Dentists and oral surgeons are often asked if dental implants are safe in an MRI machine. It’s an understandable concern because MRI machines employ magnetic fields and implants are made from metal. Fortunately, dental implants don’t pose any safety risk during an MRI scan.

But can your dental implant affect the results of your scan? Will they disrupt the images your radiologist or treating physician needs in order to diagnose and treat you? We’ll answer all of these questions and more in this article!

What are dental implants made of?

Most modern dental implants are made from titanium. This is because the material is “biocompatible,” meaning that it won’t cause irritation in the body. In fact, dental implants will even fuse with your jawbone and gum tissue over time.

Are implants always metal?

While the majority of dental implants are titanium metal, some are made from ceramic materials. Zirconia is commonly used for patients with metal allergies because it’s both metal-free and – like titanium – has the advantage of being biocompatible.

How MRI machines work

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MRI machines are acknowledged as one of the most useful non-invasive diagnostic tools in medicine. MRI stands for “magnetic resonance imaging.” MRI machines use magnets and radio waves to produce digital images of the body’s internal structures, including bones, muscles, organs, blood vessels, and soft tissues.

Because MRI machines create strong magnetic fields, it’s important to inform your doctor if you have any metal in your body, including dental implants.

Is it safe to get an MRI scan with dental implants?

Yes. Some metals, such as iron and steel, are ferromagnetic – meaning they interact with magnetic fields. However, as a biocompatible material, titanium is not ferromagnetic. Therefore, if you have a titanium or metal-free zirconia dental implant, getting an MRI scan is completely safe.

Will my implant affect the results?

No. One of the benefits of using biocompatible titanium or zirconia is that your dental implant won’t behave like a foreign object in the body. This means that your MRI results won’t be affected at all and you can rely on getting accurate results.

Other FAQs about dental implants

Do dental implants look like metal? Are they noticeable?

One of the benefits of dental implants is that they look extremely natural. While the small implant post that secures the implant to your jawbone is often made of metal, it’s covered by a custom-made tooth restoration like a crown or dental bridge. These restorations can be made to perfectly match the color and shape of the rest of your teeth.

How long do implants last?

Dental implants are a long-term solution for patients who have damaged, decayed, or missing teeth. With proper at-home oral hygiene habits and routine dental cleanings, a high-quality implant can even last your whole life!

Are dental implants covered by insurance?

Sometimes. If you have full coverage dental insurance, your implant surgery is likely covered. But even if your insurance doesn’t cover the full cost of the surgery itself, it may cover the crown or other tooth restoration supported by the implant. Learn more about the cost of dental implants and what you can expect to pay.

Can other types of dental work affect MRI scans?

Whether or not your dental prosthetic impacts your MRI results depends on the materials used. For example, dental crowns made of ferromagnetic steel, iron, or nickel could impact your MRI results. Those made of porcelain, composite resin, or silver will not. If you’re unsure about the materials used in your dental restoration, be sure to consult with your dentist before getting an MRI.

Get MRI-safe dental implants with Smart Arches!

At Smart Arches, we care deeply about your long-term wellbeing and take every aspect of your health into consideration. As dental implant specialists, our services are safe, comprehensive, and effective. If you need extensive restorative dental care from experienced experts, we’re at your service!

Contact us online or give us a call at one of our conveniently located offices to get started.