Antidepressants, commonly used to treat anxiety, pain and other disorders, may play a role in dental implant failure, according to a new pilot study by University at Buffalo researchers.
The research found that the use of antidepressants increased the odds of implant failure by four times. Each year of antidepressant use doubled the odds of failure.
While these drugs are often used to manage mood and emotions, a side effect decreases the regulation of bone metabolism, which is crucial to the healing process.
For an implant to heal properly, new bone must form around it to secure it in place, says Sulochana Gurung, lead investigator and a doctor of dental surgery (DDS) candidate.
“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,” says Latifa Bairam, DDS, MS, an investigator on the study and clinical assistant professor in the Department of Restorative Dentistry in the UB School of Dental Medicine.