Critical review: Updated recommendations for the prevention, diagnosis, and treatment of osteonecrosis of the jaw in cancer patients—May 2006

By now all dentists should be aware of these recommendations. Its good to see that the word is getting out to non-dentists.

Crit Rev Oncol Hematol. 2007 May;62(2):148-52

Authors: Weitzman R, Sauter N, Eriksen EF, Tarassoff PG, Lacerna LV, Dias R, Altmeyer A, Csermak-Renner K, McGrath L, Lantwicki L, Hohneker JA


In light of recent reports of osteonecrosis of the jaw (ONJ) in cancer patients whose treatment regimens include an intravenous bisphosphonate, Novartis convened an international advisory board of experts in the fields of oral surgery and pathology, medical oncology, metabolic bone disease, and orthopedics to review existing data and provide updated recommendations on the clinical diagnosis, prevention, and management of ONJ in the oncology setting. Recommendations were developed to help guide healthcare professionals in early diagnosis and patient management. It is recommended that patients be encouraged to receive a dental examination prior to initiating bisphosphonate therapy and, if possible, complete any necessary dental procedures (e.g., tooth extraction) prior to initiating bisphosphonate therapy. Patients should receive regular dental visits during bisphosphonate therapy. Patients should be encouraged to practice good oral hygiene and minimize possible jaw trauma. If possible, patients should avoid dental surgery during treatment with bisphosphonates. If exposed bone is observed or reported in the oral cavity at any time (suspected ONJ), refer the patient to a dental professional immediately.