Prepared by Dr M. McCullough of the Australian Dental Association

A large section of the public regularly visit their dentist, often much more frequently than they visit other health professionals. Dentists may well be in a unique position to be able to assess potential adverse reactions to the medication that we prescribe and that prescribed by our medical colleagues.

The Australian system of spontaneous reporting relies on both the public and health care professionals to have a high level of suspicion and to report potential adverse reactions. Such was the case with the recently observed association between the use of bisphosphonates and avascular necrosis of the jaw.1 It is incumbent on dentists to be vigilant with regard to potential adverse reactions and be willing participants in the reporting of these events. Reactions can be reported to the Adverse Drug Reactions Advisory Committee using the blue card enclosed with this issue of Australian Prescriber.


  1. Carter G. Bisphosphonates and avascular necrosis of the jaw: a possible association. Med J Aust 2005;182:413-5 .