No need for x-rays in future

Study confirms the suitability of magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) for diagnosis in orthodontics.

X-ray examinations are a common technique for diagnosing numerous diseases, including in the field of orthodontics. As part of a study using pigs’ heads, conducted in collaboration with University Hospital Erlangen, we have shown that MRI can be used just as effectively in many areas of orthodontics as existing standard processes involving ionizing radiation.

MRI procedures are valued for their excellent contrast ratio and complete absence of ionizing radiation. In the study, dentists assessed images from the MRI scanner and com pared them with multiple corresponding cross-sectional images (or slices) and 3D reconstructions of pigs’ heads produced using the techniques of computed tomography (CT) or cone beam computed tomography (CBCT). Overall, the results showed that the MRI scanner did not differ signifi cantly from other methods in the majority of parameters. In fact, it scored even better when it came to judging the position of tooth germs. The main clientele in orthodontics are children and adolescents. For this group of individuals, the use of ionizing radiation carries a greater risk of damaging after-effects than for adults.

At the annual conference of the German Orthodontic Society (DGKFO) in October 2017, the team of researchers was awarded the annual prize for their 2016 publication about the study in the Journal of Orofacial Orthopedics.