A common question is related to whether or not dental implants will affect your ability to have an MRI. Won’t the metal in the implant interfere with the MRI machine? The answer may not be what you expect.
The Basics of Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI)
MRI is short for “magnetic resonance imaging.” As the name implies, this type of medical imaging makes use of very powerful magnetism to create images of the internal structures of your body.
The way it works is quite complex. But to boil it down, all of the tissues of your body have different reactions to magnetism. By measuring and interpreting these reactions, an MRI machine can create a 3D image of the area that has been scanned – such as your back, leg, arm, brain, or even your entire body.
MRIs don’t use radiation, unlike CT and x-ray scans, and they are totally non-invasive and painless, so they are a preferred way to image and diagnose problems with your internal tissues and organs.
MRIs React To Ferrous (Magnetic) Metals
MRIs use extremely strong magnets to create images of your body. That means that they should not be used when ferrous (magnetic) metals are present. The most common ferrous metals are iron and its derived alloys, such as steel. However, nickel and cobalt are also ferromagnetic.
The presence of ferrous metals in the MRI machine (or even in the room) when the machine is turned on can cause serious damage. In some cases, ferrous metal objects can even fly around the room, attracted by the strong current!
That’s why people with some types of metal implants (like old-style pacemakers with ferrous metals) can’t have MRIs, and that’s why all ferrous jewelry and other objects must be removed before a scan.
Dental Implants Are Non-Ferrous
So, do dental implants interfere with MRIs? The answer is “no.” The vast majority of implants are made of titanium, though some are made of zirconia. Both of these materials are completely non-responsive to magnetism. That means they will not impair the MRI machine or endanger you at all when you are being scanned.
That means there’s no reason to worry about your implant interfering with your ability to have an MRI in the future. Whether you’ve already gotten your implants or you’re still considering dental implants in Laguna Hills, that should be a relief!
Learn More About Dental Implants From Dr. Stan Kimball, DDS!
At the office of Stan Kimball, DDS, we specialize in implant dentistry and cosmetic makeovers. If you’d like to learn more about dental implants, please contact us for an appointment. You can give us a call at (949) 586-6030, or stop by our office at 23961 Calle De La Magdalena, #102, Laguna Hills, CA 92653 for more information.