Magnetic Resonance Imaging is a powerful investigatory tool used by medical imaging technicians to help physicians diagnose internal health issues affecting the body’s tissues and organs. MRIs are commonly used to look for tumors, examine the health of your heart’s chambers or determine whether your brain has suffered any damage from a stroke.
Magnetic Resonance Imaging machines use large magnets and radio waves to examine parts of your body, including organs, ligaments, tumours and other structures. The MRI machine transmits a powerful magnetic field through the parts of your body being investigated. Different structures in your body react differently to the magnetic field sent through your body. The MRI machine’s computer systems collect information about your body’s reactions to the magnetic field to develop three-dimensional images of the interior anatomical structures in the scanned area. Being scanned with an MRI machine is completely painless, radiation-free and non-invasive, though you will be required to stay completely still during the lengthy process and may need ear plugs to block out the noises produced by the MRI machine’s large magnets.
Ferromagnetic metals interfere with MRIs
“Ferromagnetic” metals are materials that are highly susceptible to magnets, such as iron, alloys such as steel, nickel and cobalt. Any ferromagnetic materials in or on your body will react to the magnetic field produced by the MRI and interfere with the MRI’s readings.
To avoid any interference by ferromagnetic materials, patients undergoing MRI imaging must remove any jewelry, clothing and objects that might contain any ferromagnetic substances. Even items in the room that might contain ferromagnetic substances must be removed before the MRI machine starts to take images.
Patients with ferromagnetic implants in their body — including some older pacemakers and some joint transplants — will not be able to undergo an MRI. Veterans with shrapnel in their body or some metal workers who may have ferromagnetic debris in their body may also be unable to undergo an MRI.
Do dental implants interfere with MRIs?
Most modern dental implants in East Chestermere are made of titanium. Titanium is not a ferromagnetic material, meaning that it is completely non-reactive to magnetism. Someone with titanium dental implants near you can undergo MRI imaging without any concern about safety risks or adverse reactions. Similarly, if you have implants made with titanium alloys or zirconia, getting an MRI will be completely safe.
Even though titanium and zirconia dental implants don’t interfere with an MRI, past dental treatment may present a concern for MRI technologists. For this reason, you should be extremely careful to provide your physician and the treating diagnostic technician with a detailed medical and dental history. (You can obtain details about your past dental treatment from a dentist near you, if that would be helpful.) Metal fillings, crowns containing metal infrastructure, braces and even dentures may contain ferromagnetic materials that can interfere with an MRI scan.
If you have any questions about the purpose, need and safety of proposed diagnostic imaging — including MRI scans — be sure to take the time to get answers and information you need from your physician or specialist. If you have had past dental work that you’re concerned about (such as fillings, crowns, bridges, implants or dentures), don’t hesitate to speak to a dentist in Chestermere for confirmation that undergoing an MRI is safe or risky.