Osteoporosis Medications and Dental Implants

Osteoporosis Medications and Dental ImplantsWe’re living longer, healthier, and more active lives in St. Augustine—and that’s one reason that dental implants have become the go-to solution when a missing tooth needs to be replaced. Implants are replacement teeth that are permanently embedded into the jaw bone. They don’t make you look or feel old, they won’t slow you down, and they can last forever. However, if you need to have one or more teeth replaced and you take a medication for osteoporosis, then make sure to sit down with your dentist and physician for an important conversation.

Osteoporosis is common among women, particularly those who have gone through menopause. As a result of the disease, bone mass and strength can deteriorate quickly, even in the jawbone. While osteoporosis is commonly treated with a class of drugs known as bisphosphonates, these drugs can lead to major complications. They can prevent the bones from getting nutrients from the blood and can even lead to the death of the bone cells. When this takes place in the jawbone, a serious problem known as bisphosphonate-related osteonecrosis of the jaw (BRONJ) can occur.

This can be a risky and frightening situation for any woman who is considering dental implants. Implant dentistry and the success of dental implants are largely dependent upon the availability of healthy bone that can heal properly. Fortunately, researchers are seeing an excellent success rate in women who take osteoporosis medications when their dental implants are inserted immediately after a tooth has been extracted. As a rule of thumb, elective or optional oral surgery procedures are not recommended for women who take bisphosphonates. But, if the surgery is essential, such as the removal of a broken or infected tooth, the risk for BRONJ can be decreased when a dental implant is inserted soon after.

Your osteoporosis shouldn’t prevent you from getting dental implants or enjoying the life that you love in St. Augustine. Talk to a dentist today to explore your options.