Temporary Anchorage Devices

The temporary implants that are used by orthodontists for moving teeth are generally known as Temporary Anchorage Devices (TADs). They are also referred to as orthodontic implants or Mini Screw Implants (MSIs). These little implants have allowed orthodontists to move teeth in ways that were not previously possible and have been called the greatest advancement in orthodontics in the past decade.

Teeth, like everything else in nature, follow Newton’s third law of motion which states: when one body exerts a force on a second body, the second body simultaneously exerts a force equal in magnitude and opposite in direction to that of the first body. What this means in orthodontic treatment is that anytime we are moving teeth, if they are connected to other teeth with a wire, a spring or with elastics, both groups of teeth will move even if we don’t want them to. This is where temporary implants come in. TADs allow us to move a tooth or a group of teeth without affecting the position of any of the other teeth. This is something we cannot accomplish with braces alone. With TADs we are sometimes able to avoid things like headgear, tooth extractions, costly restorations and even jaw surgery. 

Having a TAD placed is a very simple procedure. It generally only requires a little numbing gel on your gums and most times you will not even need to get a shot. When the gums are numb, the TAD is gently rotated into place. The whole procedure takes just a few minutes to complete. We will attach the TAD to the braces right away. When we are finished using the TAD, it is removed quickly and painlessly. 

Like any procedure there are some side effects that can occur with TAD use. These tend to be rare and most patients tolerate TADs very well. If we think that your treatment may benefit from the use of a TAD we will discuss all of the aspects of this treatment with you and answer any questions you may have. 

TADs are a significant advancement in orthodontic treatment and have been able to improve the results that can be achieved with braces. If you are wondering if you may benefit from orthodontic treatment using TADs, please give us a call so that we may discuss them in greater detail with you.


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