According to a new study, the most commonly-used class of antidepressants, selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs), have been associated with a sixfold increase in the risk of dental implant failure. Although the findings are preliminary, it confirms previous research and it means we need to pay attention to potential risk.
An Important Connection
Antidepressants are one of the most commonly prescribed classes of medications. About one in 10 Americans takes antidepressants. Among women age 40 to 50, the rate is one in four. And of these antidepressants, the top four, according to a 2010 survey, are SSRIs. Overall, there were nearly 122 million SSRI prescriptions fulfilled during 2009. This means that any potential risk associated with these drugs is of vital importance.
Previous studies have suggested that SSRIs can reduce bone mass, which researchers felt made it highly likely that they affected the survival rate of dental implants. To check this, they looked at the medical records for 490 dental implant patients (a total of 916 implants), of whom 51 were taking SSRIs (94 implants). They looked at records of patients who received implants from 2007 to 2013. Patients had a minimum of three months follow-up and a maximum of 67 months. The overall failure rates for non SSRI-users was 4.6%, while the failure for SSRI users was 10.6%. Based on analyzing other factors that impacted dental implant survival, they found that SSRI use led to a 6.28 times greater risk of dental implant failure. Other factors that were significantly associated with dental implant failure were small implant diameters and smoking.
Don’t Forget to Tell Us about Medications
If you are considering dental implants, it’s vital that you mention all the medications you are currently taking. This includes dietary supplements and over-the-counter medications, which can sometimes also affect your healing.