Osteonecrosis fears alleviated

GPs can reassure patients taking bisphosphonates for osteoporosis that they will not have to stop treatment when undergoing dental surgery.

Recent reports of cases of osteonecrosis of the jaw (ONJ) in patients taking bisphosphonates had raised concerns that the drugs were not safe to take if undergoing dental surgery.

However, the European Calcified Tissue Society professional practice committee said that, for patients with osteoporosis treated with bisphosphonates at the licensed dose, the risk of ONJ is very low and the benefits of continuing therapy will outweigh the risk of osteonecrosis.

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