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Volume 21 , Issue 3
May/June 2006

Pages 349353

Safety of Oral Bisphosphonates: Controlled Studies on Alveolar Bone

Marjorie K. Jeffcoat, DMD

PMID: 16796276

Purpose: Osteoporosis and osteopenia are characterized by reductions in bone mass and may lead to skeletal fragility and fracture. The latest generation of oral bisphosphonate drugs, including alendronate and risendronate, has been approved for the prevention and treatment of osteoporosis. These medications are chemically absorbed into bone, decreasing osteoclast number and activity and thereby decreasing bone resorption. The purpose of this report is to present safety data from 2 controlled studies in patients receiving oral bisphosphonates. Materials and Methods: Study 1 tested the effect of alendronate, an inhibitor of bone resorption, on alveolar bone. A total of 335 patients (162 men and 173 women, aged 30 to 79 years) with moderate or severe periodontal disease were randomized to either placebo or 70 mg alendronate once weekly. Alveolar bone height and safety were assessed over a 2-year period. Study 2 was a longitudinal single-blind controlled design comparing implant success in 50 consecutive patients (210 implants), 25 patients who received bisphosphonate therapy and 25 age-matched control subjects. Implant success and safety, including incidence of osteonecrosis of the jaws (ONJ), was blindly assessed for at least 3 years. Results: In study 1, no cases of ONJ were observed in either treatment group. Furthermore, a trend toward lower incidences of infection and tooth loss was observed in the alendronate group. In study 2, no cases of ONJ were observed in either group, and implant success was greater than 99% in both groups. Conclusion: On the basis of 2 controlled clinical studies, oral bisphosphonate usage was not associated with occurrence of ONJ. (Controlled Clinical Study) Int J Oral Maxillofac Implants 2006;21:349353

Key words: alveolar bone, bisphosphonates, clinical trials, implants, periodontal disease, treatment

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