Studies of the potential role of bisphosphonates in dentistry date back to physical chemical research in the 1960s, and the genesis of the discovery of bisphosphonate pharmacology in part can be linked to some of this work. Since that time, parallel research on the effects of bisphosphonates on bone metabolism continued, while efforts in the dental field included studies of bisphosphonate effects on dental calculus, caries, and alveolar bone loss. While some utility of this drug class in the dental field was identified, leading to their experimental use in various dentrifice formulations and in some dental applications clinically, adverse effects of bisphosphonates in the jaws have also received attention. Most recently, certain bisphosphonates, particularly those with strong bone targeting properties, but limited biochemical effects (low potency bisphosphonates), are being studied as a local remedy for the concerns of adverse effects associated with other more potent members of this drug class. Additionally, low potency bisphosphonate analogs are under study as vectors to target active drugs to the mineral surfaces of the jawbones. These latter efforts have been devised for the prevention and treatment of oral problems, such as infections associated with oral surgery and implants. Advances in the utility and mechanistic understanding of the bisphosphonate class may enable additional oral therapeutic options for the management of multiple aspects of dental health.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Endocrinology, Diabetes and Metabolism