For patients who need to adjust tooth alignment before their orthodontic treatment starts, our Bellevue, WA, dental team may recommend a temporary anchorage device or a TAD. TADs provide patients with a number of benefits, including shortened treatment times and the elimination of elastic bands from their treatment plans.
At Overlake Orthodontics, we use TADs to move teeth more quickly and comfortably than traditional orthodontics. If TADs is right for you or your child, our team will walk you through the procedure and answer any questions you might have. Call our office to learn more and schedule a consultation with our team.
What Are TADs?
Temporary anchorage devices, or TADs, are small screw anchors made of titanium that we place on teeth to move them individually. In contrast, traditional orthodontics moves entire rows of teeth. TADs are titanium anchors placed into the jawbone that function as fixed points during the straightening process. We can use TADs alone or in addition to braces depending on your smile needs.
How Are TADs Placed?
In order to place a TAD, we begin by numbing the area, so all you’ll feel during the process is pressure. Once the gum tissue and jawbone are numb, the dentist places the TAD through the gum tissue and into the jawbone. Over time, the titanium screw fuses with your jawbone, allowing us to focus on a single tooth throughout the orthodontic treatment.
Initially, you will feel some pressure from the TAD, especially during placement and for the first day or so afterward. But within a day, you won’t feel it and will be able to get back to your normal oral hygiene routine.
Just like with any other orthodontic option, you may feel some discomfort at the beginning of your TAD treatment. We recommend over-the-counter pain relievers, like acetaminophen, to relieve the discomfort. If the discomfort continues, please call our office, so we can discuss your options.
Living With Your TAD
When it comes to oral hygiene, having a TAD is similar to having braces. You are able to brush your teeth like normal, and we recommend doing so three times a day. Our team will also give you an antimicrobial mouthwash. Use this at least twice a day to prevent bacteria around the TAD. Beginning a day or so after the placement of TADs, you can return to eating and drinking your favorite things; just make sure you continue to keep your mouth clean.
While treatment plans vary by patient, TADs typically stay in place for an average of a few months, compared to an average of 18 months for metal braces.
Once your TADs treatment is complete, we’ll bring you in for a short removal appointment. This comfortable procedure lasts only a few minutes, and you’ll be on your way with a beautiful, healthy smile.
At our practice, we believe that every smile is an important investment. If you or your child need orthodontic treatment, call Overlake Orthodontics to schedule an appointment! Our team will evaluate your needs and develop a treatment plan to improve your smile now and into the future.