Anticoagulants and Your Dental Procedures

Anticoagulants and your dental procedures

The first time you go to a medical or dental office, you are asked to give some information.  Part of that information is your medical history.  In your medical history form, the dentist asks you if you have any health problems like diabetes, high blood pressure, heart problems and many others that may affect your treatment.   You are also asked to list all the medicines that you take.  Many of these medicines have effects that need to be taken into account when the dentist will be doing a dental procedure.  Let me give you an example.

Many adults are prescribed an anticoagulant which is a drug that interferes with the formation of a clot.  This is done in order to prevent a clot that might cause an obstruction in the blood vessels of the heart or the brain, for example, which may result in a heart attack or a stroke.


aspirin anticoagulants

There are many drugs that are used for this purpose, but the most commonly used is Coumadin, (the generic name is Warfarin).

Since these drugs interfere with the coagulation of the blood,  a person that needs any type of dental surgery or an extraction, and is on anticoagulant medication, needs to inform the dentist before making an appointment, in order to consult with the physician and determine if the anticoagulant can be titrated to reduce the chances of bleeding during and after the dental procedure.  Generally the dose is titrated to an INR value of 2.0 to 2.5 checked a day or two before the appointment.

Other products that have anticoagulant effects are ginger, fish oil, vitamin E, and aspirin.  Many persons take a daily aspirin, and this should also be considered as anticoagulant therapy.

So keep a list of all medications you take, whether they are over the counter or not,  and inform your dentist before your appointment of any anticoagulants you take to avoid the risk of complications from bleeding.


Carlos Boudet, DDS DICOI
West Palm Beach Dentist


About Carlos Boudet, DDS, DICOI

Dr. Boudet is a graduate of the Medical College of Virginia. After graduating with a DDS degree in 1980, he became a commissioned officer for the United States Public Health Service. When his tour of duty ended in 1982 he received an award for outstanding service. He was asked to serve as Dental Director for Florida Community Heath Centers, supervise the operation of four dental clinics around lake Okeechobee. He established his dental practice in West Palm Beach in 1983 and has been in the same location for 30 years. He is a Diplomate of the International Congress of Oral Implantologists, a member of the Central Palm Beach County Dental Society and a chairman of the Advanced Crown and Bridge course of the Atlantic Coast Dental Research Clinic. His articles on prosthodontics and implants have been published in several popular dental magazines.

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