Surgery results in bleeding. This is a fairly simple concept since surgery involves making incisions into living tissue, which then bleeds to some extent. Dental implants are a form of surgery, and as such, there will be some bleeding around the site of the implant. This is minor and will quickly subside as you heal. But can you receive a dental implant when you're on medication that can complicate your ability to heal?
Anticoagulants (commonly known as blood thinners) are a wide range of medications used to treat various thrombotic conditions. An anticoagulant can be something provided with a doctor's prescription, but it can also be something as simple as taking aspirin, which some people do on a daily basis (as recommended by their doctor). The fact that anticoagulants thin your blood means that you can experience delayed clotting after bleeding, whether this bleeding is caused by an accident, or occurs as the result of surgery. So does this mean that those taking anticoagulants can't receive a dental implant?
Although the presence of anticoagulants in your system may prolong your post-implant bleeding, it doesn't prevent you from receiving an implant. That being said, the elevated bleeding that you can experience means that a multi-tooth implant might be complicated, although a single tooth implant is likely to be fine. The protracted bleeding caused by your anticoagulants must be carefully accommodated. What's the best way to manage this?
Adjusting Your Medication
It's essential that you tell your dentist whether you're on any anticoagulants (and indeed, any medication you take on a regular basis, whether it's prescribed or not). In some instances, it might be recommended that you temporarily suspend your medication; however, you should not do this without consulting your physician, and you will generally resume your mediation as soon as your post-operative bleeding has stopped (which will be a matter of days).
Managing Your Bleeding
Suspending your medication is not always mandatory, but allowances must be made for your potentially prolonged bleeding. Your dentist can provide you with sterile medical gauze (and will apply the first gauze pack immediately after your implant surgery). You will need to change these gauze packs more frequently than someone unaffected by anticoagulants, repeating as necessary until the site has clotted. Anticoagulants won't prevent this from happening, but they can delay the process.
Blood thinners won't stop you from getting a much-needed dental implant, but they must be taken into account while planning your dental surgery.