For some malocclusions, braces alone cannot achieve the correct bite that is needed for long-term stability and health. When these occasions arise, we need to use other appliances to help our patients get the most ideal results. Temporary anchorage devices are once such appliance that may be used.
TADs are small titanium screws that are placed directly into a patient’s gum and jaw bone. They work to provide an anchor point for tooth movement. Dr. Pavlo may recommend TADs for patients who have open bites to help get the best results. Alternatives to TADs include headgear or even surgery.
TADs can be placed right in our office. We will numb the area with a local anesthetic before placing the titanium implant. You will only feel slight pressure during this time. Once the area is no longer numb, there may be a bit of tenderness or discomfort. However, this should only last a day or so. Over-the-counter pain medication can help relieve this discomfort.
For most patients, the TADs will only need to be in place for a few months while we are working to achieve a certain tooth movement. However, this can vary from patient to patient and Dr. Pavlo will discuss the amount of time yours will need to be in place.
After your TADs are placed, it is important to rinse your mouth with an anti-bacterial mouthwash twice a day. During the remained of the time your TADs are in place, you can gently brush the area or use a cotton swab dipped in mouthwash to gently clean the area. It is important not to touch or play with the implant while it is in place. This could cause it to become loose and can alter your treatment time. If you experience any discomfort from the TADs rubbing inside your mouth, use a small amount of orthodontic wax over it.
One big advantage to using TADS is that it removes the patient work and compliance aspect that is involved in headgear. In order for headgear to work, it has to be worn exactly as directed by the orthodontist. Otherwise, treatment time and results can be affected. However, TADs are placed directly into your mouth, meaning they are always there. You can’t forget to wear them like you could with headgear and/or rubber bands.
TADs are needed for some patients because to achieve certain movements we need specific force that braces alone may not be able to provide. Moving teeth is a pushing and pulling relationship – when pulling a tooth to its ideal location, there also has to be pushing involved because there has to be something for the tooth to push against in order to get the force needed for the movement. That’s exactly what the TADs provide. TADs provide a stable anchor point from which teeth can be pushed and pulled into their ideal locations.
For proper candidate, TADs can be a great alternative to the use of headgear.