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J Oral Maxillofac Surg. 2008 Oct;66(10):2063-6. doi: 10.1016/j.joms.2008.06.027.

Exodontia and antiplatelet therapy.

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Department of Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery, Mahatma Gandhi Postgraduate Institute of Dental Sciences, Indira Nagar, Pondicherry, India.



The fear of excessive bleeding often prompts the physician to stop long-term, low-dose antiplatelet therapy before any surgical procedure. This may put the patient at risk of an adverse thromboembolic event. We undertook an assessment of the incidence of prolonged postoperative bleeding after dental extractions among patients on uninterrupted antiplatelet therapy, and evaluated the need to stop such medications before dental extractions.


Eighty-two patients requiring dental extractions were included in this study, of whom 57 were on antiplatelet therapy (aspirin). Patients were divided into 3 groups. Group 1 consisted of patients in whom antiplatelet therapy was interrupted (n = 25), group 2 consisted of those continuing their medication (n = 32), and group 3 comprised healthy patients not on antiplatelet therapy (n = 25). Preoperative bleeding time and clotting time were determined in all patients. The surgical procedure involved single or multiple teeth extractions under local anesthesia with a vasoconstrictor. All patient groups were similar regarding age, gender distribution, dosage of antiplatelet drug, and medical condition for which the drug was prescribed. Events of single or multiple teeth extractions were also comparable among the 3 groups. Pressure packing was performed in all cases as in routine dental extractions. One-way analysis of variance was performed to determine the significance of prolonged bleeding among groups.


The mean bleeding times in groups 1, 2, and 3 were 3 minutes, 2 minutes and 45 seconds, and 1 minute and 49 seconds, respectively. The mean clotting times in groups 1, 2, and 3 were 5 minutes and 4 seconds, 4 minutes and 52 seconds, and 3 minutes and 42 seconds, respectively. No patient in any group had any episode of prolonged or significant bleeding from the extraction sites. Local hemostasis had been satisfactorily obtained in all cases with the use of a pressure pack for 30 minutes.


Routine dental extractions can be safely performed in patients on long-term antiplatelet medication, with no interruption or alteration of their medication. Such patients do not have an increased risk of prolonged or excessive postoperative bleeding.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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