Patient Education

Temporary Anchorage Devices

Temporary Anchorage Devices

Temporary anchorage devices, called TADs, are one of the more recent advances in orthodontic treatment that have occurred in the last several years. A TAD is a biocompatible device that is fixed to a bone which then acts as an anchor for moving teeth. This method of anchorage allows for teeth to be moved without putting pressure on other teeth or using auxiliary devices. That means that patients whose teeth could not be moved without more invasive surgery techniques now have a less painful alternative. It also means that teeth can be moved for all patients without the need for clunky and embarrassing headgear.

Orthodontic treatment works on the premise that a certain amount of force must be applied to teeth in order to move them into proper position. This can now be done using a TAD, a tiny surgical screw made of titanium. The screw is attached to and fuses with bone, acting as an anchor against which the tooth can be repositioned. Once the treatment has achieved the desired result, the TAD is removed.

How are TADs Used?

Many orthodontic patients can have their teeth repositioned through the use of appliances placed directly on their teeth. For some patients, however, due to the structures of their face and jaws, corrective jaw jaw surgery may be the only solution to repositioning the bite. In other cases, changes are required to correct the patient’s bite or a tooth may need to be moved that sits next to a gap or empty space. In all of these cases, a TAD may be used to act as a stable structure against which the tooth can be shifted to where it should be. These devices can be used in any part of the jaws and may accelerate the treatment time needed to correct the position of teeth.

How are TADs Implanted?

If you require a TAD for your orthodontic treatment, it can be placed in your jaws through a simple surgical procedure. Dr. Day and Dr. Kim can complete the process while you are under local anesthesia or with IV sedation. To remove the TAD, generally only local anesthesia is required. Because it is a simple procedure, most patients can return to their normal activities on the same day. To prevent infection and ensure that no complications arise, it is necessary to keep your mouth clean before and after the surgery and to follow the instructions given to you by your oral surgeon.

Advantages of the TAD

With this advancement in orthodontic treatment techniques, more invasive surgical procedures may be eliminated for many patients. Awkward and uncomfortable headgear to correct a patient's bite may also be unnecessary. The TAD is a convenient, comfortable procedure which can shorten treatment time and deliver more predictable results. An improved smile and optimum oral health are the long-term benefits achievable through the use of this technique.