Understanding Some Questions About Blood Thinners & Dental Implants

Dentist Articles

If you have one or several missing teeth, then you may want to think about having a dental implant placed in your mouth. Implants look and feel natural and many types of people have great success with the artificial teeth. While most people can receive implants, there are certain things that can cause complications with the surgical procedure that is required to place the implant root.

Taking certain medications can cause such issues, and this includes blood thinner medicines. If you take blood thinners, then there are a few questions you might have about the medication and the implant surgery.

How Do Blood Thinners Affect Implantation?

Blood thinners directly affect the bleeding and healing process that directly accompanies the implant surgery. Dental implantation involves deep cuts to the gum tissues. The cuts are made to create a flap in the gums. The tissues are then pulled back to reveal the jaw underneath. The jaw is then drilled to create a hole that is large enough that your dental surgeon can twist the titanium device down into the jaw. Afterwards, the gum flap is then stitched around the dental implant root. 

Under normal circumstances, bleeding is significant when an implant surgery is completed. The gum tissues are rich with blood and the small capillaries in the tissues are easily damaged during surgical procedures. Also, cuts in the mouth do not heal as quickly as they do across the rest of the body. This is due to the way the saliva rinses the newly formed clots away. Also, the enzymes in the saliva break down the clots and scabs until they are able to form significantly. 

In general, it can take a few days for the implant surgical site to stop bleeding. If you take blood thinners, it can take quite a bit longer. The medication further reduces the body's ability to clot. This can make it difficult for your body to even form a clot in the mouth where it needs to. Prolonged bleeding can lead to prolonged exposure of the surgical area and the possibility of infections developing. Also, the body cannot heal until a clot forms, so healing can be significantly delayed. 

Can You Take Blood Thinners Before an Implant Operation?

When you meet with your oral surgeon, you will go through the basic steps of the implant process. Your overall health situation will be evaluated and your dentist may speak with your physician to see why you are taking blood thinners. Also, the dentist will ask about your direct risks of developing serious blood clots in your arteries if the blood thinners are stopped before and during the implant operation. If risks are low, then you may need to stop taking blood thinners for a few weeks before your procedure. In some cases, you also may need to cut down on the medication. 

If you cannot stop taking the medication for some reason, then you may still be able to go through the implant procedure. However, your dentist will need to make some changes in the way the procedure is performed. A traditional flap may not be cut into the gum tissues. A punch type of incisions may be made instead where a circular portion of the gums are removed. In some cases, a single incision as well as a one-half punch can be created as well. 

If a less invasive incision is chosen, the oral surgeon may also choose to use special sutures or surgical glues to close the gum cuts. If this type of tactic is used, then the professional will still watch bleeding closely and instruct you on how to use gauze to gently compress the surgical area. 

You can click here to read further information about dental implants. 


7 March 2017