Mechanical stress such as orthodontic tooth movement induces osteoclastogenesis. Sometimes, excessive mechanical stress results in root resorption during orthodontic tooth movement. It has been reported that bisphosphonate inhibits osteoclastogenesis. Recently, there have been concerns for orthodontic patients receiving bisphosphonates. Thus, the aim of this study was to investigate the effect of bisphosphonates on orthodontic tooth movement and root resorption in mice. A nickel-titanium (Ni-Ti) closed coil spring delivering a force of 10 g was inserted between the upper anterior alveolar bone and the first molar in 8-week-old male C57BL/6 mice. Bisphosphonate (2 μg/20 μl) was injected daily into a local site adjacent to the upper molar. After 12 days, the distance the tooth had moved was measured. The number of tartrate-resistant acid phosphatase (TRAP)-positive cells was counted as osteoclasts in histological sections. Root resorption was assessed by scanning electron microscopy. The data were analysed with a Student's t-test. The orthodontic appliance increased the number of osteoclasts on the pressure side and mesial movement of the first molar. Bisphosphonates reduced the amount of tooth movement and the number of osteoclasts. In addition, they also reduced root resorption on the pressure side. Bisphosphonates inhibit orthodontic tooth movement and prevent root resorption during orthodontic tooth movement in mice. These results suggest that bisphosphonates might have an inhibiting effect on root resorption during orthodontic tooth movement in humans and that they may interrupt tooth movement in orthodontic patients undergoing treatment, thus altering the outcome of treatment.
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