Background: Reports of osteonecrosis of the jaw (ONJ) have associated this lesion to treatment with bisphosphonates (BPs) and dental procedures. In this study, we investigated the association of specific dental diagnoses and procedures with ONJ among patients with past BP use.
Methods: Dentists from three practice-based research networks provided ONJ cases and controls (1:3). Data gathered from patients and dental offices with two respective standard questionnaires included demographic, medical, pharmaceutical, and dental information. Diagnoses and procedures up to 3 years prior to ONJ (prior to interview for controls) were analyzed within risk strata, defined by BP use and cancer status, using interaction terms within conditional logistic regression models.
Results: We enrolled 191 ONJ cases and 573 controls from 119 dental offices. Among participants who had used only oral BP, extraction was the only dental risk factor for ONJ (odds ratio (OR) = 12, p = 0.01). Suppuration was also more prevalent in cases (18 %) than in controls (9 %), but not statistically significant (OR = 9, p = 0.06). Among participants who had not used either oral or IV BP (a majority of whom received radiation therapy to the head and neck), suppuration was the only dental risk factor for ONJ (prevalence = 34 % for cases and 8 % for controls; OR = 7, p = 0.01). The prevalence of extractions in this group was also higher, but not statistically significant (44 vs 10 %; OR = 3). Limited power precludes definitive findings among participants exposed to IV BP.
Conclusions: Among patients taking oral BP, extraction was the only dental procedure associated with subsequent ONJ development
Clinical relevance: Results of this study suggest that routine dental procedures are not associated with development of ONJ in patients exposed to BPs.