I want to know if I can get a dental implant while taking medication for osteoporosis. I read that I could have implant failure if I took the medication and got an implant. I prefer an implant over a bridge from my lower left center tooth. Am I at risk of implant failure if I take Fosamax? – Thank you. T. Jenkins
Thank you for contacting Bayou Dental Group with your question.
Does Medication for Osteoporosis Affect Dental Implant Success?
Bisphosphonate is a prescription medication for treating osteoporosis. If you take bisphosphonates, you may still be a candidate for dental implants. An implant dentist will review your medical and dental histories during your evaluation to determine whether you qualify for dental implants.
How Do Bisphosphonates Work?
Bisphosphonates slow down osteoclast cells, which break down bone tissue for repair and remodeling. Slowing down the cells helps to increase bone density.
Why the Concern About Bisphosphonates and Dental Implants?
Many healthcare professionals are concerned about bisphosphonates and dental implants because the medication increases the risk of osteonecrosis of the jaw (ONJ). ONJ causes jawbone tissue to weaken and die. Your doctor may advise you as follows:
- Stop taking bisphosphonates four to six months before dental implant surgery.
- Refrain from taking bisphosphonates for three to four months while dental implants fuse with your jawbone.
- Resume the medication with your implant dentist’s approval.
What Does Research Show on Dental Implants and Bisphosphonates?
A September 2018 article in the Journal of Oral and Maxillofacial Research cautions reports the following regarding dental implants and bisphosphonate treatment:
- Patients who receive intravenous bisphosphonates may have a higher chance of developing implant-related osteonecrosis of the jaw.
- Patients who receive intraoral bisphosphonates can have more successful results with dental implants.
According to a July 2022 BMC Oral Health article, a review of nine studies that included a total of 378 patients and at least 1687 dental implants showed “better results in some cases for dental implant therapy in cases of bisphosphonate intake.” Researchers confirmed that “further clinical, randomized and multicentric studies are needed, with longer follow-ups.”
No two patients’ cases are identical, so a consultation with a skilled implant dentist will help you understand how any of your medications will affect your success with dental implants.
Schedule a Dental Implants Consultation
If you are interested in dental implants, schedule a consultation with a dentist who has post-graduate training in implant dentistry. Coordinate your care with your medical doctor and an implant dentist to help you manage osteoporosis and get dental implants.
David Finley, DDS, a Metairie, Louisiana, accredited cosmetic dentist and Academy of General Dentistry Fellow, sponsors this post. Read about what Dr. Finley and his team do to provide some of the best dental care in Monroe.