Evaluation of the Bleeding Intensity of Patients Anticoagulated with Warfarin or Dabigatran Undergoing Dental Procedures

Abstract Background: Thrombotic disorders remain one of the leading causes of death in the Western world. Dabigatran appeared as an alternative to warfarin for anticoagulation in the treatment of atrial fibrillation (AF). The risk associated with bleeding due to its use has been documented in several randomized clinical trials, but no large study has examined in detail the risk of bleeding during dental extraction and other dental procedures involving bleeding. Objective: To compare the intensity of bleeding in individuals taking dabigatran or vitamin K antagonist (warfarin) and undergoing dental procedures. Methods: Prospective, single-center, controlled study with one single observer. Patients diagnosed with nonvalvular AF, on warfarin or dabigatran, cared for at a cardiology referral center, and requiring single or multiple dental extractions, were evaluated up to seven days post-extraction. The following outcomes were assessed: bleeding time between the beginning and the end of suture and complete hemostasis; bleeding before the procedure, after 24 hours, 48 hours, 7 days, during and after suture removal (late); p<0.05 was defined as of statistical relevance. Results: We evaluated 37 individuals, 25 in the warfarin group and 12 in the dabigatran group. Age, sex, weight, height, blood pressure, color, schooling, family income and comorbidities were similar between the two groups. Regarding bleeding after 24 hours of the procedure, no one in the dabigatran group had bleeding, whereas 32% in the warfarin group had documented bleeding (p = 0.028). The other variables analyzed did not differ between the groups. Conclusions: This study suggests that, regarding dental extraction, there is no statistically significant difference in the intensity of bleeding of patients taking dabigatran as compared to those taking warfarin. Bleeding 24 hours after the procedure was less frequent among patients on dabigatran.