BACKGROUND/AIM: The purpose of this study was to evaluate a potential widening of the periodontal space as an initial measurable imaging criterium on panoramic radiographs in patients with the diagnosis of antiresorptive drug related osteonecrosis of the jaw (ARONJ).
PATIENTS AND METHODS: A retrospective analysis of panoramic radiographs of 16 patients (12 females and 4 males; mean age is 70.5 years, standard deviation is 14 years) was performed, over a period of 12 months with the diagnosis of ARONJ. Panoramic radiographs of 16 healthy patients (12 females and 4 males; mean age was 70.6 years, standard deviation was 13.8 years) without diagnosis of ARONJ served as controls. All images were taken with the same device and were evaluated by two experienced maxillofacial surgeons and one dentist.
RESULTS: Compared to the control group, a mean widening of the periodontal space of 0.06 mm (confidence interval (CI)=0.05-0.17 mm) was found in the study group. However, this difference was not statistically significant.
CONCLUSION: Although a very extensive and sophisticated interindividual comparison was performed to evaluate for slight changes of the periodontal space in patients with antiresorptive drug therapy, our results demonstrate that PDS widening is not a predictive parameter for ARONJ. Therefore, our results indicate that panoramic radiographs are not sufficient enough to allow assessment of stages and disease progress in ARONJ patients regarding to periodontal space widening.