M. R. Allen, D. J. Kubek, D. B. Burr, S. L. Ruggiero and T.-M. G. Chu
The goal of this study was to document how treatment with high doses of zoledronic acid affects dental extraction healing. Our results, showing significantly compromised osseous healing within the socket as well as presence of exposed bone and development of a sequestrum in one animal, provide a building block toward understanding osteonecrosis of the jaw. The goal of this study was to document how treatment with a bisphosphonate affects the bone tissue following dental extraction. Skeletally mature female beagle dogs were either untreated controls (CON) or treated with intravenous zoledronic acid (ZOL). Following the extraction of the fourth premolars, healing was allowed for 4 or 8 weeks. Properties of the extraction site were assessed using microcomputed tomography (micro-CT) and dynamic histomorphometry. The initial infilling of the extraction socket with bone was not affected by ZOL, but subsequent removal of this bone was significantly suppressed compared to CON. After 8 weeks of healing, the alveolar cortical bone adjacent to the extraction socket had a remodeling rate of ∼50% per year in CON animals while ZOL-treated animals had a rate of <1% per year. One ZOL-treated animal developed exposed bone post-extraction which eventually led to the formation of a sequestrum. Assessment of the sequestrum with micro-CT and histology showed that it had features consistent with those reported in humans with osteonecrosis of the jaw.
These results, showing significantly compromised post-extraction osseous healing as well as presence of exposed bone and development of a sequestrum in one ZOL animal, provide a building block toward understanding the pathophysiology of osteonecrosis of the jaw.