Temporary Anchorage Device (TAD)
Temporary anchorage devices, or TADs, are the most significant technological advancement in orthodontics since self-ligating braces. TADs are small titanium anchors used in certain orthodontic cases to help achieve tooth movements that would otherwise require extractions, jaw surgery, less desirable, less comfortable and less effective appliances like headgear or would not be possible at all. The most important factors affecting the successful use of a TAD are that it is placed in the proper location and at the proper angle relative to the force that will be applied to it. Therefore the ideal doctor to place a TAD is the orthodontist who will be using it. Drs. Carroll and Sutton have been placing them since they became available in 2005 and use them routinely in their practice.
How are TADs placed?
A strong topical anesthetic is used to numb the gum tissue and the surrounding bone in the area where the TAD will be placed. Once the area is numb, Dr. Carroll or Dr. Sutton will gently place the TAD through the gum tissue and firmly into the jawbone. The placing of a TAD is quick, and may be over before you know it. During placement of the TAD, you may feel slight pressure, but no pain. Once the necessary tooth movements have been completed, the TAD is removed. The removal of a TAD is a very comfortable procedure that takes a few seconds, and very rarely requires any anesthetic.
How can I keep my TAD clean?
A TAD should be kept clean by brushing it lightly with a toothbrush a few times each day. When your TAD is placed, we will also provide you with an antimicrobial mouthwash that you will need to use twice a day.