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Management of Dental Patients Taking Anticoagulants or Antiplatelet Drugs

cover sheet of full guidancePublished August 2015
Guidance under review – see below for details


Three smart phones showing appAlso available via the SDCEP Dental Companion app.

Supporting tools
A number of supporting tools are included with the full guidance to assist the dental team to implement the guidance recommendations.  These are available for download and printing:


Printed copies of the Full Guidance and Quick Reference Guide are available.

About this guidance

Management of Dental Patients Taking Anticoagulants or Antiplatelet Drugs provides recommendations and practical advice to inform bleeding risk assessment and decision making for the treatment of this patient group. Information about the newer generation anticoagulants and antiplatelet drugs as well as the more established medications is included.

The guidance is aimed primarily at dentists, hygienists and therapists in primary care dental practice and will also be of relevance to the secondary care dental service, those involved in dental education and undergraduate trainees.

Guidance development

The guidance is based on a review of available evidence and the opinion of dental and medical experts and experienced practitioners and has been subject to open consultation prior to finalising for publication. The methodology used for the development of this guidance, including details of the evidence search strategy, evidence appraisals and information about conflict of interests can be found in the Anticoagulants Guidance Development Methodology (PDF) document. Further information on the SDCEP guidance development process is available or contact the SDCEP office (scottishdental.cep@nes.scot.nhs.uk).

During the development process, potential barriers to the implementation of this guidance were identified. A Guidance Implementation Summary (PDF) of information about these is provided. For further details visit the TRiaDS website.

NICE_Accreditation_CMYKNICE has accredited the process used by the Scottish Dental Clinical Effectiveness Programme to produce its Management of Dental Patients Taking Anticoagulants or Antiplatelet Drugs guidance. Accreditation is valid for 5 years from 15 March 2016. More information on accreditation can be viewed at www.nice.org.uk/accreditation. Further information about NICE accreditation of SDCEP guidance can be viewed at NICE Accreditation.

Guidance Development Group

A multidisciplinary Guidance Development Group, consisting of individuals from a range of branches of the dental and medical professions together with a patient representative, was convened to develop and write this guidance, assisted by our Programme Development Team.

Name Position
Garry Sime (Chair) Senior Dental Officer and Specialist in Special Care Dentistry, NHS Tayside
Carol Armstrong Dental Tutor Therapist, UHISOHS, NHS Dumfries & Galloway
Dean Barker Consultant in Restorative Dentistry/Honorary Clinical Senior Lecturer, University of Aberdeen Dental School and Hospital
Adrian Brady Consultant Cardiologist, NHS Greater Glasgow & Clyde; Associate Professor, University of Glasgow
Patricia Green Patient Representative and Anticoagulation Europe (ACE) Local Patient Contact, Aviemore
Steven Johnston Salaried Dental Officer, Public Dental Service, NHS Orkney
Douglas Kennedy Consultant in Oral & Maxillofacial Surgery, NHS Tayside
Clare Marney Consultant in Oral Medicine, Dundee Dental Hospital and School
Steve McGlynn Specialist Principal Pharmacist (Cardiology), NHS Greater Glasgow & Clyde; Honorary Senior Teaching Fellow, University of Strathclyde
Namita Nayyer Specialty Registrar in Oral Surgery, Dundee Dental Hospital and School
Avril Neilson Consultant in Oral Surgery, Dundee Dental Hospital and School
Gillian Nevin General Dental Practitioner, Coupar Angus; Assistant Director of Postgraduate GDP Education, Dundee Dental Education Centre
Christine Randall Senior Medicines Information Pharmacist and UKMi Representative, North West Medicines Information Centre, Liverpool
Simon Randfield General Practitioner, NHS Forth Valley
Petrina Sweeney Senior Lecturer/Honorary Consultant in Special Care Dentistry, University of Glasgow Dental School
Campbell Tait Consultant Haematologist, NHS Greater Glasgow & Clyde
Liz Theaker Consultant in Oral Medicine, Dundee Dental Hospital and School
John Wall General Dental Practitioner, Perth

Review and updating

The SDCEP Management of Dental Patients Taking Anticoagulants or Antiplatelet Drugs guidance was first published in 2015. In line with SDCEP’s standard five year guidance review period, the scheduled review of the guidance topic commenced in 2020. The evidence searches are being updated and information on practitioners’ experience of treating relevant patient groups is being sought. The Guidance Development Group will reconvene in 2021 to consider developments relating to the topic, review new evidence and information and update the guidance.