Recent studies show that certain antidepressants may be having a negative effect on patients’ dental implant integration; in adults 65 and older these can increase risks of fractures and bone loss significantly. McGill University recently revealed that Celexa, Paxil, Lexapro, Prozac and Zoloft, basically the antidepressants we see in the commercials with the cartoon butterflies, make patients taking them twice as likely to receive unsuccessful dental implants.
These antidepressants unfortunately have a an effect on the structure of the jawbone, which as we know must be in sufficient shape in order to complete the process of osseointegration successfully. These medications have shown increases in bone fracture and can even potentially reduce the chances of bone formation completely. Professor Fleh Tamimi claimed these effects to be almost equivalent to smoker’s chances of successful dental implants, and let us tell you, that is a very low chance.
Over a six year time line, researchers analyzed the records of dental implants in a clinic in News Brunswick, which did not end up being very strong considering the patients already had the dental implants. However, they concluded that more research needs to be done, as well as communicated to the doctor, by the patient in regards to the medication and prescriptions they are taking. Patients that are taking antidepressants need to confer with their medical doctors to see if they are able to receive dental implant procedures at all.
There is a supplemental procedure available that may help patients that have their condition handled, called a bone graft. Considering these medications aide in bone frailty, this procedure can help patients to rebuild the structure and strength of the jawbone. The dentist replaces the fractured and damaged bone with new and healthy osseous tissue that can taken from the patient’s hips, donors, or even healthy cow bone. This procedure takes a 2-3 months to allow the new bone to integrate into the oral cavity and heal from and patients must strictly adhere to the dentist’s instructions throughout this period.
For those that have not consulted their physician about their mental state or medicated routine, dentists may be less likely to help knowing that they will need possess the required jawbone structure or ability of bone formation. We highly recommend patients that take these specific medicines, speak with their doctor immediately if they are suffering from poor dental health or tooth loss.
We suggest dental implants for these patients more than any other dental device to avoid the dangers of missing teeth. Dental implants have the ability to protect empty spaces in the mouth, prevent the patient from developing gum disease, and can even increase the density in the oral bones over time. Once they permanently settle into the mouth, over the period of 3-6 months, they are able to function as real and natural teeth that allow the patient to chew, bite, speak and smile with comfort and confidence.
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Here at Gentle Dentistry, we do our best to inquire about the patient’s previous medication use. It would be ideal for the patient to alert the doctor on the phone before the consultation is even scheduled or at the consultation with Dr. Spector, himself. We are more than willing to accommodate all patients based on their personal and safe preferences when it comes to our dental implant procedures. Call us to schedule a consultation for dental implants today at (201) 429-9758.