Q: My husband takes Prilosec due to a hiatal hernia and acid reflux. I read a story on line that said this could make his implants fail. Is this true?
A: I can relate to this as I too was diagnosed with a hiatal hernia as a teenager. I remember as a kid always sneaking into the kitchen in the middle of the night to take sips of whole milk to cool off my heartburn. (Ok, so I slipped in a couple of Devil Dogs, a Scooter Pie and a Ring-Ding. I had to stay awake for back to back episodes of the Honeymooners…. NORTON!)
There have been a few studies that have shown that patients on meds called PPI’s (protein pump inhibitors) such as Prilosec, Nexium and Protonix for GERD type diseases (gastroesophageal reflux disease) have shown a 4 times greater risk of having their implants fail.
The meds have shown a decrease in important bone-healing cells called osteoclasts.
A failure implies a loss of bone and loosening of the implant warranting removal. This failure occurs before any crown, bridge or denture has been attached. This still allows for rescuing the case by grafting and/or placing a new implant with a change in medication to non-PPI meds such as Prilosec AC. (which I changed to just two years ago, mainly because of a number of articles showing possible cardiac issues for those on Prilosec long term.)
More randomized controlled clinical trials are needed to validate these findings. Personally, if you absolutely must stay on a PPI; I would still go for the implant, BUT, make sure your doctor at the time he places the implant and three to four months later, takes an ISQ (Implant Stability Quotient) with a special device called Ostell or the Penguin. These use soundwaves to see if your implant is fusing to the bone properly.
On another note, I am a glass is half full guy. I believe we should all use masks when you can’t be six feet from another non-household person. I also believe one should turn off the news for a week and consider these numbers: 1 out 6 Americans died in the last six months from heart disease, 1 out of 7 from cancer, 1 out of 88 in a motor vehicle accident. And…1 out of 4000 Americans of Covid 19. I’m not a gambler, but those are some powerful odds.