Post-Procedure Care is Vital, Especially for Those with Blood Disorders
Most people are aware that bleeding disorders, such as Von Willebrand disease or Hemophilia, cause affected patients who suffer an external cut to bleed heavier and longer than those whose blood clots normally. And, while this is a primary symptom of bleeding disorders, it is far from the only symptom. Bleeding disorders negatively affect your body’s ability to stop internal bleeding as well. Bruises that would be the size of a quarter in a non-affected patient can grow to the size of a grapefruit in a patient with a bleeding disorder. Surgeries for patients with bleeding disorders can be incredibly risky and, more often than not, the potential for internal bleeding is of much greater concern than the external incision. In addition, even when patients with bleeding disorders finally develop clots and the bleeding temporarily stops, the clots are weaker and the risk of bleeds returning is higher.
Because patients with bleeding disorders produce weaker clots and are at higher risk for recurring bleeds, it is of critical importance that the dentist and hematologist develop a post-procedure treatment plan for the patient and that the patient adheres strictly to the plan. The completion of a successful dental procedure in the office does not guarantee a successful treatment, even for patients without bleeding disorders. All patients receive instructions on proper care following their procedure, including hygiene regiments, prohibited foods or activities, etc. The restrictions on patients with bleeding disorders may be greater or instituted for a longer period of time to ensure proper healing. In addition, patients with bleeding disorders will generally continue receiving treatment with clotting factors and other medications for several days after the occurrence of any bleeding in order to ensure that bleeding does not recur.
Strict adherence to the post-procedure treatment plan is vital for patients with bleeding disorders, not only because they are at higher risk for post-procedure complications, but also because of the possibility that a complication may necessitate an additional procedure and all procedures are inherently of higher risk for those with bleeding disorders. An excellent illustration of this point is the dental phenomenon known as “dry sockets.” Dry sockets can occur after tooth extraction and are particularly well-known for occurring after wisdom tooth extraction. When the tooth is extracted a hole, or “socket,” remains in the bone where the tooth has been removed and a blood clot forms to protect the nerves and bone underneath. A dry socket occurs when that blood clot becomes dislodged or dissolves and the nerves and bone are left exposed to air, food, and fluid. Dry sockets are extremely painful, more susceptible to infection, and require repeated return visits to the dentist.
Smoking, poor dental hygiene, and several other factors can increase the likelihood of developing dry sockets for all patients. Patients with bleeding disorders possess the added risk-factor of weaker clots and, thus, are more susceptible to dry sockets. The success of a dental treatment does not begin and end in the dentist’s office. It is essential that all patients, and in particular patients with bleeding disorders, follow the post-procedure treatment plan developed by their dentist and other involved physicians.
Call Wells Family Dental Group Today!
At Wells Family Dental Group, we strive to take the best care possible of our patients for the entire course of their treatment from the initial consultation until they are completely healed. Our Raleigh, NC dentists will work with you, your hematologist, and other relevant physicians to ensure that your treatment plan is as successful as possible. Please call today to set up and initial consultation, we are more than happy to answer any questions that you have!