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Are you being treated for osteoporosis? Pay attention! Do you take or are you about to start taking medication for osteoporosis? How does osteoporosis medication relate to a dental exam and dental treatment? While not immediately obvious, you will see that your dentist MUST BE MADE AWARE that you will be taking any of these medications when you fill out your initial medical history, or upon returning to your existing dental office for your periodic exam. Many women today are being treated for osteoporosis with a class of drugs known as Bisphosphonates. Some common names for these drugs include, but are not limited to: Boniva, Fosamax, Actonel, Zometa and Aredia. These medications have been used for years with many positive results in the fight against osteoporosis, however, they also come with some serious negative side effects that you need to be aware of. While helpful in treating osteoporosis, studies the past few years have shown that even oral administration of these drugs can adversely affect the way that bone heals in the mouth. More specifically, any dental procedure in which the tooth supporting bone is
Osteoporosis Medications And Dental Health Considerations
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traumatized or manipulated in any significant way may cause a condition known as osteonecrosis (osteo = bone, necrosis = death.) This condition is one in which the traumatized bone has a limited capacity for healing properly, and it begins to die and spread from the area of initial trauma. This can become a difficult process to control and can occur in a significant percentage of cases. Some studies have shown that upwards of 4% of women that are taking or have taken oral bisphosphonates have developed some degree of osteonecrosis after a tooth extraction. To complicate things a bit more, this class of drugs remains in the bone for years, so its deleterious effects remain in place for years as well. It is imperative that the patient who requires an extraction or any significant bone manipulation will need to have the procedure done prior to commencing with the aforementioned medications, especially since the drug remains in the bone tissue for years after stopping treatment. These drugs actually have a 10-year half-life in bone. Once you start taking it, it stays with you a long time. Keeping your teeth healthy has never been so important. If at all possible, have a dental checkup and cleaning before commencing treatment with any of these medications, as well as during and post treatment.
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"Nurturing The Jewel
In Every Woman!"
Dr. Richard Rongo
HUNTINGTON VILLAGE DENTAL
32 Woodbury Road, Huntington NY 11743