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Am J Otolaryngol. 2007 May-Jun;28(3):158-63.

Osteonecrosis of the jaws due to bisphosphonate use. A review of 60 cases and treatment proposals.

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  • 1Department of Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery, Aristotle University, Thessaloniki, Greece. <>



Bisphosphonates are compounds used in the treatment of various metabolic and malignant bone diseases. In the last two and a half years, there has been a striking increased referral of patients with exposed necrotic jawbone, mostly after several teeth extractions. The only clinical feature common in all patients was the use of bisphosphonates in the treatment of bone diseases.


We performed a retrospective multicentric study of 60 patients with necrotic bone lesions of the jaws of various extent from July 2003 to October 2005. The necrotic bone involved the maxilla (37%), the mandible (50%), or both (13%). The bisphosphonate administered was mostly zoledronate. The management of the patients included cessation of bisphosphonate therapy for more than 6 months, long-term antibiotics, hyperbaric oxygen administration in some cases, and various surgical restorative procedures.


The implementation of the treatment protocol in 7 patients so far lead to high cure rates, whereas surgical restoration of the defect without previous cessation of bisphosphonate therapy had discouraging results.


Clinicians and dentists should have in mind this new complication of bisphosphonate administration to identify and treat osteonecrosis of the jaws.

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