Author(s): Kassolis JD, Scheper M, Jham B, Reynolds MA
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Abstract Bisphosphonate-related osteonecrosis of the jaws (BONJ) is characterized by a breach in the oral mucosa with exposure of necrotic bone. Although bisphosphonates impact multiple biologic processes, including bone turnover and vascularity, factors contributing to the pathogenesis of BONJ remain poorly understood. In this retrospective analysis, the histopathologic findings from 154 alveolar bone specimens obtained during osteotomy preparation for dental implant placement were reviewed from 147 consecutively treated patients [male (79); female (68); Caucasian (141); African-American (6)]. The alveolar ridge sites had been edentulous for 1 year or longer. None of the patients in this study had a history of bisphosphonate therapy or clinical evidence of BONJ. Two pathologists, masked, using predetermined criteria, reviewed and substantiated the pathology reports provided by the licensed pathology service. In selected cases, special stains had been conducted to help establish the presence of bacteria. The histopathologic findings for the core specimens were as follows: 76 viable bone (49.4\%); 54 nonviable bone (35.0\%); and 24 osteomyelitis (15.6\%). These histopathologic findings indicate that the edentulous jaw can contain regions of nonviable bone and microbial biofilm formation for 1 year or more after tooth extraction and mucosal healing. Regions of necrotic bone and subclinical infection may contribute to the development of untoward clinical events, such BONJ and early implant failure. 2010 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.
This article was published in Bone
and referenced in Journal of Biomedical Engineering and Medical Devices