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A Journal on Dentistry and Maxillofacial Surgery


Official Journal of the Italian Society of Odontostomatology and Maxillofacial Surgery
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Minerva Stomatologica 2015 February;64(1):21-46

language: English, Italian

Anticoagulant therapy in patients undergoing dental interventions: a critical review of the literature and current perspectives

Isola G. 1, 2, Matarese G. 1, Cordasco G. 1, Rotondo F. 3, Crupi A. 1, Ramaglia L. 2

1 Department of Specialist Medical‑Surgical, Experimental Sciences and Odontostomatology, University of Messina, Messina, Italy;
2 Department of Neurosciences, Reproductive and Odontostomatological Sciences, School of Medicine, University “Federico II”, Naples, Italy;
3 Division of Hematology, Department of General Surgery and Oncology, University of Messina, Messina, Italy


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Patients treated with oral anticoagulant therapy (OAT) represent an issue to the dentist, as an increasing number of people are using anticoagulant drugs for cardiovascular disease. The choice of an eventual suspension or continuation of anticoagulant therapy is important when considering an efficient management of the patient. Patients in anticoagulant therapy and requiring dental procedures sometimes represent therapeutic concerns especially concerning the suspension of the anticoagulant treatment. At the moment there is no consensus among international experts of a possible discontinuation of therapy before invasive dental procedures. In this paper, the authors try to focus on this topic through a critical review of the literature. Most of the studies suggest the continuation of the anticoagulant treatment with heparin before invasive oral surgical interventions. Based on the data of the literature, two rules must be adopted in clinical practice: 1) maintenance of anticoagulation related to the international normalized ratio (INR); 2) local application of antifibrinolytic agents to ensure a proper hemostatic process. Given the widespread use of anticoagulant drugs in cardiovascular disease, dentists must often face the problem of the therapy and, since there is no consensus on the management of these patients, the authors propose, after a thorough critical review of the literature, the implementation of a multiphase protocol of surgical approach to be implemented with safety in daily clinical practice.

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