The International and American Associations for Dental Research released a paper detailing how dental implants can have a higher failure rate in patients who are taking SSRIs anti-depressants. These drugs have become extremely popular in North America over the past several decades, but have well-documented and tracked side effects. One of the most common and alarming for dental implant integration is dry mouth, as well as inhibiting the bone formation processes.
Dry mouth is problematic, as saliva and other enzymes are not properly generated in the mouth, causing the environment to be more hospitable to the bacteria and other microorganisms that cause tooth decay and infections. This is likely what causes the failure of implants in patients taking SSRIs. In anti-depressant using patients, the failure rate was close to 10.6% versus 4.6% in non-using patients.
This is why it is very important to tell your dentist or oral surgeon all of the medications that you are on, due to the potential complications which may arise, not only during your procedure, but afterwards. If you are a patient taking a popular SSRI, like Citalopram (Celexa), Lexapro, or Zoloft, absolutely let your doctor know. This way, we can make adjustments to your treatment and schedule followups to ensure that the bone and implant are integrating well.
There are likely extenuating circumstances as well, as many patients who suffer from depression are unable to maintain a proper dental hygiene regimen, through no fault of their own. This combined with the side effects may in fact lead to increase failure rates.
If you have any concerns about dental implants, do not hesitate to ask myself or your dentist in regards to your concerns. We are here to help you and will not make any judgments based on your medical history.