Will Dental Implants Cause Problems with Metal Detectors or MRI Machines?

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Will Dental Implants Cause Problems with Metal Detectors or MRI Machines?

Dental implants have become the most sought-after option for replacing missing teeth worldwide. According to the American Academy of Implant Dentistry, over 2.5 million implants are placed each year in the US alone 1. With so many people having implant-supported teeth, it is important to understand how they interact with our body and surroundings and more importantly, the machines around us. 

If you already have dental implants or are considering them, you might be wondering if they may cause problems with the metal detectors at airports or the MRI machines. The good news is that dental implants, metal detectors, or electromagnetic radiation-generating machines are a safe combination. But how? You may ask. We will answer this question in detail in this blog. So, read on to learn more about dental implants and electromagnetic radiation. 



What are Dental Implants?

According to the American Dental Association 2, an implant is a screw-shaped metallic fixture that is inserted into the jawbone. Dental implants become fused with the surrounding bone and provide a solid foundation for any prosthesis attached to them for replacing missing teeth. 



What are Dental Implants Made of?

Most of the implants placed inside the body are metallic and made from materials such as stainless steel and titanium alloys. Apart from this, some implants are also made of ceramics. But when we talk about dental implants, they are almost always exclusively made of titanium alloys. So, when we say titanium, it is a metal, right? Yes, it is. 

But why are titanium dental implants unlikely to set off alarms at airport security? 



Titanium Implants are Metallic But Paramagnetic

When you queue in for a security check at the airport, the metal detectors there will detect any metal based on the electromagnetic field they generate. So, the higher the electromagnetic field generated by any metallic object, the more likely it is to set off the alarm. 

However, that is not the case with dental implants. Why? This is due to various reasons:

  • Dental Implants are Paramagnetic – titanium-based dental implants are metallic but unlike iron-containing (ferrous) materials that have magnetic properties, they are paramagnetic. This means that an implant does not behave the same way in response to electromagnetic radiation the same way as other metals. Hence, titanium implants will most likely not set off any alarms at the airport. 
  • The Small Relative Size of Implants – any chances of dental implants being detected by the metal detectors at the airport become even more slim due to their relatively small size. This is because airport security detectors at the queue-in are designed to have a small threshold that allows objects with very small metallic content to pass without triggering any alarms. 
  • Bone Acts as an Insulator – dental implants are embedded directly into the jawbone. Therefore, not only does the bone support the implant firmly, but it also acts as an insulator by completely surrounding the implant. This is also one of the reasons why tooth implants are not routinely detected at airport security. 



Dental Implants and MRI Scans: Will They Cause Any Problems?

Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI) is routinely used by doctors and dentists in South Jersey, to visualize virtually every internal structure of the body. According to Johns Hopkins Medicine 3, an MRI machine works by producing images of the body with the help of large magnets and radios. The magnetic inside an MRI machine is so strong that it can pull oxygen cylinders, cochlear implants, and pacemakers. The Radiological Society of North America 4 provides a comprehensive list of metallic objects that should be removed before undergoing MRI imaging.  

So, will my tooth implants interfere with MRI imaging or cause problems? If you have an MRI scan scheduled by your dentist in South Jersey, you might be wondering if your tooth implants will interfere with the imaging. The good news is that your implants won’t create any problems during MRI imaging. Why? Because, as mentioned earlier, titanium-based implants are not ferromagnetic materials. As a result, they won’t be affected by the strong magnetic field generated by an MRI machine 5

Despite that, one should always tell their dentist near Philadelphia about their tooth implants or any metallic dental appliances in their body – such as braces or orthodontic bands – if they are advised an MRI scan. Although titanium implants are very less likely to cause any injury during an MRI scan, they can still interfere with the imaging, creating the so-called artifacts on the scans. 



The Take-home Message 

Dental implants are the best tooth replacement option for a reason; they are biocompatible, durable, aesthetically pleasing, and more importantly, don’t interfere with contemporary medical imaging techniques. Nevertheless, one should inform their dentist near Philadelphia or healthcare professionals before undergoing any type of medical imaging based on electromagnetic fields. This way, your doctor will take appropriate safety measures while ensuring to avoid artifacts that affect the scan quality. 

If you want to know more about dental implants or are looking for the best implant dentist near Philadelphia, your best option is Rapha Dental. We offer high-quality dental services to our patients in a comfortable environment and at affordable rates. So, book an appointment with us today, and let us give you the smile you genuinely deserve. 




  1. https://connect.aaid-implant.org/blog/trends-in-dental-implants-2022
  2. https://www.mouthhealthy.org/all-topics-a-z/implants
  3. https://www.hopkinsmedicine.org/health/treatment-tests-and-therapies/magnetic-resonance-imaging-mri#:~:text=The%20strong%20magnetic%20field%20created,and%20send%20back%20radio%20signals.
  4. https://www.radiologyinfo.org/en/info/safety-mr
  5. https://www.colgate.com/en-us/oral-health/implants/dental-implants-and-mri-procedures#