What Exactly is a TAD?

TAD stands for temporary anchorage device and it allows us to do things we’ve never been able to do before. TADs allows us to solve some problems with conservative treatment that used to require surgery.

Before TADs, orthodontists simply had no good way to intrude teeth. Also, we couldn’t move molars forward to close spaces without moving front teeth back at the same time. With TADs, we can do these things…and more. The TAD is one of the truly great innovations since the beginning of orthodontics, just over 100 years ago.

What does a TAD look like?

The most common type of TAD is referred to as a “pin” and looks like a tiny screw. The TADs are often placed into the jaw with just a topical anesthetic and are easily removed when no longer needed. Some TADs can be placed by the orthodontist as part of a regular appointment, while other placements require an oral surgeon. A less common type of TAD is called a “plate” and is put in a special position by the oral surgeon.

If you asked a group of orthodontists what they considered to be the most difficult cases to treat, they would probably all say “open bites”. With an open bite, the front teeth don’t touch and the patient can only touch his back teeth. Usually, these cases need surgical corrections and even then, there could be relapse to an open bite. TADs allow us to improve open bites in a more conservative way.