Risks, Myths and Facts about Interaction of Dental Implants and Crowns with MRI scan Machines
MRI is an important non invasive imaging modality used to examine soft tissues of the body. MRI machine produces a strong magnetic field around the area of interest thus allowing us to gain vital information for diagnosis and treatment planning.
When you visit an Imaging center for MRI scan, the technician enquires about any metallic objects on your body and asks you to remove them. Ever wondered what to do about the metal restoration/ crown that your dentist placed in your mouth?
For this let us first understand the working of an MRI machine and interactions it could have on your dental restoration.
MRI utilizes a strong magnetic field which could be as much as 10,000 times stronger than the Earth’s magnetic field and creates images of the body. A magnetic field this powerful could have powerful interactions with metals. Typically four different types of interactions could be seen:
- Projectile Accidents: It is probably the scariest interaction that could occur in which the MRI’s magnetic field literally pulls out the restoration out of the mouth injuring the patient or anyone standing close by. That is the reason why metallic things like oxygen cylinders, metal tubings, wheelchairs, stretchers are never allowed in the MRI room.
- Fraturing or Dislodgement of restoration: When the interaction is not strong enough, the restoration may simply break in a part or dislodge completely from the tooth due to minute vibratory motion created by the interaction. In such cases replacement of the restoration could be required.
- Thermal Burns: Sometimes the interaction between the restoration and the magnetic field may not involve movement or motion of the restoration. Thermal burns result when dental restorations absorb heat from the magnetic waves and get themselves heated up. In such cases they may cause thermal burns to the sensitive structures such as the pulp or gums.
- Artifacts: Although this interaction is not dangerous, the dental restoration can possibly distort the magnetic field or the radio waves generating from the MRI thus creating blurred areas on the MRI image making it difficult for diagnosis.
Does that mean you can never get an MRI scan if you have a crown in your mouth?
You definitely can!
Crowns made out of Zirconia, porcelain, composite resin pose no risk from MRI. If the patient has a metal crown or Porcelain fused to metal crown (metal ceramic crown), they should first consult the dentist before going for the scan.
There are few metals that have a high susceptibility to magnetization and are called ferromagnetic metals. These include iron, cobalt, nickel, alloys like stainless steel and could pose a risk to the MRI scan. Few crowns may have traces of these metals.
How to avoid problems related to Dental restorations due to MRI interaction?
It is absolutely impossible to guess whether an MRI could be required in the future. However, there are some precautions the patients can take to avoid any sort of possible interaction:
- Be well informed about the dental procedure and consult your dentist regarding what materials were used
- Choose ceramic or composite restoration, whenever possible
- Share information about the metal restoration with your dentist and technician before getting the MRI scan done
- Removal of the restoration before the scan could be considered in some cases
Choose the correct restoration, Stay safe & get better images!
Are you looking for complete Ceramic restorations?
At Dr Bari Dental Clinic, you get the best quality ceramic restorations/ crowns customized for you, taking into consideration the cosmetics as well as functionality of your mouth. Call today for appointments.