Have you ever wondered if having an MRI when you have dental implants is safe?
You’ve got dental implants that have helped improve your smile and oral health. But then a medical situation arises, and you need to get an MRI. The question on your mind is: Can I get an MRI when I have dental implants? Can they exist together safely?
In this article, we’ll break down the facts and give you a clear picture of whether dental implants and MRI scans are safe to pair together. We will also explain the benefits of getting a dental implant and how to manage them.
Can You Have an MRI With a Dental Implant?
The answer is yes; you can have an MRI with a dental implant. When you visit a hospital or health center, a form is usually handed over for you to fill out. This contains information on all your medical history, including medications currently on, surgical procedures done, etc.
This will guide them in properly investigating your health condition and making informed decisions on the best approach to begin treatment while avoiding the possibility of medications interacting with one another. Patients undergoing an MRI may be concerned about dental implants and how the machine may affect them.
What Are MRI Scans?
MRI is an acronym for Magnetic Resonance Imaging. It is a machine that produces a strong magnetic field in a confined space to penetrate body tissues, creating pictures of the anatomy and physiological process of the body. An MRI scan can take images of soft body tissues and organs, scan the body for tumors, check the heart’s chambers, or even assess damages to body structures, like a stroke.
One of the biggest advantages of an MRI scan is that it provides better imagery, making it easier to distinguish fats, water, muscle, and other soft tissues than other scan types. It is also non-invasive, meaning it does not require insertion into the body, thereby preventing the body from being exposed to radiation.
Understanding Dental Implants
Dental Implants are medical devices implanted into a person’s jaw to improve appearance, help chewing, and support artificial teeth such as dentures or crowns.
When a tooth is lost due to a disease or an injury, there tend to be complications ranging from defective speech, rapid bone degeneration, painful chewing or changes in chewing pattern, and general discomfort. A dental implant is often recommended to replace a lost tooth since it gradually improves the patient’s quality of life.
A dental implant setup consists of a body, abutment, and fixation screw. The implant body is surgically inserted into the jawbone in place of the lost tooth’s root, while the abutment is attached to the implant body by the fixation screw and extends through gums into the mouth to support the attached artificial teeth.
Benefits Of a Dental Implant
Some of the benefits of getting a dental implant include:
- Restoration of chewing capability
- They are durable and can last a lifetime
- They prevent bone loss
- They can keep adjacent teeth stable
- They lower the risk of early onset of gum diseases
- They prevent facial sagging
Dental Implants And Biocompatibility
The body naturally rejects any incompatible substance or organ because of its physiological makeup. This is seen in cases of organ rejection. An implant is a foreign substance that is being introduced into the body, and for it to function properly, it has to be compatible with the body.
Materials such as alloys of titanium, zirconia, and certain polymers are biocompatible with the human body due to their inability to damage tissues and cause inflammation, their inability to rust, and their ability to be worn away by the body due to consistent use. Furthermore, the body accepts these implants and makes room for healthy bone formation around them.
Metals, Dental Implants, And MRI Scans
The MRI machine is a strong magnetic field naturally attracted to ferromagnetic materials. This magnetic field is so strong it can pull oxygen tanks to itself and any metallic object implanted into the body. As a result, a comprehensive medical history is required before any form of MRI scan is taken to ascertain if there is any form of metallic implants in the body.
As already established, alloys of titanium and zirconia do not interfere with MRI scans since they are not ferromagnetic, making them ideal materials for dental implants.
Potential Dental Implant Complications
High success rates have been recorded for dental implants, although certain complications can come during or after the procedure. Some of these complications include:
- Sinus Problems: this happens when the implant enters or protrudes into the sinus cavity, causing an inflammatory reaction.
- Nerve Damage: this happens when the implant destroys surrounding or adjacent nerves in the jaw cavity, leading to serious pain and other nerve complications, including paralysis in some cases.
- Tooth implant fracture: dental implant fractures can occur when there is excessive force during the implant, inadequate bone density, and poor dental implant placement.
- Allergies: Although less common, allergic reactions such as inflammation and swelling can occur. When this happens, an alternative material is used for the implant.
Key Signs of a Dental Implant Failure
There is a possibility of dental implant failure to happen at an early or late stage of the implant. Early implant failure can occur within a few days or weeks after the oral surgery, while late implant failure happens much longer, usually a couple of years after dental implant placement.
Knowing the key signs of dental implant failure is important to know when to take full action and seek professional help. Some of these signs include:
- Pain during eating or chewing
- Inflamed gums
- Irritation and swelling around the implant area
- Sensitivity around the implant area
- Gum recession and pain in the mouth.
Recommendations for Patients with Dental Implants
Patients with dental implants are encouraged to observe the following to ensure the implants are well-maintained:
- Visit the dentist regularly for checks
- Brush the teeth, floss, and rinse well at least twice daily
- Abstain from smoking and chewing tobacco
- Eat healthy and balanced diets
- Avoid chewing Ice and other triggering substance
Are There Alternative Imaging Techniques for Dental Implants?
Aside from the MRI scan, there are several other imaging alternative techniques for dental implants. It is important to consult with the dentist to decide which method best suits your condition. It is also important to remember that clear, quality, distinct imagery is important in ensuring proper diagnosis. Some other forms of imaging techniques for dental implants include:
- Planar imaging modalities
- Occlusal Radiography
- Cephalometric Radiography
- X-ray Tomography
Dental Implants and MRIs: Safety First
There have been some concerns about the compatibility of the MRI scan and dental Implants since the machine is not compatible with metallic objects. This is, however, different in dental implants since the materials used are usually alloys of titanium and zirconia, which are not ferromagnetic. This means that they do not have iron properties and can not be affected by the strong magnetic field of the MRI, making them very compatible with the scan.
If you need dental implants, consider contacting Hanna Dental for personalized advice. Hanna Dental can evaluate your needs and provide the best solution for restoring your smile. We offer the latest in dental implant technology and aesthetic services. Contact us today for more information on our dental services in Houston, Texas.
FAQs: Frequently Asked Questions
Q: Can I have an MRI scan with dental implants?
A: Yes, you can. Having an MRI scan with dental implants is safe. Dental implants are made of materials like titanium, considered MRI-compatible, and do not interfere with the MRI process. However, informing the medical staff and the MRI technician about your dental implants before the scan is important to ensure they have all the necessary information to proceed safely.
Q: What implants are not MRI-compatible?
A: Some implants are not MRI-compatible due to their composition or potential to cause image artifacts. Examples of implants that might not be MRI-compatible include older pacemakers and certain types of cochlear implants. Always consult with your healthcare provider and inform them about any implants you have before undergoing an MRI.
Q: Is it safe to have an MRI with metal implants?
A: Generally, many modern metal implants are considered safe for MRI scans. However, some older or poorly designed implants might cause issues, such as heating or movement during the scan. It’s vital to inform your healthcare provider and the MRI technician about any metal implants you have to ensure your safety during the procedure.
Q: Can you have a head MRI with dental implants?
A: Yes, you can have a head MRI with dental implants. Dental implants made from materials like titanium are MRI-compatible and usually do not cause significant interference. However, it’s essential to inform the medical staff about your implants before the MRI so they can make the necessary preparations.