In the present multicentric study, we focused on a cohort of 193 patients (119 men aged between 46 and 82 years and 74 women aged between 54 and 76 years) undergoing OAT for more than 5 years.
This study is carried out in compliance with the Helsinki Declaration; it is divided into a preoperative phase, an intraoperative phase, and a postoperative phase including a 2-months follow-up.
a) Preoperative Phase
Medical history was carried out through specific questionnaires for the diagnosis of hemorrhagic disorders [9
]. We asked the patients if they ever had hemorrhagic diathesis, its type (spontaneous or post-traumatic/post-surgical), and outcome. It is important to ask the patients if they drink alcohol or take unnecessary substances [10
]. A careful assessment of the ongoing pharmacological therapy should be carried out. Some currently used drugs (such as penicillin and cephalosporin, trimetoprim, gentamicin, rifampicin, analgesics and non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDS), cardiovascular and anti-diabetic drugs, diuretics, platelet anti-aggregants, heparins, gold salts, and anti H2
) can produce thrombocytopenia [5
• On the day of the surgery, the dental surgeon has to investigate the patient's hemocoagulative structure through a series of hematoclinical examinations.
Counseling between the dental surgeon, patient, and hygienist is necessary to make patients aware of the importance of dental hygiene in preventing dental and periodontal pathologies, which could later require more destructive and invasive therapies [11
In addition to this, inflammatory or degenerative pathologies of the oral cavity play a crucial role in the genesis of bacterial endocarditis, a non-rare phenomenon among chronic valvulopathy patients and among those with valvular prostheses [12
Bacterial Endocarditis (BE) is a potentially lethal disease, even if patients are on antibiotics. Mortality can reach up to 30% of cases.
The British Society Antimicrobial Chemotherapy (BSAC) has revised the cardiac table of patients risking BE. According to these new indications, there are 3 types of patients risking BE:
1) patients with previous BE; 2) patients with cardiac valve replacement; and 3) patients who underwent surgical shunt creation, especially in the cardiopulmonary area.
These new guidelines are no longer ambiguous about performing an antibiotic prophylaxis (table ) apart from the routinely removal of infections during the days preceding the oral surgery.
Pattern of Antibiotic Prophylaxis
The aim of antibiotic prophylaxis is to have an effective serum concentration of the active principle during the whole perioperative period.
The antibiotic therapy should be given shortly after the beginning of the treatment (1-2 h) and within 6-8 h from surgery; a longer therapy is justified only in case of infected tissues or delayed wound healing.
b) Intra-operative phase
Fifteen days before surgery, periodontal preparation of patients through tartar ablation by means of an ultrasonic equipment. To avoid periodontal hemorrhages, it is necessary to invite patients (before ablation) to do oral rinses for 1 min, with 10 ml of 4.8% solution of tranexamic acid. Moreover, it is important to prescribe to patients oral rinses with chlorhexidine digluconate 0.12%, 2 times a day for 14 days before surgery.
The day of surgery, it is necessary to assess the hemocoagulative parameters by taking a blood sample, which will allow to evaluate PT, PTT, and especially the INR measured 24 h before surgery.
In the last 3 years, we treated 193 patients on OAT with a standardized management and a 2-months follow-up. Although we evaluated every single clinical case in its uniqueness, we wanted to apply a protocol providing for a safe intra- and postoperative management of patients receiving OAT.
There are not any contraindications to the use of local anesthetics: mepivacaine, lidocaine, or articaine are recommended (articaine is needed when an intense ischemia is required and when surgery lasts more than 1 h, thanks to its longer action than mepivacaine and to its good effectiveness in controlling postoperative pain).
The literature does not recommend the use of vasoconstrictors as they could cause tachycardia episodes [13
]; nevertheless, we think that a safe use of a vasoconstrictor is possible by means of an aspirating syringe (carpule)
and a good anesthesia technique, except for patients who recently had a myocardial infarction or coronary artery bypass surgery (≤ 8 months).
This will bring 2 advantages:
The vasoconstrictor will guarantee an optimal zonal ischemia and a longer anesthetic effect, which is very useful when treating hemorrhagic patients [14
2) The vasoconstrictor (red phials) allows for an effective anesthesia, using a smaller quantity of anesthetic compared to green phials (anesthetic without vasoconstrictor).
Among the hemostatic agents that a dental surgeon can use, there are ferric sulfate, oxidized cellulose, gelatin sponges, and anti-fibrinolytics.
Oxidized regenerated cellulose [15
] (Surgicel, Tabotamp
) consists of a sterile gauze and oxidized cellulose. First, it acts as a mechanical barrier and then as a viscous mass, which works as an artificial clot.
Antifibrinolytics (Tranex, Ugurol) perform a good local hemostatic action.
