Temporary Anchorage Devices
What Are TADs?
TAD is an abbreviate for temporary anchorage devices. In the simplest explanation, TADs are mini-implants in the mouth. The function they serve is to hold the teeth in a certain place. Orthodontists frequently use temporary anchorage devices to align and support the teeth of the patient during treatment.
Temporary Anchorage Devices are relatively new to the market. The FDA only recently approved them for use in 2005. Before TADs, many patients had to use headgear in order to keep their teeth in place. The issue with headgear lies in patient cooperation. If patients do not wear the headgear as directed, their teeth will not fully benefit from orthodontic treatment. TADs enable orthodontists to ensure that the teeth have proper support for the correct amount of time. Currently, TADs are the most reliable method to anchor teeth during the treatment process.
There are two types of TADs: an indirect anchorage and a direct anchorage. An indirect TAD links to your teeth. Orthodontists use TADs when they do not want to anchor the teeth to each other. This is because it is more flexible. A direct TAD is an anchor that supports tension on certain teeth that need to be moved. TADs are removed after the orthodontic treatment is completed.
How Are TADs Placed?
During orthodontic treatment, orthodontists usually have to remove premolars to make room in the mouth to move the teeth into their proper positions. TADs are important because they can help support teeth during the orthodontic process instead of having to remove them. TADs also provide anchorage when the orthodontist must move teeth. They can also help to anchor teeth when there is a need to correct a gap between the teeth.
TADs are made out of titanium alloy. Titanium alloy is extremely strong and doesn’t rust. That’s two of the many reasons why titanium alloy is an ideal choice of material for TADs. TADs have two parts. The first part is the implant head. This is the part of the TAD that is used to secure the teeth. The second part of the TAD is the implant body. It is similar to a screw in nature. It is put into the bone to act as an anchor.
The head of the TAD has an eyelet that is used by the orthodontist to thread the wire through in order to secure the teeth. TADs have a smooth part that both suppresses growth of the gum material where the implant is located and to also minimize the risk of bacterial infection.
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There are several different TADs. Your orthodontist will let you know which TAD will best meet the goals of your treatment. Regardless of the type, the screw portion of the TAD is drilled into jaw. Although it may sound painful, it’s often not. It’s generally painless because the bone in your jaw has no pain receptors. Your orthodontist will first apply a topical analgesic to numb your oral tissue. You will feel pressure when your orthodontist inserts the TADs.
In fact, TADs are not painful to remove. When it is time for your TAD to be removed, your orthodontist will apply a topical analgesic to numb your oral tissue. Then they will back the TAD out. It usually takes only a few seconds.
What Can I Do to Relieve the Discomfort Caused by My TAD?
Generally, most patients experience no discomfort after the procedure. If you do find that you have discomfort from your TADs, take some over the counter pain reliever such as Tylenol or ibuprofen. If you are experiencing discomfort in the gum line, you can take over the counter medication or cover the tip of the TAD with a cotton swab. Then, make an appointment with your orthodontist.
How Can I Keep My TAD Clean?
Believe it or not, keeping your TAD clean is extremely easy. You will clean your TAD three times each day using a soft toothbrush. Your orthodontist will also give you a special mouthwash to use. It is important that you use it as directed. The mouthwash helps minimize the growth of microbial bacteria that can cause infection. You should use the mouthwash twice each day.
How Long Will I Need a TAD?
How long you will need a TAD depends on the problem that your orthodontist is correcting. A patient usually does not require a TAD for longer than a few months. Again, though, this depends largely on your specific issue. Your orthodontist will be able to give you an idea of how long you’ll need the TAD.
If you’re considering braces, it’s likely that you may need at least one TAD. Contact Orthodontists Associates of Western New York for a free screening.
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