Dental Implant Surgery Impacted by 2 Drugs

Dental implant surgery has a success rate of up to 98 percent when performed by an experienced oral surgeon, according to the American Association of Oral and Maxillofacial Surgeons.

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However, recent research from the Faculty of Dentistry at McGill University in Montreal, Canada, indicates that two commonly prescribed medications can have an effect on the success of dental implants.

According to the studies, taking a beta blocker or proton pump inhibitor can influence how your bone cells heal, which can significantly improve surgery success.

Antihypertensive Drugs May Decrease the Risk of Dental Implant Failure

Beta blockers, drugs used to treat hypertension or high blood pressure, are known to have a positive effect on bone formation. Scientists have previously studied their use in the treatment of osteoporosis and fracture healing.

The McGill University scientists suspected that these medications could also be beneficial for dental implant surgery patients. And their research proved their theory, revealing a clear relationship between beta blockers and implant success.

In the study, patients taking antihypertensive drugs had a much lower rate of implant failure — just 0.6 percent. In patients not on beta blockers, 4.1 percent of the implants failed.

The research findings suggest that because beta blockers boost bone formation, they can increase the chances of successful implant healing.

Proton Pump Inhibitors May Increase Implant Surgery Failure Risk

Proton pump inhibitors, used to treat heartburn and acid reflux, have been scientifically shown to have the opposite effect on bone formation, as these drugs impair the absorption of vitamin B12 and calcium. Long-term use and high doses have been associated with an increased risk of fractures.

The McGill University researchers found that these medications also increase the risk for implant surgery failure.

Study participants using proton pump inhibitors had a failure rate of 6.8 percent. Implants failed in only 3.2 percent of the patients not on these drugs. These findings suggest that patients who take some heartburn and acid reflux medications may have a greater risk of implant failure.

Talk to your Oral Surgeon About Dental Implant Surgery

Does this mean you should start taking blood pressure medication before having implants, and stop using your proton pump inhibitor?

Doctors and dental professionals agree the answer is no. These studies are the first to demonstrate relationships between these classes of drugs and implant success rates, and much more research is necessary to reinforce their findings. Never alter your professionally prescribed medication regimen without professional advice.

Instead, talk to your oral surgeon about your concerns. Our experienced doctors can evaluate your risks and create a treatment plan that ensures the best chance of successful implant surgery.

The experienced oral surgeons of Oral & Maxillofacial Surgery of Utah have the extensive training and experience necessary to provide top-quality dental restorations. Call one of our Salt Lake City offices today to schedule your dental implant surgery consultation.