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Keywords:

  • DENTAL BIOLOGY;
  • OSTEOPOROSIS;
  • ANTIRESORPTIVES

ABSTRACT

This study sought to investigate, using a case-control study design, the association between bisphosphonate therapy and delayed dental healing and osteonecrosis of the jaw. Identification of potential cases of delayed dental healing was by consecutive screening of Specialist Oral and Maxillofacial and Special Needs Dentist clinic records for patients aged older than 50 years, during a 6-month window, in Victoria, Australia. Cases were confirmed by a case adjudication panel blinded to bisphosphonate status. Cases associated with malignancy or local radiotherapy were excluded. Controls were matched for age, sex, and source of dental referral (1:4, n = 160 controls). Variables of interest were dental precipitants, dental clinic type, smoking history, and medical comorbidities. A total of 4212 of 22,358 patients met inclusion criteria, of which 69 were potential cases with 40 (0.95%) confirmed cases. The odds ratio (OR) for developing delayed dental healing when taking an oral bisphosphonate was 13.1 (95% confidence interval [CI] 4.4 to 39.3; p < 0.001). There were no cases associated with intravenous bisphosphonate use. There was some evidence of an interaction with age, sex, and clinic type. When adjusted for smoking, the estimated odds ratio was 11.6 (95% CI 1.9 to 69.4; p = 0.01). There was an association between having another illness and delayed dental healing (OR = 2.3; 95% CI 1.0 to 5.2). A dental precipitant was present in 39 of 40 (97.5%) delayed dental healing cases. An important association between bisphosphonate use and delayed dental healing in the setting of benign bone disease, predominately in individuals with a dental precipitant, has been demonstrated. © 2014 American Society for Bone and Mineral Research.