Tooth treatment and bisphosphonate treatment

I have six monthly zometa infusions, my 6th due shortly. No issues with the treatment at all and a DEXA scan in the summer showed a 4% increase in bone density, so I’m pleased.
I have been trying to sort a tooth problem for the last 3 months. A problem rear molar appears to have died. I was offered root canal or extraction. I opted for extraction as I felt I would struggle with what they told me would be involved. I am very anxious about dental work.
Then my own dentist, and a local dental centre, all appeared to get cold feet and wouldn’t treat me. I was referred to the hospital maxillo-facial dept and the doctor I saw began talking as though the extraction was possible but then focused greatly on risk, the possibility of it not healing and necrosis of the jaw. He said to have a root canal- and to go private as ‘more can be done’.
I’m even more anxious. Has anyone successfully gone through either extraction or root canal while having zometa?
I am aware I’ll need to leave a six week ‘window’ both before and after infusion before tooth work.

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I have exactly the same worry. I have a tooth at the lower front that’s very loose and my dentist wanted to pull it out before it fell out and glue it back in. I went to the dentist at the Marsden and she said I shouldn’t do anything! I’m struggling and don’t know what to do.

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Hi Jean Ann

Thanks for posting

It sounds as though you have been given a lot of information to think about regarding your dental treatment and it’s understandable that this is making you feel anxious.

Bisphosphonates slow down or prevent bone damage. They’re often given to people who have, or are at risk of, osteoporosis (when bones lose their strength and are more likely to break). You may hear bisphosphonates called bone-hardening or bone-strengthening treatment.

It is not unusual for anyone being treated with bisphosphonates to need dental treatment. Usually, in this situation, patients are referred to a specialist maxillo facial surgeon for expert advice on appropriate dental treatment. This has been the case for you, and you may now find it helpful to have a further discussion with your own dentist who can help you decide on the right course of action. You may also find it useful to read the Royal College of Physicians guidelines.

Do call our helpline if you would like to talk this through or have any further questions. The helpline team have time to listen to your concerns, talk things through and signpost you to more support and information. Your call will be confidential, and the number is free from UK landlines and all mobile networks. The number is 0808 800 6000, (Relay UK - prefix 18001).

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Best wishes


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