Temporary anchorage devices (TADs) are miniatures screws made of medical grade titanium alloy used to treat more complex orthodontic cases. TADs are surgically screwed into the gum and jawbone to encourage teeth movement during braces treatment by providing a fixed anchor. They temporarily remain in place for a few months during treatment.
Temporary anchorage devices are also called microimplants. They are beneficial for patients with braces that need bite correction, uprighting molars and closing gaps between teeth. Additionally, microimplants can be a treatment alternative to surgery for patients requiring jaw surgery.
While teeth are typically used as orthodontic anchors, it can have drawbacks in some circumstances. For instance, there may not be a viable tooth at the location where an anchor is required. Additionally, when a greater force is necessary, the teeth utilised as anchors may begin to shift. In this regard, these microimplants can either eliminate the need for an anchor tooth or stabilise a tooth that is currently being utilised as one.
Although the thought of screwing a device into the gums sounds ghastly, the process of inserting the microimplants is painless and fairly simple. Immediately after the procedure, some slight discomfort may be experienced. The discomfort will start to diminish as the patient becomes used to the device. The microimplant is just a small screw, so extra precaution must be taken so that it does not become loose. Patients with microimplants should be careful during brushing their teeth and avoid playing with or poking the microimplant.