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Bisphosphonate-associated osteonecrosis of the maxilla: Essential information for SDS Dental Clinic patients

Welcome to the blog of SDS Dental Clinic in Vilafranca del Penedès. Today we will address a crucial topic for oral health: bisphosphonate-associated osteonecrosis of the jaw. This is a serious condition that can significantly affect quality of life, especially in patients who are on bisphosphonate treatment for osteoporosis or cancer.

What are bisphosphonates and why are they used?

Bisphosphonates are medications that prevent bone loss and are frequently prescribed to patients with osteoporosis and those undergoing cancer treatment. They are administered orally or parenterally (by infusion) and are known under trade names such as Zometa®, Pamidronato-GRY®, Bondronato® and Clodron Sandoz®.

What is osteonecrosis of the jaw?

Necrosis of the mandible and maxilla is a serious complication that can occur during treatment with bisphosphonates. It involves the death of bone tissue, causing intense pain and difficulties in wound healing. It usually appears after dental surgery, but it can also happen spontaneously due to pressure points or minor trauma.

Symptoms of maxillary osteonecrosis

It is crucial that patients recognize the symptoms in order to seek medical help quickly. Symptoms include:

  • Halitosis and taste of pus in the mouth.

  • Intense pain

  • swelling

  • Greater tooth mobility.

  • Difficulty in wound healing.

  • Numbness in the mouth, lower lip or chin.

  • Dull pain and tension in the jaw or jaw.

a panoramic dental radiograph of a female patient

Prevention of maxillary osteonecrosis

At SDS Dental Clinic in Vilafranca del Penedès, we emphasize prevention. During professional dental cleaning sessions, we instruct our patients on effective oral hygiene and encourage them to follow a schedule of regular checkups. It is essential to inform patients about the risk of necrosis and to be aware of its symptoms.

In addition, we recommend avoiding aggravating factors such as smoking, excessive alcohol consumption and an unbalanced diet, which can contribute to the appearance of maxillary osteonecrosis.

Care of patients during treatment with bisphosphonates

For patients on bisphosphonate treatment, we prefer to preserve teeth whenever possible, using regular and meticulous prophylactic measures. If the use of removable prostheses is required, we pay special attention to avoid pressure points.

If symptoms of osteonecrosis appear, patients should schedule a consultation with a specialist in oral and maxillofacial surgery as soon as possible. At SDS Dental Clinic, we have doctors specializing in oral and maxillofacial surgery prepared to offer appropriate and effective treatments.

When dental surgery is unavoidable, we use minimally invasive techniques and recommend systemic antibiotic treatment for at least 10 days, until the sutures are removed. Plastic coverage of the extraction or surgical wound is also crucial for healing.

Multidisciplinary collaboration

The treatment of patients with maxillary necrosis associated with bisphosphonates requires a close collaboration between the dentist, the maxillofacial surgeon and the oncologist. It is important that each step of the treatment is well coordinated to ensure the best possible care.


Although maxillary necrosis is a rare complication, patients on bisphosphonate therapy require special attention. At SDS Dental Clinic in Vilafranca del Penedès, we are dedicated to offering high quality care, preventing and effectively managing any complications. Early detection of symptoms and timely treatment are essential to maintain the oral health and quality of life of our patients.

For any questions or to discuss your treatment plan, please feel free to visit us . We are here to help you maintain a healthy and happy smile!

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