Q: I am intrigued by the thought of having my ‘own’ teeth back – and am concerned about my prescription drugs perhaps interfering with dental success. I am on Fosamax for my osteoporosis. Would I have a problem? Am I dealing with bone issues here?
A: You are wise in using caution when approaching any medical or dental condition. The medication you use may cause Osteonecrosis of the Jaw, or deterioration of the
Temporomandibular Joint (TMJ) if used with certain dental procedures. The manufacturer says that in some cases delayed healing may occur in the jaw. Obviously we must evaluate this in your case. I see many patients who do not take seriously the medical questionnaire dentists must have on record prior to any procedure. Make no mistake – implant dentistry is a surgical procedure and we take all necessary precautions. This includes a thorough cross check on all medications a patient may consume, be they pharmaceutical or even holistic. The fact that you obtained them from an herbalist or a vitamin supplement store does not mean this information need not be shared by the practitioner treating you. Various combinations can be deadly if mixed improperly, and your implant dentist is trained to recognize these for you.
There are other more common health issues that can rear their ugly head and cause potential healing problems for dental implant patients. The same issue your parents, guidance councilors, gym teachers, and the Canadian Cancer Agency speak against – tobacco – is a detriment to optimal dental implant assimilation. Smoking is an impediment to successful treatment with virtually any health related procedure. Quitting smoking is encouraged in any progressive dental office.
Following any dental implant procedure, a patient may be provided with a variety of prescription medications. We generally provide pain killers, although we are frequently told by returning patients that they didn’t have any use for them as they didn’t experience any pain whatsoever! Depending on your specific procedure other medications may be prescribed, and we emphasize the need to use all of your allotted prescription. Problems are rare, but when one does arise, it is often brought about by a patient feeling perfectly well and comfortable and therefore not following recovery protocol for its duration.
Implant dentistry is still surgery and must be taken seriously. If a patient has issues that will compromise a successful treatment, we simply don’t proceed. Overall health issues must trump cosmetic or even functional concerns. If all current issues have been addressed – we will move ahead with treatment.