An overview on biologic medications and their possible role in Apical periodontitis

Elisabetta Cotti*, Elia Schirru, Elio Acquas, Paolo Usai

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

47 Citations (Scopus)


Introduction: Apical periodontitis (AP) is the expression of a deficient balance between infection and the host immune response. Methods: If reducing the bacterial load from the root canal and preventing its reinfection may lead to clinical success, then the integrity of the nonspecific immune system has a relevant influence on the outcome of endodontic treatment. Results: Compromised immune systems and/or genetic alterations of the host's response may as well play an important role on the development, progression, and healing of AP. Thus, immunomodulatory drugs might have the potential to influence both the severity of AP and the outcome of endodontic treatment. Biologic medications are a new class of drugs of monoclonal antibodies or fusion proteins that include fragments of a peculiar cytokine receptor. Specific inflammatory molecules or cells, such as tumor necrosis factor, interleukins, and T or B cells, are the selective targets of these drugs. They modulate the altered immune response and perform an important role in the short-term treatment of chronic inflammatory diseases such as rheumatoid arthritis, refractory Crohn disease, or ulcerative colitis. Despite the clinical positive outcomes and their widespread use, the consequences of administering biologic medications on the development of the dental diseases have not been adequately investigated. Conclusions: The aim of this review was to give an overview of biologic medications, their composition, their mechanisms of action, and their possible implications on endodontic and other dental diseases.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1902-1911
Number of pages10
Issue number12
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 2014


  • Apical periodontitis
  • Biologic drugs


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