What are TADs and Why does Dr. Henry use them?

An important advance in orthodontics recently has been the development of Temporary Anchorage Devices (TAD’s). TADs are making it possible to achieve optimal orthodontic results that in the past would have required jaw surgery or headgear to accomplish. TADs are able to get teeth to move in only one direction. In the past, rubber bands and bite correctors were used to pull teeth back (or forward), but there was always an opposing pull (meaning the teeth you are pulling from, also move). This opposing pull made it difficult to achieve optimal results, and sometimes the smile would end up canted to one side (in the case of rubber bands being used just on one side, for example).


Temporary Anchorage Devices are like anchors, used as a fixed point from which the teeth can move. Before TAD’s, it was nearly impossible to move specific teeth while keeping others still, or to achieve orthodontic movement in a mouth with missing teeth. Dr. Henry has been placing TADs now for over five years and is an expert in placing these tiny implants. The advancement of TAD’s allows Dr. Henry the ability to provide non-surgical, simple options for many challenging orthodontic cases.

FAQs about TAD’s:

  1. What material are they made out of? TADs are made out of an advanced titanium-alloy material.
  2. How small are they?  TADs are tiny, ranging from 6-12 mm in length and 1.2 to 2 mm in diameter.
  3. Where are they placed? TAD’s may be placed in several different sites in the mouth, including the palate. Placement is customized for each patient. They are placed through the gums or palate and into bone.
  4. What are the benefits of TADs? TAD’s contribute to predictable results, shorter treatment times, and optimal tooth movement.
  5. Do they hurt? There is little or no discomfort when a TAD is placed. Dr. Henry can usually just use a topical gel to numb the area where the TAD is placed. Most insertions do not require a shot of Lidocaine, but Dr. Henry can use it, if needed.
  6. How do I care for my TAD? Caring for your TAD generally requires only routine brushing.