It is a typical concern for people with dental crowns whether or not they can have an IMR. Dental crowns can be made of a variety of materials, and some of them can negatively affect the results of the IMR. To determine if you can have an MRI scan with dental crowns, you need to know what material your crowns are made of and why they maybe not be compatible with this procedure.
Can You Have an MRI With Dental Crowns?
What Is an MRI and How Can It Interact with Dental Crowns?
MRI stands for magnetic resonance imaging. It is a medical imaging technique that uses a magnetic field to create images of the organs and tissues in your body. When contacting magnetic metal objects, some signal loss or distortion of the imaging might occur. Thus, if your dental crowns are made from materials affected by magnetic fields, scanning might not be possible.
Typically, most metal tooth solutions do not cause problems. However, It can become risky if you have a lot of magnetic metal in your mouth and you are going to have an MRI of your neck or head. In such cases, MRI is not the most effective scanning solution.
Some risks of having an MRI scan with dental crowns made of ferromagnetic materials include:
- The vibration caused by the magnetic field can dislodge, bend, and break the crown.
- The energy created by the MRI machine can heat the metal of the dental crown enough to cause burns to the tissue in the patient’s mouth.
- The distortion of the picture caused by the interaction between metal and magnetic field can result in some difficulties in giving a proper medical diagnosis.
- There is also a smaller risk of projectile accidents with dental crowns, when ferromagnetic objects are pulled into the MRI machine.
Factors That Determine If You Can Get An MRI With Dental Crowns
Material Your Dental Crowns Are Made of
Nowadays, many dental crowns are made from non-magnetic materials like ceramics, porcelain, and zirconia. Being not made of metal, these dental crowns will not cause any issues if you decide to undergo an MRI procedure.
However, as we described before, having metal dental crowns can be a problem and disrupt the procedure. We recommend consulting your dentist in order to learn what material your crowns are made of before having an IMR scan.
Type of Metal Dental Crowns You Have
Even if you have metal dental crowns, it does not necessarily mean that they are going to be a problem when it comes to an MRI scan. Metal Crowns that are made from gold or stainless steel are typically not magnetic, so they are MRI-safe.
The metals that can cause problems include iron, nickel, cobalt, and stainless steel. In most cases, these are materials that are not used in dental practices now but can still be found in some people’s dental crowns.
Another type of dental crown containing metal is porcelain-fused-to-metal crowns. These crowns have a metal base that is covered with porcelain. The metal base can be made of magnetic or non-magnetic metals. Make sure you know what kind of metals your dental crowns are made of, and let your MRI specialist know this information before the scan.
Number, Age, and Location of Your Dental Crowns
Now, if you have a lot of metal in your mouth, it can affect the result of an IMR scan. Also, the crowns themselves to be affected by a magnetic field if they are too old, worn out, or damaged.
Personal Health Condition
Some health conditions and medical history can influence whether or not you can have an MRI scan with dental crowns. Usually, your healthcare provider, who knows your medical history, can determine any risks for you in undergoing the procedure. Communication between your primary healthcare provider and your dentist will ensure that any risks are avoided.
Alternatives To MRI For Patients With Dental Crowns
If you can not have an MRI scan, there are other imaging options for patients with dental crowns.
- CT Scan (computed tomography scan)
- Ultrasound imaging
- PET scan
- Bone scan
All these procedures are minimally invasive or noninvasive. They do not use magnetic fields for creating the imagery, so they are typically safe for patients with dental crowns.
In conclusion, even though it is often safe to have an MRI scan with dental crowns, it is necessary to consult both your dentist and your primary care provider before considering the procedure. You should also notify the MRI specialist that you have dental crowns before the procedure.
At My Dentist Upland, you can consult a dental crown specialist and clarify the following questions:
- What types of dental crowns you have
- What material your dental crowns are made of
- In what condition are your dental crowns
- Is it safe to undergo an MRI procedure with your type of dental crown