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Should I tell my dentist that I'm taking bisphosphonates for osteoporosis?

If your physician prescribes an oral bisphosphonate, it is important to tell your dentist so that your health history form can be updated. Because some dental procedures, such as extractions, may increase your risk of developing osteonecrosis of the jaw (ONJ), an uncommon but potentially serious condition that can cause severe destruction of the jawbones, the American Dental Association (ADA) has published treatment guidelines for patients receiving bisphosphonate therapy. The medical and dental communities continue to study ways to prevent and treat ONJ to ensure the safest possible result for dental patients taking bisphosphonates.

The ADA believes your physician serves as the best source of information regarding your need for oral bisphosphonates. Given the significant benefits of these medications for osteoporosis, your physician may recommend that you continue receiving oral bisphosphonate treatment despite the slight risk of developing ONJ. While neither your physician nor your dentist can eliminate the possibility of developing ONJ, regular dental visits and maintaining excellent oral hygiene are essential in helping to avoid this significant complication.

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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.