Aaaaggghhhhhh it’s dentist time…
Normally I am okay with going to the dentist but since being put on Warfarin I haven’t been so keen. My previous dentist, whom I used to see when abroad on holiday, preferred that I be treated back in the UK after I started taking Warfarin in case anything should go wrong. I was pretty reluctant because he had been a fantastic dentist and really looked after me over the years.
So, I did go and see a dentist in my home town earlier this year. Waahhhh! Not the best of experiences and needless to say I won’t be going back there again.
Today I was meeting my new dentist, Mark Colwell at Church Court Dental Practice. Wow, what a difference - not only in approach but in their diligence to make sure everything is covered and my teeth are in optimal health.
Mark spent time chatting with me about my history and the treatment I have had over the years. He went into a lot of detail about how he works with anyone, like myself, who is on Warfarin. It wasn’t so long ago that people on Warfarin had to stop taking it a couple of days prior to any invasive dental treatment. This was as a means of reducing the INR to minimise blood loss. Mark was very clear that this practice is no longer acceptable. He explained that the reason behind anyone taking warfarin (clot prevention etc.) presents a higher risk than the possibility of the person bleeding for a longer period. So patients are no longer advised to stop taking their Warfarin dosage.
The process, he said, is that I would go to my doctor for an INR check on the Monday, get the results on Tuesday and undertake dental treatment on a Wednesday. This is so that I would have Thursday and Friday to go back to them if there are any issues and I would not be left over the weekend with nobody to contact.
I have to say that this all reassured me on a number of levels. First of all there will not be a period of time when I am without the full dose of anticoagulant in my system which could put me at risk of clotting. This will avoid my INR falling which, because I have Antiphospholipid Syndrome, means I get unpleasant symptoms when my INR is too low. I really don’t like when this happens and I wouldn’t want to have to go through this every time I needed dental treatment. I think also having the treatment earlier in the week, and working with the knowledge that my INR will remain stable, means there will be a lot less worry if I had an issue post treatment. It all sounds so much safer and I feel much happier to get any dental treatment that may be needed.
Mark also completed a PreViser Risk Assessment on my teeth to give a risk rating for gum disease, decay, and oral cancer. There is a FREE self-assessment tool on their website if you would like to look at what your dental score is. Follow this link and answer the questions :
I have always had good strong teeth and I want to keep them healthy which in turn will keep my blood healthy and work towards reducing the risk factors which can cause further clots.
So what is your dental score?