Be aware of medications when getting procedures done

Dear Warriors,

I want to pass on some vital information I learned on my last trip to the dentist. I was debating on having a tooth pulled or getting a root canal. Fortunately, the dentist noticed I was taking Fosamax, which changed the whole ball game, if you are on Fosamax (alendronate or any bisphosphonate drug) and have to have dental work. Fosamax can slow bone loss and may help prevent bone fractures. It is also used by men and women who have osteoporosis caused by taking steroids.

Bisphosphonate therapy is also used in patients that have or had breast cancer that go from the correction of hypercalcemia to the prevention of cancer treatment-induced bone loss and metastatic bone pain.

Even though this type of therapy may be beneficial, unfortunately, they are associated with osteonecrosis of the jaw bone (ONJ), particularly if dental surgery is performed in long-term Fosamax users. To have a simple tooth extraction or dental implants could prove to be fatal. Dentists will not perform oral surgery if they see you are taking or have taken any of these bisphosphonate drugs especially if given through an IV. These drugs last a long time in your system therefore there is no “magic” time to have any oral surgery. Any dentist that is in a rush to do any invasive surgery, knowing you have taken any of these drugs, I suggest you get another dentist. Root canals are also less effective when on this drug regimen.

Some of the following drugs that are bisphosphonates are Fosamax, Zometa, Didronel, Reclast, Atelvia, Actonel, Aclasta and Boniva, etc. These are the pharmaceutical name. You may recognize some of them under their generic name zolendric acid,or risedronatead ibandronate.

Dentists will not deter you from taking any bisphosphonate drug. The benefits far outweigh the negatives. Always, always give a list of the drugs you are taking, before you are having any procedure! If you are a former or current cancer patient, seek your oncologist’s advice. There is usually an alternative way to achieve the results you want.

I know the feeling you have when you have completed the initial cancer treatment and you are in remission, you think you are in the clear. Cancer or cancer treatment have a lasting effect, but it just means you have to be more aware not scared!

For further information go to:

Reach Inez at

Johnson Newspapers 7.1


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