Local use of tranexamic acid to prevent and treat hemorrhage in the oral cavity is recommended. The use of this active principle encourages clot formation and reduces the bleeding time [16
Before surgery, we perform a standardized preoperative procedure.
We recommend a pre-anesthesia by administering benzodiazepines (15 gtts, 20 min. before surgery). As a matter of fact, premedication allows for greater patient compliance during surgery, and the adrenalin plateau caused by intraoperative stress will be avoided.
We suggest to our patients oral rinses with chlorhexidine digluconate 0.2% solution [17
A careful disinfection of perioral and intraoral mucus-dental tissues by using an iodized solution is also necessary. Rinsing the operating field with tranexamic acid solution (4.8%) allows to control hemostasis since initial dieresis.
Performing a venous access allows to operate quickly in case of hemorrhagic emergency. In this case, patients could have hypotensive phenomena, which involve difficult identification of the venous access, because vessels could be partially collapsed.
In major oral surgery, 2 g of tranexamic acid are administered intravenously (IV) 1 h before surgery (divided into 4 × 0.5 g doses every 15 min) and after preparing the venous access [16
The cardiac activity and the pressure status have to be steadily monitored using specific equipment (CardiocapII, Datex).
The surgical procedure is performed following a standardized controlled protocol.
A plexus, intraligamentous
, or locoregional
anesthesia is performed using a slow infusion of mepivacaine 3%; we have described above what we think about the use of vasoconstrictors, which will bring more benefits than objective risks. Following a periotome syndesmotomy, a luxation of the dental-alveolar gomphosis will be performed. We suggest to reduce to a minimum the use of surgical elevators, because the moments of force of these instruments cause severe trauma to soft tissues along with microlesions to the alveolar ridge. After avulsion, manual reduction of the "greenstick" fracture [2
] of the post-extractive alveolus will be performed by two-finger compression of the vestibular and lingual-palatal alveolus portions, in order to reduce the fracture occurred during avulsion.
Accurate alveolar bone cleaning is to perform: by means of an alveolar spoon, we will remove all the possible granulation tissues representing the primum movens
in the residual cyst formation, namely post-extractive alveolites [1
A bone rongeur or a bone mill with a turbine motor (continuous irrigation) allows to eliminate the bone roughness, which could damage the soft tissues of the antagonist arch. We compressed the post-extraction alveolus with oxidized regenerated cellulose.
we suggest an absorbable suture (Vicryl 3/0 or 4/0 to avoid trauma of suture removal) using a "simple running stitch," with a further safety suture using a "simple interrupted stitch"; then, there will be a 30 minute compression of the surgical area, followed by sterile gauze application filled with tranexamic acid. If bleeding stops about 30 min later, it is the clinical demonstration of the technical success of surgery.
c) Post-operative phase
Patients should be discharged at least 60 minutes after surgery (in order to verify the absence of hemorrhagy); we advise a cold and liquid diet during the next 3 days and a tepid and semiliquid diet during the following 3 days.
Patients should perform oral rinses for 2 minutes with 10 ml of tranexamic acid, 4 times a day for 7 days [16
]. After rinsing, patients should not drink or eat for about an hour.
During the first 30 days after surgery, we suggest patients to rinse their mouth every 12 h with chlorhexidine digluconate 0.12% solution; anti-inflammatory therapy should be prescribed only in case of complex surgeries or if patients experience postoperative pain: 500 mg of paracetamol every 8 hours will be a precaution against hemorrhagic problems caused by the NSAIDs.
The highest risk of postoperative hemorrhagic diathesis is during the first 12 h after the surgery; our follow-ups allow us to exclude hemorrhagic relapse from the 6th day after the surgery.
In case of postoperative hemorrhage, a buffer imbibed in tranexamic acid should be applied together with compression of the area [18
]; if bleeding persists, up to 2 g of tranexamic acid divided into 4 doses of 0.5 g has to be administered. In incoercible cases, it is indispensable to consult the hematologist in order to reduce OAT and develop a strategy to stop hemorrhagic diathesis [19
We recommend the use of absorbable sutures (Vicryl 3/0 or 4/0) to avoid trauma caused by suture removal. Non-absorbable sutures are particularly indicated for areas presenting aponeurosis, mimic muscles, frenula, etc. Removal should nonetheless be performed on the 8th day and in the less traumatic way. In case of slight hemorrhages, it is enough to apply a tampon of tranexamic acid and repeat oral rinses for 1 or 2 days.
Regular follow-ups should be planned (7, 15, 30, and 60 days after surgery). They include intra- and extraoral examinations, a measurement of symptoms of pain by visual analogue scale (VAS), the motivation of patients to oral hygiene, and the possibility of further dental treatments.