“I was so excited that I was hardly able to sleep last night”

This week, the world's first and only dental MRI scanner arrived at the Department of Dentistry and Oral Health. After four years of hard work, Aarhus University is to establish itself as the world's first research centre for dental-dedicated MRI imaging diagnostics. Associate Professor Rubens Spin-Neto, who was the driving force behind bringing the scanner to Aarhus, was both happy and relieved.

Photo: Simon Fischel, AU Health

The large window section had been removed, as had the radiators, and several walls had been knocked down so the brand new MRI scanner could be carefully moved, with millimetre precision, from the large truck into room 099, its new home at the Department of Dentistry and Oral Health.

“My heart was pounding, like I was about to take the decisive penalty kick in a football final,” says Rubens Spin-Neto, associate professor at the Section for Oral Radiology at the Department of Dentistry and Oral Health. He’s also the man who spearheaded the entire project. “I was so excited that I was hardly able to sleep last night. I kept thinking about everything that could go wrong during the installation. But the whole team was ready, and everything went well.”

After four years of intense effort, Rubens Spin-Neo has ensured that Aarhus University will be the world's first research centre for dental MRI diagnostic imaging. The super high-tech dentomaxillofacial MRI scanner has been installed in the department's old archive room for paper journals. And this is perhaps very appropriate as the MRI scanner heralds a new era for oral radiology research.

Rubens Spin-Neto explains that it will be exciting to see how the MRI scanner over the next couple of years changes the way we make dental diagnoses. Which is why he can't wait to get started:

“We’ve been working towards this and preparing for it for years, and now we’re only minutes away from a brand new line of research here in Aarhus,” says Rubens Spin-Neto.

As soon as the specially trained crew have installed the MRI scanner, Rubens Spin-Neto and has team will begin testing the machinery and training other colleagues in how to use it. According to plan, the first patient images will be taken after the summer holidays. But who will be the first to test the MRI scanner? Watch the video to find out who Rubens Spin-Neto thinks it should be.

More facts about the new MRI scanner

  • The advantage of MRI (magnetic resonance imaging) is that patients are not exposed to ionizing radiation, and that MRI scans provide broader diagnostic options.
  • The dentomaxillofacial MRI scanner is smaller than the MRI scanners you might find at a hospital, and unlike other MRI scanners, it has a built-in cooling system, which makes it more flexible and usable at dentistry schools, for example.
  • The new MRI scanner is part of a research agreement between the Department of Dentistry and Oral Health and a set of industrial partners. The industrial partners have supplied the hardware, while the Department of Dentistry and Oral Health will develop the software and conduct research into dental MRI imaging diagnostics.
  • The MRI scanner has a value of approx. DKK 5 million, and in addition to installation of the equipment, the research agreement also includes DKK 2.5 million for academic and technical staff who will conduct research into the diagnostic value of MRI.
  • The scanner is located in room 099, building 1613 at the Department of Dentistry and Oral Health.


Associate Professor Rubens Spin-Neto
Aarhus University, Department of Dentistry and Oral Health
Mobile: (+45) 42 43 48 36
Email: rsn@dent.au.dk