Heart Disease And The Possibility Of Receiving A Dental Implant

Do you make sure to visit your dentist at least twice a year to check on your oral health? Learn why dental visits are so important.

Heart Disease And The Possibility Of Receiving A Dental Implant

30 November 2016
 Categories: Dentist, Articles

If you have recently lost a tooth through an accident or through a scheduled extraction, then it may be time to start thinking about replacing the tooth. Dental replacement options vary depending on your health and the type of replacement tooth that you desire. If you have heart disease, then your health may dictate that a safe replacement like a crown or partial denture must be arranged. Keep reading to learn why this may be true and also what your dentist might do if you decide that an implant is best for you. 

Heart Disease And Dental Implant Issues

If you have heart disease, then you will likely need to take a therapeutic dose of a blood thinner for the rest of your life. The blood thinner is meant to stop blood clots from forming in your body and possibly traveling all throughout your bloodstream. This helps to reduce your heart attack risks and it is often imperative that you take the medication regularly, especially if you already have a major block in one of your arteries or if you have already gone through an operation to replace one of your heart valves. 

Unfortunately, Warfarin and other blood thinners or anticoagulant medications can present some serious issues if you go through an oral surgery. Specifically, the operation can cause you to bleed a great deal in the mouth. Since blood thinning medications stop clots from forming, the surgical area can bleed for some time without stopping. Clotting issues are common for people who undergo oral surgery. Platelets will gather to form the clot, but parts of the clot will be washed away by your saliva. This delays the formation of the clot, and the one that does form will be soft since it will be in a moist environment. 

Since clots do not always form in the mouth right away after surgery, dentists will be concerned about any medication that may interrupt the clotting process. Warfarin may need to be discontinued for a short time to prevent issues. This is something that is commonly suggested by dentists. 

Securing The Implant Device

Your dentist will work closely with you to learn about your overall health and whether or not you can safely stop the use of Warfarin or not. In some cases, it may be safe to taper down your dosage over the course of one or several weeks before your implant operation is scheduled. Stopping the medicine abruptly is risky and can lead to a blood clot forming in the brain. This is also something that can happen if you have a heart disease condition and an atrial fibrillation issue. 

If you and your dentist decide that it is not wise to stop the use of a blood thinner, then the professional may suggest that a dental implant be placed in your jaw during a flapless surgery. This surgery allows the dentist to secure a much smaller incision in the gums. During a typical dental implant operation, a large flap is created so the gums can be pulled away to reveal the bone underneath. During the flapless operation, the gums are cut only where the dental implant will be set into the jaw. A small incision is created and tissues are gently pulled open to reveal the bone. The opening is used to drill the bone and secure the implant root. Several stitches are used to close the gums afterwards. This helps to reduce bleeding risks and possible clotting issues.

If you want dental implant placement and have a heart condition, then it may not always be safe to stop taking you blood thinning medication. It is best to work directly with your dentist to find out exactly what is safe and wise based on your health needs.