What Is A Temporary Anchorage Device (TAD) Or Bone Mini Screw?

A temporary anchorage device (TAD) is a temporary mini screw implant used by dentists to assist with complex movement of teeth.

They are usually 1-2 mm in diameter and 6-8mm (about 1/2 to 1/3 of an inch) in length. They are placed through the gums and into the bone, and usually requires no anesthesia. The picture shows what a TAD looks like in the mouth.

Braces with TADS

There are many cases where these mini screws can be very beneficial. Some include:

The placement of TADs usually takes 5-10 minutes and is pain free. The TAD usually stays in place until the desired movement is completed, usually for a few months.

TAD mini screws provide fast and reliable treatment outcomes, usually reducing the time needed in treatment.

A TAD can be loaded with a constant force immediately after placement. Since there is no need for a wait time for integration, TADs can be engaged to support the treatment mechanics at any appropriate time in the treatment progress.

TADs are constructed of medical grade titanium, a hypoallergenic material. In rare circumstances a TAD might break during its insertion or removal. If the residual portion were to be a source of irritation it would be necessary to have this portion removed.

Will it be painful?

No. Mini-screw insertion itself is not painful. You may have a mild ache from the area for 24 hours after the anaesthetic wears off.

How long will the mini-screw be in my mouth?

The mini-screw is usually in place for several months whilst the teeth are being moved into a better position. Once tooth movement is complete, the screws are taken out.

How is the mini-screw removed?

Very simply. No local anaesthetic is usually required. The gum and bone underneath will heal up completely within a few days with no discomfort.

Caring for mini-screw

When mini-screws are placed in the mouth, it is important that a patient doesn’t explore them with a finger or the tongue because it can compromise stability. It is also important to keep mini-screws clean by lightly brushing them after each meal and making sure no dental plaque remains on them.

Not all patients can have mini-screws. They are contraindicated for people who smoke, or patients that are metabolically compromised due to some diseases or some medications.

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