Temporary Anchorage Devices

Surgical placement of Temporary Anchorage Devices (TADs) in conjunction with orthodontic treatment is a widely accepted treatment solution for some patients with malocclusions. TADs provide a fixed point from which an orthodontist may apply force to move teeth.

Because TADs can be placed in many different sites in the mouth, they can contribute to predictable orthodontic results, shorter orthodontic treatment time, and in some cases, be a less invasive alternative to jaw bone (orthognathic) surgery.

What are TADs?

TADs are titanium alloy mini-screws, which are fixed to bone to temporarily enhance orthodontic anchorage. Titanium alloys have been used for joint replacements and dental implants for many years because they are seldom rejected by the body. TADs can be placed alone, or with titanium alloy bone plates. The placement of bone plates can allow for greater stability of the TADs during tooth movement.

How are TADs Placed?

Placement of TADs is customized for each patient, a treatment plan which is determined through consultation between the patient’s orthodontist and Dr. Burns, and oral and radiographic evaluation in our office. Through coordination of care, the doctors will determine whether TADs can be placed alone, or with bone plates.

The procedure will be performed in the office under the appropriate anesthesia to maximize patient comfort. If bone plates are used, an incision will be made in the gum tissue, and the bone plate will be attached to the jaw bone underneath. The incision will be closed allowing the TAD to extend through the gums. Regardless of whether bone plates are placed during the procedure, only the top of the TAD is visible above the gum tissue, to which the patient’s orthodontist can attach the necessary implements for tooth movement. The patient is typically seen by Dr. Burns a week or so after the procedure for follow up, then referred back to their orthodontist for continued care. For more information about what to expect after TAD placement, please refer to the After TAD Placement section of our site.

Removal of TADs

When a patient’s orthodontic treatment plan dictates, the patient will be directed by their orthodontist to return to our office for removal of the TADs (and bone plates if applicable). The procedure for removal of the TADs is similar to the original placement procedure in that it will be done in the office under the appropriate anesthesia to maximize patient comfort.