Osteonecrosis of the jaw is becoming more commonBMJ 2012; 345 doi: http://dx.doi.org/10.1136/bmj.e5988 (Published 10 September 2012) Cite this as: BMJ 2012;345:e5988
- Richard A Loukota, oral and maxillofacial surgeon1
Poole and Compston support their statement that bisphosphonate related osteonecrosis of the jaw is “very rare” with a 2007 reference from the US.1 The experience in the UK seems to be different, with an “exponential increase” in this condition,2 which although uncommon is serious and difficult to treat. Prevention is of major importance. Osteonecrosis of the jaw is seen in patients taking oral bisphosphonates for osteoporosis so it is important to maintain a high level of oral hygiene and carry out a full pretreatment dental examination and possibly radiography. Many practitioners seem unaware of this risk or may have been given a false sense of security. The authors should review the more recent literature, particularly in the British Journal of Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery.
Cite this as: BMJ 2012;345:e5988
Competing interests: RAL is a member of the editorial board of the British Journal of Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery.