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Old 04/16/10, 11:19 AM
Join Date: Oct 2004
Location: GA
Posts: 927
Actonel and getting tooth pulled

This is long. I cracked tooth #3 about three years ago. I had one root canal that failed twice and vowed I was never having another--terrible pain for days when the root canal failed. My initial thought was to have the tooth pulled, but since getting a crown was only $100 more and since the dentist said he thought that was all I needed, I went with the crown. The thing has been sensitive since but hasn't really hurt. Earlier this week I thought I had a terrible sinus headache for three days, but now I notice that this tooth is sore when I bite on it, so I decided it was time to get it pulled. Called the dentist my dentist refers to for extractions. Found out that since I take Actonel I'd have to go to the doctor and have a C-telopeptide test which costs $190 and is not covered by insurance. If the level is not at least 150 I can't have the tooth pulled because my jaw might not heal due to the Actonel. Monday I'm going to my husband's dentist. I went to him one time (didn't go back 'cause he is not patient and scares me) and he suggested making a new crown because this one does not fit under the gum line and possibly sending me out for a root canal depending on what he sees when he takes off the old crown. Dh swears this guy is a great dentist despite his manner, so I hope I'm doing the right thing. Anybody else take Actonel or something similar? I had a bone density scan and my hip bones were really thin, but I'm wondering if this stuff is safe to take.
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Old 04/16/10, 11:46 AM
Join Date: Apr 2010
Posts: 108
Actonel, while safe for the most part, has been linked to jawbone destruction during oral surgery. Something in it that helps your bones for the most part, somehow makes the spongy bone of your jaw weaker and less likely to heal properly.
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Old 04/16/10, 05:40 PM
Join Date: Oct 2004
Location: GA
Posts: 927
Thanks for the information Wind in Her Hair. I have another question. I've taken Actonel 8 months. I've read that some dentists recommend stopping it three months before having a tooth out. If I stop taking it will I ever get back to where I was? I've also read that it stays in your system 10 years. At my age it's possible that some time I won't have any choice but to have a tooth out. I started taking the Actonel without doing any research when the Nurse Practitioner recommended it after the bone scan came back with thin bones in my hips. Since this has happened with the tooth I've been reading about Actonel and have decided I'm not going to take it any more. According to some studies these types of medications haven't been proven to prevent hip fractures and there have been serious problems with them in other areas as well as dental. Now I almost feel as if I've been taking poison.
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Old 04/16/10, 06:06 PM
Sighin' in the city . . .
Join Date: Nov 2005
Location: Los Angeles, CA (why oh WHY?)
Posts: 126
mellba, I have little useful advice, but as someone who's had experience with cracked teeth, extracted teeth, teeth that have been knocked out, root canals, and osteoporosis, let me say that you have my COMPLETE AND TOTAL SYMPATHY.

If you could find an endodontist who has a microscope that allows him/her to make sure, as Wind in Her Hair says, that the "dern twisty and curvy" canals get cleaned out, that would be a plus.

Also, some dentists and health care practitioners recommend having the canals filled with materials other than Gutta Percha, which is most commonly used in root canals.

They feel that Gutta Percha doesn't completely seal the canals, so a tooth being treated with it could become re-infected, and the root canal would need to be re-done. But having a root canal done with newer filling materials (Endocal, Biocalex) is very, very pricey.

Arrgghh, it is bad enough having to go to the dentist without going to one with a crummy chairside manner. Many hugs and best wishes to you. Here's hoping your tooth sensitivity is due to something else (is the gum around that tooth inflamed?) I'm with Wind in Her Hair on doing everything possible to keep from having the tooth pulled.
. . . but homesteadin' in my heart
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Old 04/16/10, 06:47 PM
Join Date: Oct 2004
Location: GA
Posts: 927
Thanks for the good wishes country bred. The gum isn't inflamed. I'm such a chicken when it comes to the dentist. That's why I've gone to the one who made the poor crown for so long. He has a very soothing manner. Dh says, "Would you rather go to someone who calms your fears, or someone who does a good job?" I'd like to find someone who does both.
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Old 04/16/10, 07:50 PM
Join Date: Oct 2004
Location: GA
Posts: 927
Thanks WIHH. From what I've been reading though Actonel sounds like bad stuff.
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Old 04/16/10, 10:11 PM
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Join Date: Feb 2007
Location: KS
Posts: 2,320
Actonel user here for several years. I've had 6 teeth pulled all at once for my partial denture in the bottom. I've had 3 teeth pulled in the top. I've not had any problems with healing, jaw bones or anything else.
I took my meds right on schedule, never pausing before having teeth removed.
I can't tolerate Fosamax, so actonel works well for me.
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