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Zometa and Dental extractions

Patti B

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Hi everyone - just sending this post out to make sure that people who have bone mets and may be on Zometa (and I hear Aredia, also) should be very careful if they have dental extractions done.

I was on Zometa for several doses and then stopped because my scans were much better. When I was first dx'd with NSCL a year ago, I knew I had a problem tooth that the dentists wanted to do work on. Of course, that went on the back burner for so long.

3 weeks ago, my tooth abcessed and I had to go to an oral surgeon and once he found out I had been on Zometa, he would not pull the tooth until I did a week of antibiotics and signed a million papers as a release form.

I guess, Zometa, Aredia (and also Fosamax altho given in pill form this is less likely to occur) are all considered biphosphonates. Biphosphonates stay in your bones for up to 10 years and with dental extractions can cause osteonecrosis of the jaw (AKA dead jaw). The consequences of getting this can be that the extract site never heals, continual infections of the jaw, pieces of the dead jaw falling out into your mouth (gross), and on and on. Even if your jaw heals, there is a possibility that you can fracture your jaw by eating something very hard or even brushing your teeth too hard!!

The oral surgeon did say that this is ONLY a possibility and that he has seen in but only with patients on Aredia SO FAR!!

So please be careful and make sure if you take any of the above meds that you let your dentist know. And please do not ignore dental work that needs to be done - it was just so easy for me to say, I hate the dentist, I am only going to worry about my cancer right now.

So far, my jaw seems to be healing well, the dentist is seeing me once a week and then in two months she is sending me to an oral surgeon who has actually done lectures on osteonecrosis of the jaw.

Would like to hear from others who may have had this problem or know anything about it!!

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My mom had two teeth extracted yesterday. The met in her spine had made a mild case of arthritis fairly severe so they had her on a once weekely bone strengthening drug. She also had to do the anitbiotics. Both her dentist AND her pain dr. told her to stop taking it.


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At least your dentist had knowledge

of jaw necrosis, follow all the visits

and take extra care of all your mouth

and teeth.

A nightmare is the proper word for

the problem..........never suggested

when you took the drug needed.

It is a few years now that dentists

(the bests) all have a special plan to

follow for people with cancer or that had

treatments for it.

Take care.


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Mom is doing well except the upper plate is rubbing--but that gets adjusted tomorrow. She was put to sleep and did fine. I feel like she got good attention since the Onc. had communicated with the oral surgeon and she had a consultation a week before the procedure to go through everything. I am very impressed with her onc. He has taken over as her primary care physician and is making sure she gets other problems taken care of like the arthritis in her back. He has never said it, but her feeling and mine is that he wouldn't bother doing all this if he didn't think she would be here for long. He is doing his best to make sure she is strong enough for the long haul and I am so grateful!


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