Are dental implants safe in MRI exams?

Are dental implants safe in MRI exams?

For people who are considering getting dental implants and MRI, it may be best thinking it over before going through these two process, one after the other. Based on research, there may be some difficulties linked with dental implants for people who are bound to have an MRI. However, this does not mean that undergoing this medical procedure is no longer recommended. It is only more about any potential risks or biological impacts of MRI to people with dental implants.

Magnets in Dental Implants


In the field of dentistry, the use of magnets has become quite popular and functional. For instance, magnets are applied in prosthetic dentistry and orthodontics, where malocclusions are addressed with the help of these materials. It is also typical for some magnets to be used in removable partial dentures and maxillofacial prosthesis. Overdentures have also become common nowadays, thanks to the compact quality of rare earth magnets as used in dentistry.


When the problem involves lateral functional forces, magnetic retention may prove to be beneficial. Parallel abutments may no longer be much of a necessity, considering the fact that there are no critical concerns with the line of insertion. With the simple technique involved with magnetic retention, the entire process can be performed in less time both in the laboratory and the dentist’s clinic. It is only very important that the handling process is done carefully to prevent any damages to the external metal coating of the magnets.


In dental implants, magnets are essential to hold the tools securely in place. However, it is worth noting that when people go through MRI, the machine used in the process involves powerful magnets. These material tend to demagnetize the magnets in the dental implant, which may eventually require replacement or repair. On the other hand, ferromagnetic materials used on implants come with counter-force features, and these keep the appliance held in place. As a result, there are no problems involved even if an individual undergoes MRI.


Issues to Consider


In some studies, the image quality that resulted with individuals having dental implants from an MRI scan was fairly satisfactory. Only 12 of the 16 patients had reduced image quality of the scan, which was due to the deflection of the magnetic field from the MRI. Furthermore, the MRI is likely to present some features or artifacts from the image that may not be present in actuality.


It is also worth noting that the magnetic field present in MRI machines may lead to some force that can dislodge an implant. Yet, dental implants that are anchored securely around the tissue may not lead to such problem. With this in mind, it is the implant type that may be considered before a patient undergoes MRI scan. The type of dental implant should not be electrically active, and the materials used should not be sensitive to the magnetic forces present in the machine used for MRIs.


In case there is an absence of an electrical activity linked with the implant, or the material use is not ferromagnetic, it is safe for the patient to undergo a scan right after dental implantation. However, for a weakly magnetic implant, a waiting period of 6 to 8 weeks should be enough to allow the implant to be held securely in the tissue, which should be safe for MRI scan.

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