Pilot Study Confirms Observed Reports Linking Antidepressant Use to Dental Implant Failure

A new pilot study conducted by researchers from the University of Buffalo raises fresh concerns over adverse effects resulting from the use of antidepressants. The study links antidepressant use to a four-fold increase in the odds of dental implant failure, and reports that each year of antidepressant use doubled the odds of failure. The connection is due to the effect of antidepressants in decreasing the regulation of bone metabolism, which is critical to the healing process following an implant procedure. The findings add to the catalog of known side effects, including osteoporosis, akathisia, bruxism, and dry mouth, all of which are further deleterious to the implant healing process. The findings are scheduled for presentation later this month at the annual conference of the American Association for Dental Research.

Antidepressants are the second most widely prescribed medications in the US, for indications that include anxiety and pain, in addition to depression symptoms. The study was undertaken to test observational data connecting implant failure to use of antidepressants. An analysis of records from patients at the UB Dental Clinic revealed that of the patients who experienced implant failures, one-third also used antidepressants.  Latifa Bairam, DDS, MS, and an investigator on the study commented “Antidepressant medication may relieve depression symptoms and help millions of patients worldwide, however, their benefits must be weighed with the side effects. Patients should cooperate with their physician to reach the right balance.” The findings are scheduled for presentation later this month at the annual conference of the American Association for Dental Research. Read more about the study findings here.

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