Patients on Warfarin and Tooth Extractions

In the past, dentists used to advise their patients to stop taking Warfarin few days before having their teeth extracted or having other surgical procedures in the mouth.

The advice today is for patients to continue with the Warfarin as they normally would before having surgical procedures. The reason is that if the Warfarin is stopped for few days prior to any surgical procedure, this will increase the risk of thromboembolic complications. The risk of getting a thrombosis greatly outweighs the risk of excessive bleeding following the surgical procedure.

The focus is shifted to managing the excessive bleeding rather than preventing it by stopping the anticoagulants. This can be done by applying pressure on the bleeding area with a clean pack or putting sutures over the extraction socket after the extraction.

The dentist may decide to refer the medically compromised patient to the hospital for surgical treatment if the patient is considered too fragile and that the excessive bleeding itself poses a risk to the patient’s health. In this case the hospital is better equipped to deal with this kind of situation.


Ask your dentist or your doctor for further information.