their support and to also remind everyone that this column is dependent upon you. Please continue sending in questions. I do this because I feel its important for you to get your questions answered and to inform the public about dental health. Thanks again!
Well, now that I’ve gotten that off my chest I can address your question.
In today’s world just about everybody takes some type of prescription medication for one thing or another. Blood thinners are prescribed in order to prevent blood clots from forming. One adverse affect is that the clotting factor has been diminished, bruising can occur more readily and bleeding can be more difficult to control. However, most physicians feel that it is not in the patients’ best interest to remove them from this type of medication in order to have dental treatment. When a blood thinner is prescribed there is a therapeutic goal your doctor is trying to achieve. In other words, they are trying to control the thinness of the blood. This will be different for each person. Depending on how thin your blood is being kept will determine the need or lack thereof to alter the medications. We become concerned for dental treatment when a patient needs teeth extracted, dental implants placed, gum surgery or any procedure where there will be bleeding. Simple fillings and root canals are not a concern and neither is laser gum surgery because clotting is done with the laser. In the case where there is extensive dental treatment needed, it is best to consult with the patient’s primary care physician. Any contradictions can be discussed and a suitable treatment plan can be formulated that serves the best interest of the patient. I hope that this helps to put your mind at ease.
Questions can be sent to Fred Eck, D.D.S. at Marco Dental Care, 950 N. Collier Blvd., Suite 305, Marco Island; call 389-9400 or visit marcodentalcare.com. He received his Doctor of Dental Surgery at the University of Detroit Mercy and is licensed by the Florida State Board of Dentistry.