What are Temporary Anchorage Devices (TADs)?

Temporary Anchorage Devices (TADs) are small, temporary, titanium anchors that are inserted into a patient’s mouth to aid in situations where a bone-borne, rather than tooth-borne, appliance is indicated to accomplish the treatment goal. TADs are generally used in conjunction with braces, but contingent upon what type of treatment is recommended, they may sometimes be used independently. Many invasive dental treatments – that would have required either the extraction and replacement of a tooth, or cutting down the tooth and treating it with a root canal and crown – may be avoided with the use of TAD technology.

This patient required extraction of an infected lower right first molar. Without an opposing tooth to hold it in place, the upper right first molar subsequently erupted into the existing extraction space. With the help of TADs in conjunction with braces, the “dropped” molar was elevated into place so that enough space was gained for placement of an implant and new replacement tooth.

This patient’s upper left first and second molar erupted into the lower left extraction spaces. TADs alone were able to intrude the “dropped” molars into a better position to enable at least one of the lower molars to be replaced with an implant.

How are TADs Inserted?

Once the ideal locations to install TADs are determined, the gum tissue around those areas is numbed using an anesthetic. This will help minimize any discomfort or irritation during TAD insertion, which takes just a few moments. Although some pressure in the jaw may be felt during just after the procedure, this generally goes away within the first 24 hours of placement. Persistent discomfort may be an indication that the TADs will require an adjustment. Once the treatment goal has been accomplished, the TADs can be easily and quickly removed.

How are TADs Maintained?

Just as with other forms of orthodontic treatment, it is very important to keep TADs and their surrounding environment clean. Brushing around a TAD is performed in the same manner and with the same frequency as brushing teeth, gums, and braces. A special antimicrobial mouth rinse may also be prescribed to enhance oral hygiene.

If you have any questions about TADs or any other form of orthodontic treatment we offer, please contact our office to schedule a consultation. We will be happy to guide you in reaching your esthetic goals!