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X-rays can limit dental health risk from bisphosphonates
Updated: 5/8/2009 1:00:45 PM

X-rays can limit dental health risk from bisphosphonates X-rays may allow early detection of improper healing of the jawbone caused by the use of bisphosphonate drugs, letting dentists correct the problem early and avoid possible permanent damage, according to an article in General Dentistry.

Bisphosphontes, a class of drugs used by breast cancer patients, people undergoing certain bone cancer therapies and people at risk for osteoporosis, can increase the risk for developing a rotting of the jaws called osteonecrosis. The article shows that x-rays can detect "ghost sockets" in patients taking these drugs, which signal the jaw is not healing properly after jaw surgery.

"The good news is that even though these ghost sockets may occur, by using radiographic techniques we can see that the soft tissue above these sockets can still heal," said dentist Kishore Shetty, lead author of the report.

According to the spokesperson for the Academy of General Density, Carolyn Taggart-Burns, anyone taking bisphosphates should inform their dentist when going in for dental care, to allow the dentist to best evaluate any threats to their dental health.

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