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Open Access Open Badges Research

Current state of orthodontic patients under Bisphosphonate therapy

Elena Krieger1*, Collin Jacobs1, Christian Walter2 and Heinrich Wehrbein1

Author Affiliations

1 Department of Orthodontics, Medical Centre of the Johannes-Gutenberg-University Mainz, Augustusplatz 2, 55131, Mainz, Germany

2 Department of Cranio-Maxillo-Facial Surgery, Medical Centre of the Johannes Gutenberg-University Mainz, Augustusplatz 2, 55131, Mainz, Germany

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Head & Face Medicine 2013, 9:10  doi:10.1186/1746-160X-9-10

Published: 4 April 2013



Bisphosphonates are a common medication for the prevention and therapy of osteoporosis, but are also applied for tumor diseases. They affect bone metabolism, and therefore also orthodontic treatments, but how it does has yet not been definitively clarified. Therefore, the aim of this research was to evaluate and demonstrate the reported effects and the current state of scientific research regarding orthodontic treatment and bisphosphonate medication exclusively in humans.

Material and methods

A systematic research of the literature for selected keywords in the Medline database (Pubmed) as well as a manual search was conducted. The following search terms were used: ‘Bisphosphonate’ in combination with: orthodontic, orthodontic treatment, tooth movement.


To date, only nine reported patients (case reports/series) and one original article (retrospective cohort study) regarding orthodontic treatment under bisphosphonate medication in humans have been published. Decelerated tooth movement with increased side effects (especially in high-risk patients) and longer treatment duration was reported in some articles. Patients with initial spacing or extraction cases had a higher risk of incomplete space closure and poor root parallelism.


Orthodontic tooth movement under bisphosphonate medication is possible, especially in low-risk patients (low dose and short period of intake). But the treatment is still not predictable, especially in high-risk patients. Therefore, the altered bone metabolism and higher extent of side effects should be considered in treatment planning, especially in extraction cases or high-risk patients. Regardless, longer treatment duration, decelerated tooth movement, and more side effects, e.g., incomplete space closure and poor root parallelism, should be expected, especially in extraction cases or space closure.

Medication; Side effects; Bone metabolism; Orthodontic treatment; Tooth movement