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Keywords:

  • bisphosphonates;
  • jaw;
  • osteonecrosis;
  • biology;
  • bone marrow

Osteonecrosis of the jaws is a major complication associated with long-term use of bisphosphonates. While osteonecrosis can arise from other precipitating conditions, bisphosphonate-induced jaw osteonecrosis (BJON) is highly associated with long-term administration of pamidronate (Aredia®) and zoledronic acid (Zometa®), which are two intravenous bisphosphonate formulations. The underlying pathogenesis of BJON and its site-specific presentation still remain to be fully elucidated. This review will discuss clinically available bisphosphonates, current opinions, pathogenesis, and management guidelines for bisphosphonate-induced jaw osteonecrosis.