Antidepressants Linked to Doubling of Failure of Dental Implants


People who take SSRI antidepressants are twice as likely to have their dental implants fail, according to McGill University researchers. In a press release, the researchers stated that there were plausible biological explanations for the link, due to the widely-reported negative effects of SSRIs on bones.

“Because antidepressants, which are widely used around the world, are reported to increase the risk of bone fracture and reduce bone formation, we were curious to see how they might affect dental implants,” said McGill’s Faleh Tamimi in the press release. “Even so, we were surprised to discover that the negative effect of SSRIs on dental implants was so strong, almost equal to that of smoking, a well-established hazard for oral health.”

The researchers reviewed records of dental implants done over a six-year period, between 2007 – 2013, in a clinic in Moncton, New Brunswick, and followed up with patients. Of 916 dental implants done on 490 patients, of which 51 were taking SSRIs, there was a 10.64% failure rate of the implants among the people taking SSRIs.

“[W]hether they are planning to have dental implants or hip or knee prostheses, SSRI users should consult their physicians and plan carefully to ensure that the surgical treatment is successful,” said Tamimi.

Drugs for Depression Linked with Failure of Dental Implants (McGill University Press Release on Newswise, September 10, 2014.)


  1. These are not the only drugs that cause implants to fail. My implant specialist who will not implant patients who have taken Fosomax, the bone drug (which, incidentally, has other counter-indications for health). In his experience, the failure rate with Fosomax is too high. He’s not speaking out to ban Fosomax, but his patients are warned.

    There is some hope that other medical professionals may help mitigate the drug-effects crisis we are in. A few months after being put on Seroquel, I developed the beginnings of cataracts, a known, though little publicized, side-effect of the drug. Maybe eye-specialists might note this in time.

    Although it is sad news for all those sucked into taking anti-depressants, people who have “hard-core” mental health diagnoses (for whatever reasons) might take heart that all these hugely destructive drugs are coming under a more general surveillance.

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    • There has to be a major shift in prescribing. I think that there are probably a few places where prescribing these drugs makes sense but it’s probably like 1% of the current market and I’m pretty sure that we don’t even know what exact conditions they may be good for (and most likely only short term anyway).
      What is happening today is a disgrace and a crime.

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  2. Well, thats not the only problem. Far “worse” is that one dose of so-called antidepressant change your brain to the worse in three hours ( ( ! Better as I qoute from “The Time” articel: “a widespread drop in connectivity throughout the brain, except where it was enhanced in two brain regions, the cerebellum and thalamus”.

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    • “Antidepressants are generally thought to take several weeks to kick in.”

      So when you take a psychoactive drug you have a change in brain activity as soon as the drug enters the system? Wow, I’d never thought of that. And these very surprised geniuses work at Max Planck? Really?

      This whole idea that antidepressants only start to work after a few weeks is bs and sounds to me like a pharma PR lie to justify why people don’t feel better on them immediately (we all know that most if not all improvement is anyway placebo effect from studies by Kirsch and collegues) and to make them continue to take the drug until they hopefully believe it’s actually helping and/or get hooked up on it with no chance of stopping (withdrawal). Call me a conspiracy theorist but as far as I know there is exactly zero evidence for the delayed effect of the drug on depression specifically, and it also makes no sense with the chemical imbalance and “just like insulin” bs – if there’s not enough serotonin in the brain than the effect should be visible immediately after the drug enters the brain and starts blocking re-uptake. And that is exactly what they’re seeing only that it’s unlikely to be anything anti-depressive, it just screws up serotonin signalling affecting a lot of stuff, much probably individual and context specific.
      There could be some reason for delayed effects maybe with the enhanced neurogenesis which obviously takes a bit longer but that is also not going to be specific in any way but a non-specific circuit re-modelling which can probably have loads of different effects.

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      • Please remember that antidepressants _do_ work—the scandal is that they work because of the placebo effect. I expect that the delay in antidepressant effect after starting treatment is real and is due to the mechanics of this placebo effect. It takes time for the drug’s side effects (dry mouth, etc.) to appear, and these side effects are a large part of what convinces people that the drug is effective, triggering a placebo response.

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