Is it safe to stop taking Coumadin to have a tooth pulled?

It is never safe to stop taking medication on your own. In most cases, having a tooth pulled while still taking Coumadin is safe, and it is more dangerous to go off the Coumadin. If your INR is 2.5 or less (1 is normal) most oral surgery can be done while still taking Coumadin. Coordinate all medication and treatment schedules with your dentist and medical doctor.
According to the American Academy of Oral Medicine, most dental procedures can be safely done while you are taking Coumadin (warfarin), a blood-thinning medication. The Academy said that discontinuing Coumadin before a dental procedure can be dangerous to your health, and that the risk of serious bleeding from a dental procedure while on a blood thinner is not common.  However, your doctor needs to know about any upcoming dental procedures and he will make the decision about stopping or changing the dose prior to your dental procedure.

So tell your dentist about your use of Coumadin (or any blood thinner) before undergoing a dental procedure. Your dentist might  want to talk to your treating physician as well to decide what is best for you.
The patient's physician is usually the one to make the call as to if and when to stop coumadin. In general, the anticoagulant is stopped prior to tooth extraction.

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Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.