If you take antidepressants and you are thinking about having dental implants, read this post carefully. According to a recent US study, antidepressants might play a major role in the failure of dental implants. The study was performed at the University of Buffalo by researchers from their UB School of Dental Medicine.
According to their research, people who take antidepressants are four times more likely to experience dental implant failure than those who don’t. In addition, the odds of dental implant failure double with every year of antidepressant use.
So, why are antidepressants so bad for dental implants? The “side effects.” People tend to ignore or downplay “side effects” of drugs. However, side effects are just as important as the intended effects of a drug and just as real. There are four listed side effects of antidepressants that can sabotage dental implants: osteoporosis, bruxism, akathisia and dryness of the mouth. All of these are detrimental to the healing process for dental implants.
When dental implants are placed, new bone has to form around it to lock it into place. Osteoporosis, which is a weakening of the bone due to loss of bone density, can make the bone too weak to hold the implant. Akathisia, which produces a need in the patient to be constantly moving, can put undue stress on the implant as it is trying to heal.
Bruxism, or teeth grinding, does the same thing as akathisia; it can weaken the “hold” the bone has on the implant by constantly moving the area. Dryness of the mouth can deter healing because the saliva has bacteria and enzymes that are important to the healing process.
The researchers analysed patient charts from the UB School of Dental Medicine from 2014. They found that, while only a few patients experienced dental implant failure, 33% of them were taking antidepressants. Of those whose dental implants were successful, only 11% took antidepressants. If you are taking antidepressants and are thinking of dental implants, you may want to visit your doctor and ask for alternative treatments.
Any surgical or invasive procedure carries risks. Before proceeding, we encourage you to discuss these matters with an appropriately qualified health practitioner.