What is TADs? Understanding Evolving Orthodontic Therapy

Over the past ten years, technological advances in the fields of oral surgery and orthodontics have made it possible for more patients than ever before to receive effective, minimally invasive dental treatment. In fact, the trained professionals in these fields have access to more progressive instruments and treatment methods today than they did even five years ago. One of the most monumental advancements in orthodontic therapy to surface during this period is the use of temporary anchorage devices, or TADs. The technology behind TADs makes it possible for orthodontic patients to attain a perfect smile without resorting to more outdated methods like unnecessary extraction and headgear.

The Importance of Proper Anchorage

Any orthodontic treatment, whether it consist of a full set of braces or a fixed retainer, requires the use of force to push and pull teeth into their proper positions over time. Prior to the advent of TADs, the ability to anchor one or more teeth to others was relatively limited. In some cases, the only tooth that could be used as an anchor failed to provide an ideal location and extra-oral appliances like headgear were often needed. TADs, however, offer the orthodontist the power to exert the necessary leverage in a wider range of locations, allowing gradual movement of teeth in virtually every direction.

How Does TADs Work?

Temporary Anchorage Devices from AAOMS.org on Vimeo.

Each temporary anchorage device consists of a sterile, titanium alloy screw or plate that is placed into the bone of the jaw at a predetermined location for connection to a bracketed tooth or system of bracketed teeth. TADs may be quickly and simply inserted into the bone that comprises a portion of the roof of the mouth or between teeth in the jaw bone.

The procedure often is performed using only a topical anesthetic and does not typically result in pain. Over the course of orthodontic treatment, the fixed TAD gently but firmly pulls the tooth or teeth in question into place, all without forcing potentially detrimental pressure onto surrounding teeth. The ultimate result is an optimized treatment plan that achieves only the level of movement in the teeth that is necessary.

Benefits of Using TADs

In addition to minimally invasive treatment, TADs offer a number of other advantages as compared to conventional orthodontic treatment options. Even highly substantial realignment cases can benefit from the use of TADs, including common issues such as anterior open bite, an overdeveloped jaw, tilted molars, impacted cuspids and occlusal cants. The various treatment methods typically utilized to correct these types of problems often caused unnecessary discomfort. Now, however, it is possible to restore a patient’s ideal smile with minimally invasive procedures through the use of TADs. Additional benefits of this form of orthodontic treatment include:

• Decreased duration of treatment
• Better comfort as compared to heavier, more obtrusive appliances
• Improved aesthetics during treatment
• Increased level of convenience
• Higher level of control in placement and treatment
• Removal often is as painless as insertion
• Rapid recovery time

Your board certified oral surgeon will evaluate your individual case and assess your needs before developing a customized treatment plan best suited for you. With the right technology and partnership with your surgeon, it is  possible to reclaim your smile.

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