Dental implants can be problematic if you take Fosamax, Actonel or Boniva. Contrary to popular opinion, This does not mean you cannot have dental implants, sinus lifts or bone grafts just because you take or have ever taken these medications called “bisphosphonates.”
Need Dental Implants, but Also Take Bisphosphontates?
For more than a decade, I have safely placed dental implants on patients who take or have taken these medications.
Oral bisphosphonates like Fosamax , Actonel and Boniva are commonly used for the prevention and treatment of osteoporosis. They work by preventing bone breakdown and increasing bone density (thickness).
This sounds great, but when having a dental implant, bone graft or extraction, you need to have both types of cells that make bone and remove bone to heal normally.
Your risk involving dental implants
Having been treated previously or currently using bisphosphonate drugs you should know that there is a risk of future complications associated with dental implants, bone grafting or oral surgery treatment. Fosamax type drugs appear to adversely affect the ability of the jawbone to break down or remodel itself thereby reducing or eliminating its ordinary excellent healing capacity.
This risk is increased after surgery, especially from tooth extraction; implant placement or other “invasive ” procedures that might cause even mild trauma to bone.
Osteonecrosis may result. This is a smoldering, long-term, destructive process in the jawbone that is often very difficult or impossible to eliminate. The bone becomes exposed in the mouth and the gum doesn’t heal over it.
Fortunately this complication is fairly uncommon and happens in only about 1% of cases. I have personally seen it. It is most common in the lower jaw as opposed to the upper jaw. The risk of osteonecrosis after having an implant is increased if you have been taking it longer than 3-4 years.
Fosamax , Actonel and Boniva last in your bone long after you stopped taking it. It may last in your bone for 10-50 years!
Make Sure Your Implant Dentist Knows Your Medical History
Your medical/dental history is very important to me. Let me know if you take or have taken Fosamax , Actonel and Boniva before a sinus lift, bone graft or dental implant. I may write you a prescription to have a special blood test to check your risk before we start. I may consult with your medical doctor to modify your regimen. It is critical to use a very knowledgeable implant dentist when you have taken these types of medications because there are many other factors that can cause problems not listed above.
Ramsey A. Amin, D.D.S.
Diplomate of the American Board of Oral Implantology /Implant Dentistry
Fellow of the American Academy of Implant Dentistry
Voted Best Dentist in Burbank -2006, 2008, 2010, 2011