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UB study: Antidepressants may play role in dental implant failure

Antidepressant drugs may play a role in dental implant failure, according to a University at Buffalo pilot study.

While these drugs are often used to manage mood and emotions, a side effect decreases the regulation of bone metabolism. For an implant to heal properly, new bone must form around it to secure it in place, according to Sulochana Gurung, lead investigator and a doctor of dental surgery candidate.

The research was funded by the Student Research Program through the SDM Dean’s Vision Fund. It is based on data from UB Dental Clinic patients in 2014. The researchers found that of the few patients who experienced implant failures, 33 percent used antidepressants. But for patients who did not experience failures, only 11 percent used the drugs.

“Antidepressant medication may relieve depression symptoms and help millions of patients worldwide. However, their benefits must be weighed with the side effects,” Dr. Latifa Bairam, an investigator on the study and clinical assistant professor in the UB School of Dental Medicine.