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What You Need To Know About Aspirin And Oral Surgery

Updated 07/23/2018

When preparing for oral surgery, there are a few important things to consider. One of those is whether or not it is safe to undergo a surgical procedure if you are taking aspirin. 

Is It Safe?

Many people take aspirin and other forms of blood thinning drugs (antiplatelet or anticoagulant medications) on a regular basis to manage medical conditions and prevent heart attack and stroke. While aspirin is the most widely used over-the-counter drug in the U.S. due to its anti-inflammatory, pain relieving and fever reducing properties, it may also cause unwanted side effects, such as increased bleeding.

The concern is that these blood-thinning medications can prevent blood from clotting normally. If blood doesn’t clot normally, bleeding during an oral surgery may be more difficult to stop. 

So, what do you need to do?

First Step: Talk to Your Oral Surgeon

If you regularly take aspirin or another form of anticoagulant medication, it is important that you talk with your oral surgeon before moving ahead with surgery.  Your surgeon will consider the type and dosage of your medication before beginning any procedure and consult with your physician to determine the best route for treatment. If surgery is an option, your oral surgeon can take precautionary measures to prevent excess bleeding during treatment and ensure your safety. 

The Good News

The good news is that taking aspirin doesn’t automatically disqualify you from oral surgery. Many minor procedures, such as fillings and teeth whitening that involve little trauma to the tissues can be completed without stopping aspirin completely.

Your oral surgeon can modify techniques to be minimally invasive and use various local methods, such as biting on gauze, to prevent and reduce the volume of bleeding during a surgical procedure. 

Options for Oral Surgery When Taking Aspirin

As a general rule, major or elective oral procedures should be postponed if you have just started taking aspirin or if you are taking aspirin temporarily. However, if dental work is necessary, such as a root canal or extraction, or if you are taking aspirin on a permanent basis, your dentist may be able to reduce bleeding through the use of other medications. 

  • For some patients, temporarily stopping aspirin before a pending surgery may be a good option.
  • In other cases, however, going off anticoagulant medications altogether can present significant risks to your overall health. 

Your oral surgeon and physician can assess the benefits and potential risks of stopping the blood-thinning drug, which may require conducting a series of blood tests. While it is usually not safe to stop the medication, a reduced dosage can help to lessen any complications from bleeding that might occur during surgery. Following surgery, you would resume your normal dosage. 

Although life-threatening complications in dentistry are rare, it is critical that patients notify their dentist and physician about their use of aspirin before moving forward with any dental procedure.

Choose Grove Dental for Your Oral Surgery Needs

At Grove Dental, we have an in-house, board certified oral surgeon available to discuss all of your surgery questions and concerns. Dr. David Smith can address your options for surgery, including possible risks if you take blood thinners, and if necessary, work closely with your physician to design a surgical treatment plan that works for you.

From wisdom teeth removal and dental implants to extractions, Grove Dental can handle all of your surgical needs right in our office. For more information about oral surgery, contact Grove Dental today to schedule a consultation. We have four convenient locations to choose from in: Bolingbrook, Downers Grove, Lombard and Wheaton, IL.

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