Q: I have osteoporosis and take those drugs that doctors say you must stop if you need dental implants. Is this a real concern? Maggie in Boca
A: It seems like once a big drug TV campaign begins; half the country starts taking that “new pill”. Bob Dole and Viagra, and more recently, Sally Fields with Boniva. These drugs called Bisphosphonates as well as other brand names of the drugs: Aredia and Phosomax, have shown small incidences of jaw-bone related side effects, called: ONJ Osteonecrosis of the jaw. A decrease in circulation to localized areas of the jaw resulting in complications to tooth extractions and implant surgery was shown in a very small (4%) of people taking the above drugs.
Patients taking the drugs via injections should be more concerned and generate a dialog between their MD and their DDS. Patients taking the drug in pill form have much less risk of complications. A recent article in the Journal of Oral Implantology tested the failure rate of dental implants in patients taking bisphosphonates at S.U.N.Y.at Buffalo, NY. Although there was no statistically significant increase in implant failure in the patients taking bisphosphonates, a greater incidence of loosing small circular areas of bone where the top of the implant meets the gum line was found. This type of “peri-implant” bone loss is found on many successfully functioning implants, even years later.
Don’t let these drugs keep you from being examined by a dentists who performs dental implants and can give you the ability to have teeth like you were born with, only better! For a FREE consumer guide to implants, contact us.
Dr. Mitchell Josephs practices Cosmetic, Implant and General Dentistry in Palm Beach and can be reached at email@example.com, 888-DRTOOTH (888-378-6684) or visit www.palmbeachdentist.com
By Dr. Mitchell Josephs