As you probably know I had a jaw MRI to investigate whether or not there is a slipped disk in my temporomandibular joint (TMJ). The TMJ is the bit in your face that is the “hinge” that lets your jaw open and close – just in front your ear. I thought I would share my experience of the whole procedure. My procedure was carried out in the Glasgow Royal Infirmary in December 2016.
The NHS (National Health Service in Scotland) website states:
“Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) is a type of scan that uses strong magnetic fields and radio waves to produce detailed images of the inside of the body. An MRI scanner is a large tube that contains powerful magnets. You lie inside the tube during the scan.”
In order to see what is wrong, I need to actually open my mouth, when I can’t open my mouth very much, if at all, without lots and lots of pain. It turns out that to open and hold the position I have to put 3 increasing sized syringe tubes in my mouth and hold it between my teeth. The first one that I tried I literally couldn’t get even slightly near open enough, even using my hands.
The smaller set was OK. Painful and extremely uncomfortable, but needs must.
So the MRI itself is a large doughnut thing where the bed slides in and out of the centre and within the doughnut the magnets spin around and create the image.
While in the tube they need to keep your head still so there is a kind of ear panel on either side that grips your head and keeps it still.
Into the tube I go – It’s noisy, cold (I recommend a non-metal containing jumper and leggings or comfortable trousers) and for me – painful as I had to almost force my mouth open to fit the syringes into my mouth.
All in all, it wasn’t that bad. It was all over in around 2 hours from my arrival to leaving. If you have any questions feel free to ask!