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Bleeding After Dental Extractions in Patients on Warfarin

An interesting article titled “Postoperative Bleeding Following Dental Extractions in Patients Anticoagulated With Warfarin” written by Anthony Febbo and et al. appears in the 2016 Journal or Oral and Maxilofacial Surgery (vol. 74, pp. 1518-1523). The article sought to explore the risk of bleeding in patients on warfarin after dental extraction. Warfarin is the most common anticoagulant used in Australia which can be used to prevent life-threatening thromboembolic events, such as stroke and deep vein thrombosis from occuring in patients at risk. Varying viewing points exisist as how to best handle these patients when a tooth or teeth need to be extracted. Some options include stopping the anticoagulant before extraction or continuing to use it while local hemostatic techniques are used. However ceasing the anticoagulant could be deadly so it is not generally used. The therapeutic effect of warfarin is measured as prothrombin time and communicated as the international normalized ratio (INR) with most patients between a value of 2 and 3 for INR. Prior studies have shown a rate of bleeding after dental extraction of approximately 2 to 8% for patients on warfarin but this includes specialistic centers with highly trained dentists or oral surgeons. The authors sought to […]

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