Use of antidepressants in dentistry: A systematic review

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Previous research has suggested that antidepressants can be used in oral health care. The aim of this systematic review was to search for scientific evidence of the efficacy of the use of antidepressants in dentistry.

Materials and Methods:

The clinical question was as follows (PICO question): dentistry patients (Patients); antidepressants (Intervention); no use or placebo or other drug (Comparison); and efficacy in oral health problems (Outcome). An electronic search was conducted in seven databases, as well as a manual search without restriction regarding language and date of publication. Two independent reviewers selected studies based on eligibility criteria, extracted data and assessed methodological quality based on the PEDro scale. The PROSPERO record is number CRD42016037442.


A total of 15 randomized controlled trials were associated with the use of antidepressants to control chronic or acute pain in dentistry, among other conditions such as bruxism and burning mouth syndrome. The most commonly used drug in clinical trials was amitriptyline (more than 50% of studies).


Antidepressants may be effective in dentistry for acute and chronic pain, but there is a large amount of methodological heterogeneity among the evaluated studies. In summary, there is rationality for the indication of this class of medicine in dentistry in specific clinical situations.

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