Surgery Proves Useful for Treating Dead Jaw Bone

Prescription drugs used to manage conditions such as osteoporosis in women have been shown to cause jawbone to die in a significant number of patients. From 2006-2012, a study was conducted to evaluate Medication-Related Osteonecrosis of the Jaws [MRONJ] patients who underwent surgery to correct their condition. At the conclusion of the study, they found that “complete healing was observed in 87% of the affected sites, with partial improvement observed in another 6%, for a 93.5% clinical benefit rate.” MRONJ is a serious condition that directly affects the individuals quality of life. More than 10 years ago, Oral and Maxillofacial surgeons first took note of this condition. Soon the connection was made when a significant number of patients taking bisphosphonates and antiangiogenic medications were presenting with exposed or dead jaw bone. The treatment for this condition is difficult and specific patient to patient. “The American Association of Oral and Maxillofacial Surgeons recommends that patients receiving of about to begin treatment with IV bisphosphonates or antiangiogenic drugs for cancer, and those who are taking the drugs orally for osteoporosis, see their dental professional for a thorough examination before starting treatment.”

To read the full clinical findings of the study, they can be found in the July edition of theĀ Journal of Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery, “Surgical Therapy for Bisphosphonate-Related Osteonecrosis of the Jaw: Six-Year Experience of a Single Institution.”