Patients taking bisphosphonates are at increased risk of oral health complications (Bisphosphonate-related Osteonecrosis of the Jaw – BONJ).
BONJ is defined as exposed, necrotic bone in the maxilla or mandible that has persisted for more than eight weeks in patients taking bisphosphonates and where there has been no history of radiation therapy to the jaw.
- delayed healing following a dental extraction or other oral surgery
- soft tissue infection and swelling
- exposed bone.
Dentists are increasingly likely to see patients taking bisphosphonates because these drugs are being prescribed more often to prevent as well as to treat a wider variety of medical conditions.
This guidance has been developed by a mulidisciplinary team working with the Scottish Dental Clinical Effectiveness Programme.
The guidance document and patient advice leaflet can be downloaded from the Bisphosphonate page of the SDCEP ( Scottish Clinical Effectiveness Programme) website.