This is a common question from patients with braces — is it safe to get an MRI with braces? It is, but depending on the area being imaged, the braces appliance can impact the clarity of the MRIs. It’s important to consult with your doctor first. In this video, Diamond Braces orthodontist Dr. Douglas Palaganas explains.
MRI – Magnetic Resonance Imaging – is a procedure used to look at physiological processes and capture pictures from inside the body. Unlike X-Rays, which use radiation rays to see the densest parts of your body (the skeletal system), MRIs use magnetic fields to capture images of softer parts of your body like tissue and organs.
Your doctor may request an MRI for a variety of reasons: muscle or ligament tears, tumor growth, brain damage, or even simply to assess the source of chronic pain.
For patients with braces, many patients wonder: is it safe to get an MRI while wearing braces?
The answer is yes: it is totally safe to get an MRI with braces. The small amount of metal in your mouth from the brackets and wire will not have any negative effect on your health.
The only potential issue with braces interfering with the MRI has to do with the distortion of the image.
While your braces don’t pose any risk to your health, the MRI may be distorted by your braces if it is attempting to capture a picture of your head, neck, or facial area that is close to your braces.
The metal in your braces may distort the “tuning” of the MRI. Much like a radio, an MRI tunes its magnetic field to a certain frequency to get a clear image, and the metal braces can distort that tuning process, which may confuse the image.
This is a common problem with other metals in the body, such as an artificial hip joint, pins from a former surgery, or metal tooth fillings.
For this reason, your doctor may decide on a supplemental treatment if the MRI is in an area distorted by your metal braces.
But your health is not at risk in any way with braces and MRIs! If you have more questions, consult your doctor.