Does low-dose aspirin therapy complicate oral surgical procedures?

J Am Dent Assoc. 2000 Mar;131(3):331-5. doi: 10.14219/jada.archive.2000.0176.


Background: The fear of uncontrolled bleeding often prompts medical practitioners to stop aspirin intake for seven to 10 days before any surgical procedure. The authors initiated this study to evaluate the effect of aspirin on bleeding in patients undergoing oral surgery.

Methods: The study group consisted of 39 patients who were scheduled to undergo dental extractions. All patients were receiving 100 milligrams of aspirin daily on a regular basis. The authors randomly divided the patients into two groups: those who stopped the aspirin therapy before the procedure and those who continued the aspirin therapy. One hour before the procedures, all patients underwent a bleeding time test. In addition, the amount of bleeding during the procedure was measured.

Results: The mean (+/- standard deviation) bleeding time was 1.8 +/- 0.47 minutes for patients who stopped aspirin therapy one week before the procedure. For patients who continued aspirin therapy, the bleeding time was 3.1 +/- 0.65 minutes. The difference was statistically significant (P = .004). However, both groups were within the normal bleeding time range, and in both groups, a local hemostatic method was sufficient to control bleeding. No episodes of uncontrolled intraoperative or postoperative bleeding were noted.

Conclusion: Low-dose aspirin therapy should not be stopped before oral surgery. Local hemostasis is sufficient to control bleeding.

Clinical implications: Patients receiving aspirin therapy to prevent blood clot formation may be subject to emboli formation if the treatment is stopped. The results of this study show that aspirin therapy should be continued throughout oral surgical procedures. Local measures are sufficient to control any bleeding during surgery.

Publication types

  • Clinical Trial
  • Comparative Study
  • Randomized Controlled Trial

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Anti-Inflammatory Agents, Non-Steroidal / administration & dosage*
  • Anti-Inflammatory Agents, Non-Steroidal / adverse effects*
  • Aspirin / administration & dosage*
  • Aspirin / adverse effects*
  • Blood Loss, Surgical / prevention & control
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Intraoperative Complications / etiology*
  • Intraoperative Complications / prevention & control
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Oral Hemorrhage / etiology*
  • Oral Hemorrhage / prevention & control
  • Oral Surgical Procedures / adverse effects*
  • Oral Surgical Procedures / methods
  • Postoperative Complications / etiology*
  • Postoperative Complications / prevention & control
  • Time Factors


  • Anti-Inflammatory Agents, Non-Steroidal
  • Aspirin