Summary of Research
My research was on anticoagulants and dental medicine. Anticoagulants keep blood from clotting at a normal rate and are taken by people who suffer from deep venous thrombosis, stroke, myocardial infarction, cardiac valve replacement, or atril fibrillation. Proper blood clotting is important in any medical procedure, especially dental treatments. Previously, dentists instructed patients taking anticoagulants to stop taking their medications before a dental procedure so normal blood clotting would occur. I looked at various articles written by dentists and doctors about keeping patients on their anticoagulants during dental procedures because oral bleeding can be controlled with hemostatic measures. Minor oral bleeding is easier to resolve than risking a thromboembolism event which could occur if patients stop taking their anticoagulants. My research created guidelines and explanations on how to administer dental therapy to patients taking anticoagulants.
I did not know what anticoagulants were before discussing the topic with my mentor. He gave me several articles to read about anticoagulants in dental medicine. I did not know what to expect when I began reading the articles, which was actually a good thing because it allowed me to form my own opinions and conclusions about the topic. Many dentists are not informed about International Normalized Ratio (INR) values or how to treat patients with high INR values. My research board aimed to solve that problem. The therapeutic INR value range is 1.0-3.5. If an INR value is above 4.0, the dental procedure should not be performed and the dentist should discuss alternative options with the patient’s physician. I created guidelines for specific procedures, like extractions, radiographs, or root canals, which gave INR ranges for each procedure so dentists know if certain treatments are safe or not depending on the INR value.
This research is vital for residents at LVHN because dentists and doctors should collaborate about anticoagulant patients to give the best care possible. My research will keep dentists aware of therapeutic INR ranges and the idea of keeping a patient on their anticoagulant medications during dental procedures to avoid the risk of a thromboembolism event. Anticoagulants are being prescribed more every year and big advances in medications are taking place. It is essential for dentists to know how to provide proper care to patients taking anticoagulants.
Published In/Presented At
Wray, K. (2013, July 26). Dental Care of Patients on Anticoagulation Medicines. Poster presented at: Research Day 2013, Lehigh Valley Health Network, Allentown, PA.
Research Scholars, Research Scholars - Posters
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