Dental implants may be more likely to fail in people taking certain types of drugs to treat depression, says a study published in the Journal of Dental Research.
Researchers from McGill University in Montreal followed 490 people for six years. The people had a total of 916 dental implants. A dental implant is a small metal screw placed in the jawbone. An implant can be the base for a tooth-coloured crown, or it can support a denture.
Of the people studied, 51 (10.4%) were taking selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs), the most commonly prescribed drugs to treat depression.
After six years, 10.6% of implants in the SSRI group had failed. A failed implant does not bond with the bone in the jaw and must be removed. Over the same time period, only 4.6% of implants failed in people not taking SSRIs.
People who smoked were also at greater risk of implant failure, and smaller implants were more likely to fail than larger implants.
SSRIs are known to cause dry mouth (xerostomia), and this can increase the risk for tooth decay; however, dry mouth is not a known risk factor for implant failure.