What are Temporary Anchorage Devices? (TAD’s) | 3 Quick Answers

If you have been diagnosed with an anterior open bite or an ectopic eruption of your maxillary first molar, your orthodontist may have recommended a Temporary Anchorage Device (TAD). This can be a viable option that you and your orthodontist may wish to discuss as an alternative to surgery. Oftentimes, patients fear hearing a lot of jargon they won’t understand about their dental work. In this post, we’re going to show you what these strange devices are. So, let’s get stuck in.





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So, What are Temporary Anchorage Devices (TAD’s)?

This is why the orthodontists at Marin Ortho want you to learn more about temporary anchorage devices. Each diagnosis is unique to the individual, and this means the approach to correcting the problem will be unique for each individual as well. Some dental conditions are congenital, meaning they are a birth defect. Other conditions may be the result of poor dental care.

Regardless of your diagnosis, your trusted orthodontist will tell you whether or not you are a candidate for temporary anchorage devices. Other options like bite blocks, high-pull headgear, extractions, and even functional appliances may be a welcome alternative to orthognathic surgery.

There are some severe cases in which your orthodontist would recommend surgery, but this is generally due to what is known as a skeletal malocclusion. Although there are risks associated with any dental or medical procedure, orthognathic surgery itself may be costly and recovery time is also a consideration.

Your orthodontist should always consider the most natural way of treating any condition. The natural way is always the best way if it’s possible. One’s ability to keep their permanent teeth will result in better facial structure, as well as the integrity of the bones and roots attached to their teeth. The ultimate goal is to minimize the extraction of teeth. How are the temporary anchorage devices put into place?


How Do They Work?

A clear explanation of what temporary anchorage devices are and how they are placed in the mouth will give you gain a deeper understanding of how and why they are effective when avoiding surgery. Temporary anchorage devices are titanium-alloy mini-screws, ranging in size from 6 mm up to 12 mm in length. The diameter may range anywhere from 1.2-2 mm. These devices can be inserted directly into your bone via a handheld instrument.

Attaching these mini-screws through the lining of the gum allows for ease of access, and generally, a local anesthetic is all that is needed for the procedure. Gripping through the bone is mechanical in nature, and it eliminates the need for using osseointegration (implants that allow migration of other tissue and fibers). When an invasive treatment can be avoided at a later time, this is also a sign of success with your orthodontist.




Optimizing facial balance is important and it means avoiding surgery as often as possible. The temporary anchorage devices will work together to ensure the following:

  • Proper direction of the teeth
  • Proper movement of the teeth
  • Ability to avoid implants or other invasive procedures as a later time

It is for these reasons that temporary anchorage devices are a strong recommendation in this practice. This is also true when it comes to extractions. When removing teeth can be avoided, it always works out best for the patient and the orthodontist.


It’s Wise to Seek the Alternative

New patients are often nervous when they have no idea what to expect. Generally, a new patient wants to know if teeth must be removed. There are many factors that have an impact on the outcome. Some of the most important factors include:

  • The age of a patient
  • Whether or not teeth are
  • How teeth align with a bite

Finally, the long-term purpose of using temporary anchorage devices is to properly align the jaw. Overcrowded teeth can cause short-term and long-term problems. The earlier this is detected the earlier the consideration is made between the patient and the orthodontist to use these devices. Your goals for your appearance are our goals for your appearance. We can work together with you to find the right solution to help you meet your goals as well as your budget.



We Strive

We strive to bring the latest cutting-edge technology and orthodontic care to our patients here in Marin County. Every decision that is made regarding your teeth should ensure greater oral care as well as a minimal amount of treatment and expense for the patient. Dr. Jasmin Gorton and Dr. Bill Schmol are all dedicated to bringing you the best in orthodontic care for you and your family.


If you are in need of an orthodontist, and you would like to learn more about what temporary anchorage devices are, you can learn by calling our office at 415-459-8006 or make an appointment.

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What are Temporary Anchorage Devices? (TAD’s) | 3 Quick Answers 1



Gorton & Schmohl Orthodontics
900 Larkspur Landing Circle
Suite 200 Larkspur
California 94939
Phone: 415-459-8006


What are Temporary Anchorage Devices (TAD’s)? | 3 Quick Answers