In a 2011 book by Robert Marx, DDS, he describes how certain IV and oral drugs used to prevent bone loss can cause oral bone death. Drugs such as Zometa, Aredia, Actonel or Fosamax are used in the treatment of certain cancers or osteoporosis and are classified as a bisphosphonate.
The incidence of bisphosphonate induced osteonecrosis is 5-15%. IV forms of this drug have the highest risk and cause it faster. Oral drugs such as fosamax are not as likely to put the patient at risk until 3 years of use. The use of prednisone or steroids with these drugs increases the risk of bone death.
If you have been taking these drugs and are considering the elective placement of a dental implant, a blood test can be done to assess your possible risk. The blood laboratory test C-terminal cross-linking telopeptide or CTX is used to assess the possible risk of developing Bisphosphonate induced osteonecrosis.
If you have concerns about your medical history, discuss it with your dental implant surgeon. Know the facts!!