Temporary Anchorage Devices

Temporary Anchorage Devices

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.  A temporary anchorage device or TAD is a tiny surgical screw made of titanium which can be attached to bone and act as an anchor to facilitate movement of a tooth. Once treatment has been completed, the TAD is then removed.

TAD's are one of the more recent advances in orthodontic treatment that have occurred in the last several years. This method of anchorage allows for teeth to be moved without putting pressure on other teeth without the need for more invasive traditional surgery techniques. It also means that teeth can be moved for many patients without the need for clunky and embarrassing headgear.

temporary anchorage devices: phoenix oral & facial surgeryHow 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, corrective jaw surgery may be the only solution to reposition the bite due to the structure of their face and jaws. In other cases, treatment is required to move teeth to close a gap or create additional room for an area with inadequate space.  In all of these cases, a TAD may be used to act as a stable anchor which can be used to shift or align teeth to where they should be. These devices can be placed in any part of the bony jaw and accelerate the treatment time needed to correct the position of the 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. Kim can complete the procedure with local anesthesia or while you are under IV sedation. Removal of a TAD is generally easy and typically requires only local anesthesia. Because it is a simple procedure, patients can return to most normal activities on the same day. To prevent infection and ensure that no complications arise, however, please be sure to keep your mouth clean before and after the surgery and to follow all instructions for aftercare.

Advantages of the TAD

With this advancement in orthodontic treatment techniques, more invasive surgical procedures may not be necessary 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 that may be achieved through the use of this technique.

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