Dental Surgery and Antiplatelet Agents: Bleed or Die | Heart and Vascular Health | Scoop.it

In patients taking antiplatelet medications who are undergoing dental surgery, physicians and dentists must weigh the bleeding risks in continuing antiplatelet medications versus the thrombotic risks in interrupting antiplatelet medications. Bleeding complications requiring more than local measures for hemostasis are rare after dental surgery in patients taking antiplatelet medications. Conversely, the risk for thrombotic complications after interruption of antiplatelet therapy for dental procedures apparently is significant, although small. When a clinician is faced with a decision to continue or interrupt antiplatelet therapy for a dental surgical patient, the decision comes down to “bleed or die.” That is, there is a remote chance that continuing antiplatelet therapy will result in a (nonfatal) bleeding problem requiring more than local measures for hemostasis versus a small but significant chance that interrupting antiplatelet therapy will result in a (possibly fatal) thromboembolic complication. The decision is simple: It is time to stop interrupting antiplatelet therapy for dental surgery.