Background: Bisphosphonates (BPs) are an important group of drugs used for the treatment of metabolic and oncologic pathologies involving the skeletal system. Osteonecrosis of the jaw (ONJ) is a complication observed in patients using oral or intravenous (IV) BPs. It was suggested that all patients undergoing BP therapy who are expected to receive dental implants should be informed of the possible risks of development of ONJ. The aim of this literature review is to assess the osseointegration of dental implants in patients undergoing BP therapy.
Methods: The MEDLINE-PubMed databases of The National Library of Medicine, National Institutes of Health, Bethesda, Maryland, were searched for articles addressing the focused question: Can dental implants osseointegrate and remain functionally stable in patients undergoing oral and IV BP therapy? Databases were searched from 1995 up to and including February 2010 using the following terms in different combinations: bisphosphonate, dental implant, immediate-loading, implant survival rate, intravenous, oral, osseointegration, and osteonecrosis.
Results: The initial search yielded 89 articles. Scrutiny of the titles and abstracts reduced the number of articles to 12 (seven case reports and five retrospective studies). In 10 studies, the patients were using oral BPs, and in two studies, patients were using IV BPs. Six case reports showed that the placement of implants in patients using BPs could yield a successful osseointegration and function. Four retrospective studies demonstrated that BPs did not have a negative influence on implant success. Two studies showed a negative impact of BPs on implant success.
Conclusion: Dental implants can osseointegrate and remain functionally stable in patients using BPs.