Antidepressants May Lead to Dental Implant Failure

A team of researchers from the University at Buffalo School of Dental Medicine recently made an interesting discovery about dental implants. In an effort to learn more about the causes of dental implant failure, the scientists found that patients who use antidepressants have an increased risk of implant failure by up to four times. And every added year of antidepressant use doubled the odds of failure. According to a recent Science Daily article, a decrease in the regulation of bone metabolism is a side effect of antidepressants, affecting the healing process post surgery.

“Antidepressant medication may relieve depression symptoms and help millions of patients worldwide, however, their benefits must be weighed with the side effects,” said Latifa Bairam, DDS, MS, and investigator on the study. “Patients should cooperate with their physician to reach the right balance.”

Additional side effects of the medication include osteoporosis, or the weakening of bones; akathisia, a disorder that creates the need to be in constant motion; bruxism, or teeth grinding; and dryness of the mouth. All of these have the potential to negatively impact the implant healing process, as well as causing other oral health issues. Antidepressants are the second most prescribed drug in the United States with more than one in 10 people over the age of 12 using them. The researchers recommend that if you are using antidepressants, consult with your physician about the drug’s side effects and alternative methods of managing anxiety or depression

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