Can People With Dental Implants Go for MRI?

Most people who already have dental implants or are considering getting them ask dental professionals: Is it safe to go for MRI scans with dental implants inside the mouth? This question arises because dental implants are metallic posts and MRI scanning of the body is done using a strong magnet and it’s known that magnets attract metallic objects. So, what about implants affecting MRI? Keep reading further to learn more about dental implants and MRI and get confirmation regarding MRI safety for dental implant patients.

What is an MRI?

MRI is a medical abbreviation for Magnetic Resonance Imaging. It is a non-invasive diagnostic test, an advanced medical imaging technology, used by doctors to diagnose illnesses that affect the body’s organs and tissues.

The test involves the use of the MRI scanning machine for diagnosis of internal health issues such as soft tissue tumors, brain tumors or injury, spinal cord injuries, eye or inner ear problems, multiple sclerosis, spine abnormalities, joint abnormalities or injuries, bone tumors/infections, aneurysms, and strokes. The MRI machines use large powerful magnets and radio waves to get a clear picture of the inside of the body for thorough examination of different body parts, including the organs, ligaments, tumors, and other structures.

An MRI unit transmits a strong magnetic field through the body parts that are being investigated. As the magnetic field is passed through the body, different reactions can be seen in various internal parts of the body. The machine is connected to a computer system that gathers all the information about the reactions of different body parts to the magnetic field and creates three-dimensional images of the internal anatomical structures present in the scanned area, using computer programs.

MRI tests are completely painless and radiation-free. It is a lengthy test for which the patient needs to lie down still and may need earplugs to block out the noises produced by the large magnet of the MRI machine.       

How Does Metal Affect an MRI? 

 As MRI makes use of magnetic fields, magnetic materials such as metals like iron and cobalt can react to it. MRI machines essentially work like giant magnets, so any loose or detached metals in or around the machine or metallic materials existing within the body can get pulled while the machine is switched on. Therefore, it is recommended to take proper checks and measures before undergoing an MRI scan. It is critical to tell the concerned doctor about having any metals within the body or else it may turn dangerous for patients and even the doctors or technicians performing the scans. In case of not sure, patients can get an X-ray done.      

Dental Implants and MRI

Which Metals Pose an Issue with an MRI?

MRI has a variety of uses, so it’s important to understand which metals are safe to go inside an MRI machine and which cannot so that they can be removed before getting an MRI done or the patient could avoid MRI scanning.

Ferromagnetic metals such as steel, nickel, and cobalt are highly susceptible to magnets. They could easily react with the magnetic field produced by MRI machines and interfere with MRI’s accuracy. Some metals or metallic devices that could interfere with MRI scanning and are not approved for going into MRI machine includes:

  • Old pacemakers and defibrillators
  • Shrapnel (depending on its location)
  • Metal braces, fillings, crowns having metallic components, and dentures (these may contain ferromagnetic materials which distort the MRI images of the inside of the mouth)
  • Pins and plates (these can lead to misreporting of the MRI images if located near the organs or if not secured to the bone)
  • Jewellery and piercings (these must be removed to reduce their influence on the MRI images)
  • Permanent tattoos designed using metallic inks.

What are Full Mouth Dental Implants

Dental implants are metal posts or frames that are shaped like a cylinder or screw. They are used to provide a stable, strong foundation for one or more false teeth and act as the artificial roots of the prosthetic teeth. Just like natural tooth roots, the implant is surgically placed into the jawbone to fully restore the entire missing tooth structure for a lifetime.

Usually, implants are made up of titanium or its alloy, and modern good branded implants may even be made of zirconium. The implants look and feel realistic and even function like natural teeth.

Do Dental Implants Interfere with MRI Scans?

Dental implants are made up of either titanium or zirconium, both of which are not ferromagnetic metals instead they are paramagnetic. This means they cannot react to magnetism. Therefore, they cannot react to a magnetic field produced by MRI scanners. So, getting an MRI is completely safe for anyone having dental implants made of titanium or its alloy or zirconium.  

Do Dental Implants Interfere with MRI Scans

Titanium and MRI Compatibility

It may seem nonsensical that only the post and abutment of the dental implant system are made using metal. But, the compatibility depends upon the type of metal used to design dental implants.

Dental implants are typically made up of biocompatible materials: titanium or zirconium. This means these metals cannot irritate the internal tissues or cause inflammation as normally possible after entry of a foreign object within the body. Thus, the titanium or zirconium implants are accepted by the body and after their surgical placement, the soft and hard tissues within the mouth may grow around the implant site as it heals.   

Pre-checklist for People Having Dental Implants before Going for an MRI Scan

Although the dental implants do not affect MRI, the diagnostic technicians or physicians conducting MRI tests may first completely review the medical and dental history of the patient to check for any previous dental work that could hamper the MRI scans. In the case of removable metallic prostheses such as dentures and bridges, it’s recommended to remove them before stepping into the MRI room. If having an existing metal filling, metallic crowns, metallic braces, or metallic dentures, then avoid going for an MRI test.

If there are any further questions regarding the dental implants and MRI, need, purpose, or safety of suggested diagnostic imaging such as MRI scans, ensure to discuss it with the concerned physician or specialist. 

For more information on Dental Implants pay a visit now at EON Clinics.

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