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  • Writer's pictureQuek And Me Dental Surgery

Why do I need to get a dental clearance before I go for osteoporosis treatment?

The need for a dental clearance before osteoporosis treatment, specifically with certain medications like bisphosphonates, is related to a potential side effect known as osteonecrosis of the jaw (ONJ). Bisphosphonates are a class of drugs commonly prescribed to treat osteoporosis and other bone-related conditions.

ONJ is a rare but serious condition that involves the death of jawbone tissue. While the exact cause of ONJ is not fully understood, there seems to be an association between its development and the use of bisphosphonates. These drugs can affect the normal turnover of bone tissue, potentially leading to issues with jaw healing.

A dental clearance is often recommended before starting bisphosphonate therapy to identify and address any existing dental issues that could increase the risk of ONJ. Dental problems such as untreated infections, poor oral hygiene, or the need for invasive dental procedures can contribute to the development of ONJ.

Here are some reasons for obtaining a dental clearance before starting osteoporosis treatment with bisphosphonates:

Prevention of Complications: Addressing existing dental issues before starting treatment can help prevent complications, as bisphosphonates may slow down the healing process in the jaw.

Reducing the Risk of ONJ: By addressing potential risk factors and ensuring good oral health, the risk of developing ONJ may be minimized.

Guidance on Dental Procedures: If dental procedures are necessary, it is generally recommended to complete them before starting bisphosphonate therapy. This is because certain dental procedures, especially invasive ones, can increase the risk of ONJ.

It's essential to communicate openly with both your dentist and healthcare provider about your medical history, including any medications you are taking. They can work together to assess your individual risk factors and determine the most appropriate course of action for your situation. Keep in mind that this information is general, and individual recommendations may vary based on specific circumstances and evolving medical guidelines.

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