Optimal dental management in patients on long-term antiplatelet treatment is not clearly defined. Antiplatelet discontinuation increases the risk of thrombotic complications, whereas uninterrupted antiplatelet therapy, which is the currently recommended approach, is assumed to increase the bleeding hazard after dental procedures. We sought to prospectively compare the risk of immediate and late postextraction bleeding in patients receiving uninterrupted single or dual antiplatelet therapy. We recruited 643 consecutive patients referred for dental extractions. In total 111 (17.3%) were on clinically indicated antiplatelet therapy: aspirin (n = 42), clopidogrel (n = 36), and aspirin and clopidogrel (n = 33). Controls (n = 532, 82.7%) were not on antiplatelet treatment. Immediate and late bleeding complications were recorded. Compared to controls the risk of prolonged immediate bleeding was higher in patients on dual antiplatelet therapy (relative risk [RR] 177.3, 95% confidence interval [CI] 43.5 to 722, p <0.001) but not in patients on aspirin alone (RR = 6.3, 95% CI 0.6 to 68.4, p = 0.2) or clopidogrel alone (RR = 7.4, 95% CI 0.7 to 79.5, p = 0.18); however, all immediate bleeding complications in all treatment groups were successfully managed with local hemostatic measures. No patient developed any late hemorrhage. In conclusion, dental extractions may be safely performed in patients receiving single or dual antiplatelet therapy when appropriate local hemostatic measures are taken, thus averting thrombotic risk of temporary antiplatelet discontinuation.
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