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Letter to the Editor

Editor, – Bisphosphonates are increasingly being prescribed for a number of clinical conditions. In the dental literature there have been a number of red flags raised, notably by Professor A Goss (Aust Prescr 2007;30:96–7), concerning the incidence of osteonecrosis of the jaw and bisphosphonate use, particularly when administered intravenously.

Would it not be timely for our medical colleagues to advise patients of this risk so that patients will, when they are taking bisphosphonates, inform their dental practitioners.

In my practice we routinely ask patients at each visit regarding all medications being taken, by prescription and otherwise. However, even with that regimen a number of patients have not bothered to mention that they are taking a bisphosphonate, as they did not think it mattered. It is too often the case that as far as patients are concerned medicines prescribed by their doctor will have no impact upon any dental care which they might require.

This is of course not the case and for this reason I appeal to our medical colleagues to be proactive in this regard.

JF Walsh
Dental Surgeon
Kojonup Dental Clinic
Kojonup, WA