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Can I Get an MRI With Braces?

May 17, 2024

The question "Can I Get an MRI With Braces?" is a common concern for many undergoing orthodontic treatment. Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRIs), with their powerful magnets, can raise safety questions, especially when metal is involved. This blog post will explore safety considerations and potential image distortion and provide valuable insights for both patients and healthcare professionals. 

So, if you're wondering if your braces will prevent an MRI, keep reading for all the information you need!

 Is it Safe to Undergo an MRI procedure with Braces?

MRI, or Magnetic Resonance Imaging, is a non-invasive diagnostic procedure used to visualize internal body structures and processes. Unlike X-rays that use radiation to capture images of dense tissues like bones, MRIs employ magnetic fields to create detailed images of softer tissues such as organs and muscles.

Your healthcare provider may recommend an MRI for various reasons, ranging from assessing muscle or ligament injuries to detecting tumors and brain abnormalities or investigating chronic pain sources.

Many individuals with braces often wonder Can I Get an MRI With Braces? The good news is that it is entirely safe to have an MRI with braces. The small amount of metal in braces, including brackets and wires, does not pose any health risks during the MRI procedure.

However, one consideration regarding braces and MRI involves the potential for image distortion. Since MRIs rely on precise magnetic frequencies to generate images, metal objects like braces may slightly distort the captured images. This issue is not unique to braces and is commonly addressed by healthcare professionals to ensure accurate diagnostic results.

Can the Metal in Braces Affect My MRI Scan?

While MRIs use powerful magnets to capture detailed images inside your body, the small amount of metal in braces generally won't prevent you from undergoing the scan. However, it's important to understand a potential side effect:

Metal and Image Distortion:

The metal in braces can interact with the MRI's magnetic field, causing distortions in the final image. These blurry areas, called artifacts, might appear in the head and neck region, making it difficult to see certain tissues clearly. This is especially true for scans focusing on the jaw, sinuses, or even parts of the brain.

What to Do:

To ensure a smooth MRI experience with braces:

  • Inform your doctor beforehand: Let your doctor know you have braces before scheduling the MRI. This allows them to assess the potential impact on image quality and determine the best approach.
  • Material matters: Discuss any concerns with your orthodontist. While traditional metal braces are more likely to cause distortion, ceramic or clear braces might be less problematic.

By openly communicating with your doctor and orthodontist, you can confidently navigate the world of braces and MRIs.

MRI Safety Guidelines for Patients with Braces

Getting an MRI with braces? No worries! Here's a roadmap to ensure a smooth and informative experience:

Heads Up for Your Healthcare Team:

  • Before the Scan: Let your doctor and MRI technician know you have braces before scheduling your appointment. This heads-up gives them time to assess potential image quality issues and plan accordingly.
  • Braces Details: Be prepared to share details about your braces, including the material (metal, ceramic, etc.) and when they were placed. This information helps healthcare professionals tailor the MRI approach for optimal results.

Pre-Scan Safety Check:

  • Loose Braces Be Gone: Double-check your braces for any loose wires or brackets before entering the MRI room. Loose parts can cause discomfort during the scan.

MRI Day Essentials:

  • Follow the Technician's Lead: MRI technicians are the experts! Pay close attention to their instructions regarding positioning and any adjustments needed throughout the scan.
  • Metal-Free Zone: Remove any additional metal objects like jewelry, watches, or hairpins before entering the room. This prevents interference with the MRI machine.

During the Scan:

  • Hold Still for Clear Images: Staying still is key! This minimizes movement and ensures clear images, potentially reducing the need for repeat scans.
  • Discomfort? Speak Up: If you experience any discomfort or pain related to your braces during the MRI, don't hesitate to tell the technician. They can adjust the scan or take steps to ensure your comfort.

Conclusion

Can I Get an MRI With Braces? Getting an MRI with braces is generally safe when appropriate precautions are taken. Patients should communicate openly with their orthodontist and MRI team, follow safety guidelines, and consider alternative imaging options if necessary. With modern orthodontic materials and careful planning, orthodontic patients can benefit from essential medical imaging without compromising their braces or overall safety. Always prioritize collaboration between orthodontic and medical professionals to ensure a smooth and safe MRI experience for patients with braces.

Ready to Address Your Dental and Medical Needs?

Book an appointment online with Afroz Burges DDS, PA, TX, today! New patients can call us at 281-547-2632 while existing patients can reach us at ​713-340-2889. Let's ensure your dental health and overall well-being are in good hands!

FAQ

Will braces prevent me from getting an MRI?

Not at all! Braces themselves are safe for MRI scans. However, it's important to inform your doctor beforehand. This allows them to consider the potential impact of the metal in your braces on image quality.

Can braces get damaged during an MRI?

Rest assured, MRIs won't harm your braces. The magnets used don't affect dental work. Your orthodontic treatment will continue as planned after the scan.

What about retainers or other dental appliances? Do I need to remove them?

This depends on the type of appliance. Removable options like retainers might need to be taken out before the MRI. Always follow the specific instructions your healthcare team provides for a smooth experience.

 

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