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TAD’s: What, Where, Why & How

TAD’s: What, Why, Where and How?

I’m sure many of you have heard of these things: TAD’s. What  are they ? TAD’s  (Temporary Anchorage Device) resemble a screw and they are sometimes referred to as mini implants. They are made out of titanium, the same material that is used for “Niti wires” or growing in popularity because of durability, stainless steel.

Why the Doctor’s choose to utilize TAD’s in their treatment plan are listed below:

  • They are a great tool to close spaces in an extraction case
  • Can easily upright molars
  • They help in closing the bite eliminating the need for jaw surgery
  • They eliminate the need for rubber bands / elastics
  • They open the bite without having to use any extra appliances
  • They also eliminate the need for Headgear

Where are the TAD’s placed?  The TAD’s are placed in different areas of the jaw depending on the problem the Orthodontist is trying to correct.  For example , they will be placed above the canines  and used in conjunction with orthodontic springs or power chain to close the extraction spaces. The same placement is used to correct an over bite. You might also see them above the upper centrals to help close the bite.  They can also be placed on the buccal “shelf” or  lingual area of the jaw to move a tooth.

How are they placed ? The area is first numbed with a strong topical anesthetic.  Then, the doctor places the TAD with a hand held “driver” ( implant placement tool). The assistant will rinse area with saline water to prevent infection and x-rays are taken to make sure placement is correct.  Follow up instructions are given to keep the area clean and on occasion an ant-septic mouthwash may be prescribed.

TAD’s are surgically placed in an outpatient environment. Yes, Orthodontic Assistants, we assist the doctor with this procedure!! It’s not a typical every day appointment and it can be intimidating. It’s also great that Orthodontic Assistants can do more than the usual thing we do on a daily basis! It gives us a chance to observe and learn the new techniques on how to treat patient tooth and jaw correction issues. If you haven’t had a chance to assist in this procedure, try lookingup articles and videos that will get you aquatinted with TAD’s. If your really curious, try calling around to different Orthodontic offices in your area where you know TAD’s are being used and ask if you could possibly observe the procedure. (Making sure you are following HIPPA laws). Things are changing for the better in correcting different types of orthodontic issues. It’s great to learn as much as we can about ALL the different ways we can help assist our doctors improve the way we care for our patients and their smiles!!!


Written by: Norma Abrica

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