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How Dentists Handle Patients Taking Osteoporosis Medication

How Dentists Handle Patients Taking Osteoporosis Medication

There’s a chance you don’t know it yet, but telling your dentist what osteoporosis medication you are taking may save you from a lifetime of pain.

Dentists have to take special precautions and look towards alternative methods for patients taking a specific form of osteoporosis medication as not doing so could result in a rare, but severe side-effect.

For years now osteoporosis has been treated with medications typically taken by the form of a pill. Among these medications is a type known as bisphosphonates. This form of the medication is used to combat the rapid bone decay process found in osteoporosis affected patients as well as to ease their suffering.

Typically in osteoporosis afflicted patients the osteoclasts in your body work overtime to destroy bone in your body while the osteoblasts are left unable to keep up. Osteoblasts in healthy individuals rebuild new bone at a rate kept in balance with osteoclasts, but due to osteoporosis, this balance is shifted. Bisphosphonates are used to help try and maintain a sense of balance between the osteoclasts and osteoblasts, but a normal balance found in healthier patients can never truly be achieved.

Bisphosphonate-related drugs used in treatments change the way how dentists treat their patients due to one rare, but severe, side-effect known as osteonecrosis of the jaw. This side-effect often results from a combination of receiving a dental implant and partaking in alcohol abuse, smoking, or drug abuse. As a dentist, it is important to be made aware of any bisphosphonates you may be taking so a safer alternative treatment can be used such as root canal therapy. Root canal therapy has been known to be a much safer alternative in osteoporosis patients so the chance of getting bisphosphonate-related osteonecrosis is much less likely.

Please be sure to let Dr. Sulken and Dr. Kinn know of your osteoporosis medication prior to having any dental work done as it may save you from a lifetime of severe pain.

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