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MRI for Orthodontics in Children
Magnetic Resonance 3D Imaging (MRI) helps orthodontists like Airway and Sleep Group predict changes in bony or soft tissues associated with treatment, over time. Orthodontic patients are generally children and are more susceptible to the harmful effects of ionizing radiation. Airway and Sleep Group makes every effort to minimize or eliminate the exposure of our patients to ionizing radiation. A patient’s ability to use MRI for orthodontics in children would be an important step in the right direction because it would completely eliminate the patient’s exposure to ionizing radiation. MRI puts the principle of ALARA which stands for “as low as reasonably achievable” into maximum effect in terms of radiation exposure. This principle means that even if it is a small dose, if receiving that dose has no direct benefit, you should try to avoid it.
Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI) is more accurate than Periapical X-rays for measuring tooth lengths. By understanding how well braces, oral appliances, and other therapies are working throughout the treatment plan, practitioners can make adjustments along the way to ensure a truly successful outcome. MRI imaging allows for repetitive 3-D imaging of dental structures in any age group without worrying about potential harmful radiation exposure to monitor the progress of orthodontic tooth movement.
Why MRI is the best for 3D Imaging
MRI is the first choice of 3D imaging for assessment for implant placement. It is now also the gold standard for temporomandibular joint (TMJ) imaging because it is used to see the soft tissue component of the joint.
There are many advantages to using MRI for 3D imaging. The first is its ability to image the TMJ and disk. Secondly, an MRI can also show the display of soft and hard tissues and give you the ability to see inflammatory processes. And thirdly, MRI is also safe to use for patients who are allergic to the contrast agent and can be obtained without repositioning of the patient.
How an MRI works
MRI works by recording a resonance signal from the excited hydrogen atoms created by a magnetic field. The scanner is a magnetic field surrounding the patient. Gradient coils then turn on and off to vary the magnetic field. As the magnetic field excites atoms. it senses an equilibrium state energy. The energy from radio waves and the magnetic field then gets converted to a number. A computer processes the number and then converts that to an image. MRI images the water in the tissues.
Parents considering using MRI to diagnose orthodontic issues in their children can contact Airway and Sleep Group for a referral from Dr. Lilliana Calkins. Dr. Calkins dedicates her time to improving the conditions to support facial growth and airway development. She does this through the use of craniofacial orthopedics, orofacial myology and interceptive orthodontics.