Patient Education

Temporary Anchorage Devices

Temporary Anchorage Devices

Temporary anchorage devices, called TADs, are one of the major advances in orthodontic treatment that have occurred in the past five years. A TAD is a biocompatible device that is fixed to a bone which acts as an anchor for moving teeth. This method of anchorage allows for teeth to be moved without anchoring them to other teeth or auxiliary devices. That means that patients whose teeth could not be moved without jaw surgery 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.

Orthodontics 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 structure of their mouth and teeth, jaw surgery has been the only solution to repositioning targeted teeth. 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 can be used which acts 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 mouth and may speed up the treatment time needed to correct the position of teeth.

How are TADs Implanted?

If you require a TAD for your orthodontic treatment, it will be placed in your mouth in a simple surgical procedure. Dr. Day completes the process while you are under local anesthesia. To remove the TAD, generally only a topical anesthesia is required. Because it is a simple procedure, most patients can return to their normal activities 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 you by your oral surgeon.

Advantages of the TAD

With this new breakthrough in orthodontic treatment, painful jaw and oral surgery can be eliminated for many patients. Awkward and uncomfortable headgear to correct one’s bite can also be eliminated. The TAD is a convenient, comfortable advance which can shorten treatment time and bring about better, more exact results. An improved smile and optimum oral health are the long-term benefits accomplished through the use of these devices.