If you're looking for a permanent false tooth solution, then you may be thinking about having a dental implant. Implants use strong posts that are inserted into bone to anchor a false tooth into place; they can often be a more secure and natural solution to other teeth replacement options.
However, like any medical procedure, implants are not suitable for everyone and may not always work. If you're taking antidepressants, it is important that you tell your dentist before you opt for implant treatment as your medication may affect the success of the implant. Why is this an issue?
How Antidepressants Affect Your Mouth
People who take antidepressant medications may experience various side effects, especially if they've been on their medication for a long time. From a dental perspective, for example, antidepressants may affect your bones, compromising their strength and density. If this affects the bone into which your implant post would be inserted, the bone may not be strong enough to hold the post and the implant might have a greater chance of failure.
In some cases, antidepressant medications may also give you bruxism, a condition where you grind your teeth. From an implant perspective, excessive grinding might put too much stress on the implant tooth which, while strong, doesn't have the strength of natural teeth. Plus, on a lesser level, your meds may give you a dry mouth. While this may not seem too serious, a lack of saliva in the mouth can impact the healing process after an implant procedure.
How Your Dentist Can Help
Your dentist is likely to want to know what type of antidepressants you're taking and how long you've been taking them. You may also be asked if you have experienced any side effects. In some cases, such as situations where you are having bone problems, your dentist may feel that the increased risk of implant failure is not worth it and may suggest other dental surgery and tooth replacement solutions such as bridges, crowns or false teeth.
If your side effects include bruxism, then your dentist may be able to suggest ways to alleviate the problem or to manage its effects on your teeth. For example, if you mainly grind your teeth at night, a mouthguard may protect an implant tooth enough to make it more viable. Your dentist can also help you deal with dry mouth problems if this is an issue. Dental products such as dry mouth mouthwashes and toothpastes can help you produce more saliva; saliva substitute gels may also help.
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