Dental implants are very successful overall, but not everyone has the same great odds of success. For some people, factors like medication may make it harder for you to get dental implants. Risks can be avoided with proper planning, which is why you need to make sure your implant dentist knows about medications you are taking. Here are some important ones.


The most popular type of antidepressant, SSRIs (selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors), has recently been shown to have a negative impact on dental implants. A recent study showed that people taking this type of antidepressant were 6.28 times more likely to experience dental implant failure. This does not come as a surprise, since SSRIs have previously been linked to loss of bone mass and an increased risk of bone fractures. Most recognizable antidepressants are in this category, including Zoloft, Lexapro, Paxil, and Prozac.


Bisphosphonates are used to help control osteoporosis. They function by altering the way bones are maintained by your body. In normal function, your body is constantly removing bone and replacing it. Bisphosphonates inhibit cells responsible for removing bone, allowing more bone mass to build up. However, there is evidence that without the removal process, the body might have more trouble incorporating your dental implants. Examples include Fosamax, Boniva, and Actonel.


Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) are popular over-the-counter and prescription pain relievers. Some studies of these drugs indicate that they make it harder for your bone to heal. Again, the strength of this effect is not fully understood, so avoiding them is only recommended if you have other risk factors that could impair bone healing. Common NSAIDs include ibuprofen (Advil), naproxen (Aleve), celecoxib (Celebrex), and aspirin.


A class of antibiotics known as fluoroquinolones has been shown to impair bone growth and bone healing. Their impact has mainly been studied with respect to bone fractures, not dental implants, but it’s likely that the impact may be the same. Unfortunately, it’s often necessary to use antibiotics to help prevent or combat infections related to dental implants. However, there are many alternative antibiotics that don’t impact your bone healing. Examples of fluoroquinolones that have been linked with bone healing includes ciprofloxacin, levofloxacin, norfloxacin, and ofloxacin.

Not an Exhaustive List

This list is not designed to show you all the possible medications that could impact your dental implants, but to impress upon you the importance of letting us know what medications you are taking during your dental implant consultation. That way we can plan for any potential risk to ensure you have a successful dental implant procedure.

If you would like to learn more about dental implants in Las Vegas, please call (702) 873-0324 for an appointment at the office of Dr. James B. Polley.