What is a TAD?
TAD is an acronym for “temporary anchorage device.” The TAD is a miniature implant that we position in the mouth. It serves as an anchor for moving specific teeth in the most controlled and predictable way possible.
TADs are made of a sterile medical-grade titanium alloy. They can eliminate cumbersome appliances (e.g., headgear) and allow us to treat certain cases that were nearly impossible before this technique was refined. TADs also allow us to treat cases better and faster than ever before. They are a truly revolutionizing orthodontic treatment.
How exactly is the TAD positioned?
Gentle pressure is used to insert the TAD into the jaw bone between specified teeth.
Having a TAD placed sounds painful — should I be worried?
Absolutely not! It is common to ask if the procedure is painful but it is actually pain-free. You may feel slight pressure during insertion ... but no pain. The entire procedure takes only a few seconds.
Do I need to get a shot?
No. This procedure is 100% pain-free and needle-free. You will first have a numbing gel applied to where the TAD is to be inserted. Then we spray a small amount of local anesthetic on the gums. The entire procedure is totally pain-free and there are no needles!
Will it hurt after the anesthetic wears off?
No. Some patients say they feel a little pressure for a short period afterward. Only a few patients have reported needing to use an over-the-counter medication such as Tylenol or Advil.
What if it aches the next day?
There is no cause for alarm. Minor aching associated with new tooth movement is not only normal, but expected; however, if you have concerns, simply call our office or our after-hours number and we’ll give you instructions and/or make an appointment to see you.
What if the TAD comes loose?
On occasion, a TAD might become a little loose. In most cases, this minor mobility is nothing to be concerned about; however, if you feel the TAD is excessively loose, or it is causing you discomfort, call the office and we’ll make an appointment to see you to determine if the amount of give is normal.
How do I keep it clean?
We’ll give you a solution with which you can brush the TAD twice daily with a toothbrush.
How long will the TAD need to stay in place?
As the name implies, the “temporary anchorage device” or TAD is temporary. It typically removed after a few months when it is no longer needed to assist in tooth movement.
Will it hurt when you remove it?
No. Before we remove it we’ll place numbing gel around the TAD and then back it out gently. The entire process takes only a few seconds.
I’ve never heard of TADs before — are they new?
Not really. Orthodontists have used TADs since 1983 and oral surgeons and orthopedists have used miniature screws like this for decades longer. Recent refinements in the devices and the procedures for their use have propelled the application of TADs to a heightened level in orthodontics.
With TADs, orthodontic treatment options have never been greater. We are proud to be at the forefront of this exciting technology and feel confident that your experience will be comfortable and the results exemplary.