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News / April 28, 2016

Antidepressants link with implant failure

by Guy Hiscott

Antidepressants have been linked to a higher rate of dental implant failure.

Antidepressants have been shown to affect bone metabolism and may be more likely to develop xerostomia, according to

The use of both antidepressants and patients with dental implants has increased in the last 10 years in the US.

‘Antidepressants are the second most prescribed drug in this country, and there are millions of implants placed every year around the world, so this applies everywhere, not just the US,’ said Dr Sebastiano Andreana, an associate professor and the director of implant dentistry at the University of Buffalo School of Dental Medicine.

Researcher Dr Latifa Bairam added: ‘In clinical observations, we noticed a high percentage of dental patients are on antidepressants or selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs), so that encouraged us to look at this in detail.

‘Many are on one or two different kinds of antidepressants or antipsychotics. But they all affect bone biology and bone density, and it can produce teeth clenching and dry mouth; all these things are related.’

Wake-up call

Dr Bairam was quick to note that patients do not need to quit taking antidepressants before receiving implants, but that long-term monitoring of a patient should be encouraged, as well as follow-up appointments.

‘We don’t want to scare dentists or patients,’ Dr Andreana said. ‘But this study and others confirm that there is some association between antidepressants and implant failure. This is a wake-up call.’

The study was presented at the recent American Association of Dental Research meeting in Los Angeles.