Antidepressants are the second most prescribed medication in the U.S.  Researchers from the University of Buffalo School of Dental Medicine have shown that antidepressants may have a negative effect on dental implants. Their retrospective study analyzed 74 patients who were 18 and older and received dental implants at the UB dental clinic between January 2014 and August 2014. The odds of implant failure among antidepressant drug users were about four times higher compared with controls.  Each year of antidepressant use was associated with a twofold increase in the odds of implant failure.

Selective serotonin reuptake inhibitor (SSRI), the most widely used drugs for the treatment of depression have been linked to:

  • Reducing bone metabolism
  • Developing xerostomia
  • Increased bruxism

Although no guidelines have been developed, close monitoring of these patients, both medically and dentally will be necessary.  Researchers state, “For patients who have been on antidepressants a long time, we’re not telling them to quit their medication. We just want them to be aware — the dentist, patient, and physician….it’s a risk factor.” More studies will be needed to study this association.

(Journal of Dental Research, November 2014, Vol. 93:11, pp. 1054-1061)

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