Depression is a condition that is becoming more and more prevalent in the United States. The Centers for Disease Control estimate that between 2005 and 2008 11% of Americans age 12 years or older were prescribed antidepressants with 60% of them taking the medication for 2 years or longer. Depression is a serious condition that can created feelings of lethargy, anxiety, restlessness, stress and lead to a lack of appetite as well as insomnia.

Antidepressants have proven to be an effective tool in treating depression, but recent studies have indicated that this medication may play a role in dental implant failure.

Antidepressants and Bone Loss

The new pilot study by University at Buffalo researchers analysed charts of UB Dental Clinic patients in 2014. They found that among patients who experienced dental implant failures, 33% used antidepressants. Among patients who did not experience dental implant failure, only 11% were using antidepressants.

This is not the only study to establish this link between antidepressants and dental implant failure. In another study from McGill University, a little over 10% of the 94 dental implants placed in 51 patients using selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRI), the most common form of antidepressant medication, failed compared to only 4.62% of patients not on antidepressants.

Side Effects

Common side effects of antidepressants include osteoporosis, bruxism, akathisia (the need to be in constant motion), and dry mouth. Each of these conditions can contribute to your risk of dental implant failure. Osteoporosis means lower density bones that may not be able to support your dental implants. Bruxism and akathisia can put stress on your dental implants, potentially damaging bone around them. And dry mouth makes it easier for bacteria to spread and thrive in your mouth, potentially infecting the dental implant.

With that being said, ditching antidepressants without consulting your physician or psychiatrist first will cause more harm than good. Depending on the severity of the condition, your doctor may recommend other treatments such as therapy or meditation.

Communication is Key

Dental implants are the best way to restore a smile if you have missing teeth or teeth that have to be extracted. Implants can maintained much like your natural teeth. Unlike dentures, they also function like your natural teeth so your diet is not restricted. You should inform your dentist of any medications that may affect the success of your dental implants including antidepressants.

If you are interested in dental implants and live in the Orlando area, please consider visiting with Dr. Weinstock in Altamonte Springs to discuss your options. Give us a call at (407) 834-6446 to schedule an appointment today.