Everything You Need to Know About Temporary Anchorage Devices (TADs)

Although braces themselves apply forces to teeth to modify their alignment, they only work well in patients who have solid support around the roots of their teeth. In other patients, TADs can be used to provide additional support until the desired tooth movement has been achieved.

What are temporary anchorage devices? Temporary anchorage devices (TADs) are small titanium screws that orthodontists use to get better results from their treatments.

Dental tool with braces

What Are TADs?

TADs are small orthodontic appliances used to correct the alignment of teeth. They can also be used to reposition the jaw when it is out of alignment.TADs are often used in conjunction with braces or other orthodontic treatments. Not every orthodontic patient needs TADs — but for those who do, it's a treatment option that offers some clear benefits.

What Are The Benefits of TADs?

TADs are used to treat many different dental issues and conditions, including separation of the upper and lower teeth, poor spacing of teeth, jawbone problems and crowding. TADs can even be used as a preventive measure in certain cases, such as when a patient has had orthodontic treatment as a child but still has malocclusion issues as an adult.

TADs may eliminate the need to wear elastics (rubber bands), shorten overall treatment time, and in some cases, even make certain oral surgeries unnecessary.

In most instances, a temporary anchorage device is kept in place for a few months, unlike braces which are generally left in the mouth for 18 months to two years or longer.

Doctor helping a patient with their teeth

Are There Risks With TADs?

Temporary anchorage devices (TADs) are a safe option for patients who need better tooth alignment before getting other orthodontic treatment. There is no risk of tooth damage, teeth loss, tooth decay, sensitivity or pain associated with the use of TADs.

How Is The Procedure Carried Out?

The procedure begins with a careful examination of the teeth, jaw, and bite. Your orthodontist will take detailed measurements of your jaw and teeth so that the final treatment will be completely customized to you.

You may also need X-rays to ensure there is no decay or damage present on your current teeth, which could interfere with the procedure and cause complications later on.

Once they have taken these measurements (and any necessary X-rays), your doctors will determine if you are eligible for TADs, what type of braces would work best for your specific case, how long the process might take, etc.

Finally comes the fun part: application! Your dentist will take impressions from each tooth individually; this helps ensure accuracy when calculating how much space needs filling between each tooth in order to create beautiful smiles once again!

Placing and removing TADs is a minimally-invasive, pain-free procedure. Your doctor will use a local anesthetic to numb the gums and surrounding areas where the TAD will be placed. Some patients may feel a little soreness at first, but after a day or two, most patients don't even notice the TAD is there.

Girl brushing teeth

Aftercare Instructions

Like all things, you should keep your TADs as clean as possible to help avoid complications and damage. Clean your teeth and mouth thoroughly with a soft-bristled toothbrush, as directed by your doctor.

TADs Are Useful Orthodontic Appliances

TADs are an increasingly important part of orthodontic treatment and oral surgery, so it's good to know how they work and the benefits that they can bring.

Like with traditional braces, you should avoid chewing on anything that is hard, sticky, or difficult to digest until the device has been removed by your doctor. Avoid eating foods that are difficult to chew such as popcorn kernels, nuts, ice cubes, and gum while wearing TADs.

In the end, it's possible that your orthodontist or oral surgeon will recommend a TAD as part of your treatment. This is a process that many have seen great results with, and there are no real drawbacks to using them. But, if possible, it's best to make that decision together with your doctor—that way, you can avoid any potential issues.

Schedule Your Appointment Today

If you’re looking to take the next step with your or your child’s orthodontic care, give Hillam Orthodontics a call today!

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Why Hillam Orthodontics?

Board-certified Orthodontists
Offices in Idaho Falls, Driggs, & Afton
3 generations of doctors practicing since 1966

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