Impact of dental care in the prevention of bisphosphonate-associated osteonecrosis of the jaw: a single-center clinical experience

Ann Oncol. 2012 Jan;23(1):193-200. doi: 10.1093/annonc/mdr039. Epub 2011 Mar 22.


Background: Osteonecrosis of the jaw (ONJ) is associated with bisphosphonate (BP) therapy and invasive dental care. An Interdisciplinary Care Group (ICG) was created to evaluate dental risk factors and the efficacy of a preventive restorative dental care in the reduction of ONJ risk.

Patients and methods: This prospective single-center study included patients with bone metastases from solid tumors. Patients who received at least one BP infusion between October 2005 and 31 August 2009 underwent one or more ICG evaluation and regular dental examinations. We also retrospectively evaluated patients with bone metastases from solid tumors who did not undergo dental preventive measures.

Results: Of 269 patients, 211 had received at least one infusion of BP therapy: 62% were BP naive and 38% had previous BP exposure. Of these 211 patients followed for 47 months, 6 patients developed ONJ (2.8%). Of 200 patients included in the retrospective analysis, 11 patients developed ONJ (5.5%).

Conclusions: In comparison with published ONJ rates and those extrapolated from the retrospective analysis, the observed ONJ rate in the prospective group was lower, suggesting that implementation of a preventive dental program may reduce the risk of ONJ in metastatic patients treated with i.v. BP therapy.

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Aged, 80 and over
  • Bisphosphonate-Associated Osteonecrosis of the Jaw / prevention & control*
  • Bone Density Conservation Agents / adverse effects*
  • Bone Neoplasms / drug therapy
  • Bone Neoplasms / secondary
  • Dental Care / methods*
  • Diphosphonates / adverse effects*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Risk Factors


  • Bone Density Conservation Agents
  • Diphosphonates