Bisphosphonates, healthcare professionals and oral health

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Objective:General medical and dental practitioner and pharmacists all encounter patients on bisphosphonates and as such require adequate knowledge regarding osteonecrosis of the jaw, a potential complication associated with its use. The cross-sectional study investigated perceived implications of and attitudes towards bisphosphonate use in oral health among general medical and dental practitioners and pharmacists.Materials and methods:Medical and dental practitioners and pharmacists registered in Victoria, Australia, completed an online survey (SurveyMonkey©). Data analysis consisted of chi-square tests with significance as p < 0.05.Results:One hundred and thirty six doctors (general medical practitioners, GMPs), 283 dentists (GDPs) and 26 pharmacists (PHs) participated. 70, 38 and 80%, respectively, reviewed patients prescribed bisphosphonates (BPs). GMPs (88%), GDPs (76%) and PHs (85%) were aware of osteonecrosis of the jaws (ONJ). GMPs (76%) and PHs (100%) advised patients to inform dentists. GMPs (45%) referred patients for dental assessments prior to commencing BPs with 71.9% of GDPs received such referrals. In terms of available information on oral health and BPs, GMPs (56%), GDPs (50%) and PH (53.8%) were either unsure any existed or reported receiving sufficient information.Conclusions:Discrepancies exist amongst different healthcare professionals in terms of BP use and oral health, and common consensus guidelines are warranted.

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