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Face MRI


Introduction to Face MRI Scan

Facial pain can arise from various conditions affecting the intricate structures of the face. A Face MRI is a crucial diagnosis that helps in identifying the root causes of facial pain, such as nerve disorders, dental issues, sinus problems, and more. This non-invasive imaging technique provides detailed visuals of the soft tissues, nerves, and bones, aiding in accurate diagnosis and effective treatment planning.

Why would you need a Facial MRI Scan?

Facial pain can stem from various underlying conditions affecting the intricate structures of the face, from nerves and muscles to sinuses and teeth. Understanding the root causes of facial pain is crucial for effective management and relief.

When to Consider an MRI for Facial Pain?

Consideration of an MRI for facial pain is particularly warranted in the following key conditions:

  1. Trigeminal Neuralgia: MRI helps in identifying compression or abnormalities affecting the trigeminal nerve, which is crucial for diagnosing trigeminal neuralgia.
  2. Temporomandibular Joint (TMJ) Disorders: When there is suspicion of joint damage or inflammation affecting the TMJ, which may be contributing to facial pain.
  3. Headaches: For patients experiencing severe or persistent headaches localised to the face, where MRI can help rule out structural causes or neurological conditions.
  4. Neoplasms: Suspected tumours or growths in the face or skull base that could be causing facial pain or nerve compression.
  5. Neurological Disorders: Such as multiple sclerosis or stroke, which may present with facial pain as a symptom and require imaging to assess for associated nerve damage or lesions.

Common Causes of Facial and Cheekbone Pain

  • Trigeminal Neuralgia symptoms: Intense, stabbing pain in the face due to irritation of the trigeminal nerve, which supplies sensation to the face.
  • Sinusitis: Inflammation of the sinuses causing facial pressure, pain, and congestion, often due to infection or allergies.
  • Temporomandibular Joint (TMJ) Disorders: Pain and dysfunction in the jaw joint and surrounding muscles, commonly caused by clenching, grinding, or jaw misalignment.
  • Dental Issues: Tooth infections (abscesses), gum disease (gingivitis), or dental trauma can cause localised facial pain.
  • Headaches and Migraines: Pain that can radiate to the face due to tension headaches, migraines, or cluster headaches.

What Does a Face MRI Show?

A face MRI provides detailed images of the soft tissues, nerves, and bones of the face, revealing:

  • Nerve Disorders: Conditions like trigeminal neuralgia, showing nerve compression or irritation.
  • TMJ Disorders: Detailed visuals of the temporomandibular joint to identify dysfunction or inflammation.
  • Sinus Issues: Inflammation, blockages, or infections in the sinuses.
  • Dental Problems: Abscesses, gum disease, or other dental conditions.
  • Tumours and Growths: Detecting neoplasms or abnormal growths in the facial region.
  • Inflammatory Conditions: Identifying conditions like facial herpes or neuralgia pain.

This comprehensive imaging helps in pinpointing the exact cause of facial pain and guiding appropriate treatment.

How Long Does a Face MRI Take?

A face MRI typically takes about 30 to 60 minutes, depending on:

  • Specific Examination Details: Whether the scan includes contrast dye or multiple imaging sequences.
  • Preparation Time: Time taken to prepare for the scan, including changing into a gown and removing metal objects.
  • Imaging Process: Time required for the MRI machine to capture detailed images of the facial structures.

It's a non-invasive procedure that involves lying still while the images are taken, ensuring high-quality, detailed visuals.

How Do You Prepare For an MRI?

  • You will be asked to remove all metal items, including wristwatches, keys, and jewellery. These objects must be kept outside the scan room.
  • You are often asked to undress and put on a hospital gown or loose-fitting clothes.
  • You will be told to lie on the scanner’s table.
  • The examination table will then move into the open end of the tube in the machine. An intercom inside the MRI scanner lets you talk with the radiography personnel.
  • It is essential to lie very still: movement will blur or warp the images.
  • While it is in operation, the MRI scanner makes loud noises. (You may be offered earplugs. Sometimes, you can listen to music through headphones if you prefer)
  • If the images are satisfactory, you can get dressed and go home.


Schedule Your Face MRI Scan

Don't let facial pain dictate your life. Taking charge of your health starts with understanding the root cause of your discomfort. A face MRI can provide a detailed diagnosis, helping you and your healthcare provider develop an effective treatment plan.At GetScanned, we offer state-of-the-art MRI imaging to ensure you receive accurate and comprehensive results. Our team of expert radiologists is dedicated to helping you find relief and improve your quality of life.


Avoid NHS wait times with our affordable scans, quick appointments, and easy online booking. Contact us today and start your journey to better health.

Lorea getscanned.uk content writter
Reviewed by
Dr. Sachin Shah
Clinical Lead
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Frequently asked questions

Do I need a GP-referral?

No prior GP-referral is required. Booking with us includes a GP phone consultation and referral. Shortly after booking you will be contacted by a GP from our team who will discuss your scan and provide a referral.

How long is an MRI scan?

MRI scans generally take a bit longer than other types of scans. Individual scans take 10-30 minutes depending on the body part being scanned, overall it can take anywhere from 15 minutes to 90 minutes. You do have to lay very still for an MRI and if there is movement the scan may need to be repeated which can add some additional time.

What’s included in my booking?

With your GetScanned booking, you will receive:

  • A pre-scan phone consultation with a member of our medical team.
  • A referral for the scan.
  • Scheduling of a private MRI scan at your preferred scanning centre.
  • Access to your written report by a radiologist.
  • Access to your scan images (online and downloadable).

How much is a private MRI scan?

A private MRI scan cost varies depending on the part of the body being scanned and the location the scan is performed. Generally, a private MRI scan in the UK starts at around £350, and includes the scheduling, scan itself and results.

What’s the difference between an open and closed MRI?

Closed MRI machines are the traditional and first type of MRI. They are used more frequently because they provide higher quality images, however they aren’t ideal for certain types of scan or when the patient has limited mobility. Open or wide-bore MRI machines don’t involve lying in a tight cylinder, instead they have wider openings with more space and are therefore considered better if you suffer from claustrophobia. A standing MRI or upright MRI is a new type of open MRI that allows the patient to be in various different positions, including weight bearing positions. If you would prefer an open MRI please filter by MRI type to find an open MRI near you, but please be aware it is only available at certain locations.

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