Dental implants are the most attractive, durable and longest-lasting solution for missing teeth.

With proper care and healthy lifestyle choices, dental implants can provide exceptional bite function and the beauty of a natural smile for life. But the results of a recent study indicate that antidepressants may impact the success of dental implants.

Bone Growth and Dental Implants

One factor in the functionality and longevity of dental implants is that after implants are placed, jaw bone grows around the implants, anchoring them in place as if they were the roots of natural teeth.

After new bone has formed around the implants and healed, the implants are capped with dental crowns that are designed to look and perform like your biological teeth. For most patients seeking to replace missing teeth, traditional titanium implants are an effective choice; for others, metal-free dental implants or another option may be preferable.

Antidepressants and Bone Metabolism

Antidepressants are the second-most prescribed type of drug in America, ranking behind analgesics, medications used to relieve pain.

Antidepressants have been shown to impair bone metabolism, which is a crucial component of the bone healing process. Other side effects of antidepressants can include osteoporosis, bruxism (teeth grinding) and dry mouth. Each of these potential side effects can affect oral bone health. Osteoporosis leads to less dense bone around implants. Bruxism increases stress on the implants, potentially eroding the bone around them. And dry mouth reduces the body’s ability to fight off gum disease, which is the leading cause of dental implant failure.

Dental Implants and Antidepressants

New research into a possible link between dental implant failure and antidepressants was launched after scholars engaged in a previous dental implants study noticed that a number of patients who experienced dental implants failure reported the use of a prescription antidepressant.

The recent study, which was conducted by researchers at the University at Buffalo’s School of Dental Medicine, found that the use of antidepressants increased the risk of implant failure by four times. Each year of antidepressant use, according to the study, further heightened the odds of failure.

The study analyzed the medical charts of UB Dental Clinic patients with dental implants. Although few patients overall sustained implant failure, the rate of failure in those who reported antidepressant use was 33 percent. The findings of the research were presented at the 45th annual American Association for Dental Research conference on March 19, and those involved consider it a pilot study; researchers plan to continue their work on a wider scale.

When discussing dental implants or other restorative dental treatments with your dentist, it’s important to mention any medications you may be taking.

The dentists at Smile Columbia Dentistry are dedicated to finding the best treatment for your individual needs. If you’re seeking a dentist in Columbia, SC, please call us today at 803-781-9090 to schedule your appointment.