Antidepressants Linked To Implant Failure

emergency dental mckinney

Antidepressants, a drug frequently used to treat pain, anxiety and other disorders, may actually play a part in dental implant failure, according to a study conducted by researchers at the University at Buffalo. While implant failure can depend on a variety of factors, patients of our family dentistry in McKinney should know that Dr. Lawrence will explain their individual risk prior to treatment.

Researchers discovered that using antidepressants increased the odds of implant failure by four times. The odds of implant failure continued to double for each year a patient took antidepressants. The results of this study were published in Science Daily.

A Surprising Link

Antidepressants are typically used to manage a patient’s emotions and mood. However, a side effect of this type of medication is a drop in the regulation of bone metabolism, a vital part of the healing process. For a new implant to properly heal, the body must form new bone around it to secure the implant into position.

Researchers cautioned that while antidepressant use may help relieve the symptoms of depression, the benefits of the medication needs to be weighed against its side effects. Researchers urged patients using antidepressants to cooperate with their physician to make sure a correct balance can be reached. Many of the side effects discovered by this latest study rank as a major concern for dentists in regard to bone and oral health.

In addition to implant failure, antidepressants have also been shown to cause osteoporosis, a condition that causes bones to become weaker and more brittle; akathisia, a disorder marked by a constant need to move the jaw and head; bruxism, the clinical name for teeth grinding; and dry mouth, a symptom that can negatively impact the healing process for a dental implant.

Researchers began this study after noticing that a growing number of implant failure cases occurred in patients taking antidepressants. After examining the data, researchers determined that of the small number of patients that suffered from implant failure, 33 percent were taking antidepressants. Conversely, only 11 percent of patients who did not suffer an implant failure were actively taking antidepressants. Because the difference between 33 and 11 percent is so significant, researchers decided to further explore this phenomenon.

More than one in 10 Americans 12 and over take antidepressants, making the drug the second most commonly prescribed type in the U.S., according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. With this latest discovery behind them, researchers now plan to retest their results on a much large sample base. Until the results of the study are proven conclusively, researchers have recommended that patients taking antidepressants in need of implant treatments consult with their physician about an alternative form of therapy to help alleviate their symptoms.

Your Family Dentistry in McKinney

For patients in need of implant treatments, make sure to discuss with Dr. Lawrence any medications you are currently taking during your implant consultation. Dr. Lawrence will determine whether you’re currently healthy enough for implants and whether an alternative method of treatment may be more fitting considering your individual oral health care needs. If you have any questions about implants and whether one would be right for you, make sure to schedule a consultation with Dr. Lawrence at your family dentistry in McKinney.