New study finds antidepressants linked to dental implant failure

A preliminary study undertaken at the University at Buffalo has revealed that of the small number of dental implant failures which occur, 33% of those patients were reportedly using antidepressants.

Australia is the second highest prescriber of antidepressant medications in the world, second only to Iceland. Approximately one in ten people in western countries are taking the drug, and figures are still on the rise. While the drugs do undoubtedly improve the quality of life for an overwhelming amount of people, long-term research on their side effects is still largely limited.

This particular pilot study undertaken by researchers at the University at Buffalo found that 33% of patients with failed dental implants were taking antidepressants compared with 11% of those who did not suffer failures. Though it is a preliminary study and not all the information is currently available, “the difference between 33 percent and 11 percent is quite remarkable and needs further in-depth analysis,” said Sebastiano Andreana, DDS, MS, associate professor and director of implant dentistry.

From these results, the researchers are planning on undertaking further study on a larger scale. However, they do recommend patients discuss these results with their physicians.

What do these results mean?

It’s extremely important not to get caught up in the hype created by scientific results. While this research is providing interesting results that need to be looked into further, it’s important not to make any quick decisions. The purpose of research is not to scare you, it’s to try and make changes in the way we, as medical professionals, use particular medications and techniques to make more informed decisions and to create a safer, more enjoyable experience for you, the patient.

If you have any questions about this particular study or any others you have come across, we welcome you to discuss these with us at your next appointment.

Dental implant failure rates are still extremely low

These results are only talking about the already very small dental implant failure rate. Failures are defined as the removal of the implant after it failed to fuse with the underlying jaw bone. Of all dental implant treatments, only 4.8% are considered to fail within 15-years of placement. Therefore, the 33% who use antidepressants still make up an extremely small amount of implant patients.

Dental implants and antidepressants

If you are taking antidepressants and are considering dental implants, these results don’t discount you. We recommend making an appointment with the team at Brisbane Dental Implant Group for a full assessment and to discuss your options. Before we begin any treatment we always assess the condition of the underlying jaw bone, this will be able to indicate whether or not you are a suitable candidate regardless of the medications you are taking.

If you have any more questions or would like to organise an assessment with Brisbane Dental Implant Group, contact us today.

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Dr Michael Howard invites like-minded medical professionals to join him in an implant study group