Update on Medication Related Osteonecrosis of the Jaw

Oct. 28, 2015

A Peer-Reviewed Publication Written by Frieda Atherton Pickett, RDH, MS


The American Association of Oral and Maxillofacial Surgeons recently updated management recommendations and related information for osteonecrosis of the jaw. The condition formerly referred to as bisphosphonate-related osteonecrosis of the jaw (BRONJ) was renamed medication-related osteonecrosis of the jaw (MRONJ) due to reports of several non-bisphosphonate drugs resulting in the loss of alveolar bone and clinically appearing similar to BRONJ. This course will cover new information on proposed etiologies, mechanisms of drug actions and physical events which may be related to development of the loss of alveolar bone. All pharmacologic agents proposed to play a role in the development of the alveolar bone destruction will be identified and the degree of risk for each agent discussed. Information to discuss with patients taking medications associated with MRONJ is included to assist in patient information identified in the AAOMS guidelines.

Educational Objectives

At the conclusion of this educational activity participants will be able to:

1. Define the terms used to describe osteonecrosis of the jaw (ONJ) associated with various drugs.
2. Explain the factors that can lead to development of medication related ONJ (MRONJ).
3. List the various medications implicated in ONJ and their mechanisms of action.
4. Describe prevention measures and management strategies when drugs associated with ONJ are reported on the health history.

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