Article: Volume 14 Number 1 Page 32 - January 2021

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  Orth Update 2021; 14: 32-35

Orthodontics:  An Evidence-based Protocol for the Management of Orthodontic Patients Undergoing MRI Scans

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Abstract: Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) uses strong magnetic fields, magnetic gradients and radio waves to produce images of the body. The demand for MRI is steadily increasing as it does not use ionizing radiation and has excellent soft tissue contrast. Certain materials used in components of fixed orthodontic appliances can cause unwanted effects and affect the diagnostic quality of MR images by producing artefacts. This article proposes an evidence-based protocol that aims to standardize the management of orthodontic patients undergoing MRI scans.

Clinical relevance: As the use of MRI continues to increase, it is becoming more likely that orthodontists will encounter patients requiring MRI scans of the head and neck region during the course of their orthodontic treatment.

Author notes: Rachael Shivam, BDS(Lond), MJDF RCS(Eng), Dental Core Trainee in Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery, Poole Hospital, Poole Hospital NHS Foundation Trust, Poole, Sheelagh Rogers, BDS, MScD, MOrth, RCS(Ed), FDS RCS, Consultant Orthodontist and Honorary Senior Lecturer, University Dental Hospital, Cardiff and Vale University Health Board, Cardiff, Nicholas Drage, BDS, FDS RCS(Eng), FDSRCPS(Glas), DDRRCR, Consultant in Dental and Maxillofacial Radiology, University Dental Hospital, Cardiff and Vale University Health Board, Cardiff email:

Objective: The reader should understand the effects of fixed orthodontic components on MRI and the current evidence base on the topic.