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Mini-implants (TADs)

With the advancement of stomatology, or in this case orthodontics, came new, more effective ways and techniques of correcting bite and aligning the teeth into a correct position. The most important invention of the past few decades are mini-implants which greatly expanded the possibilities of orthodontic treatment.

What are mini-implants?

Orthodontic mini-implants are titanium or steel, small-diameter screws. As opposed to standard teeth implants, the purpose of mini-implants in orthodontics isn’t to replace lost teeth. Instead, they are here to provide an additional anchor point.

In our macro world there is no way to escape Newton’s third law – action and an equal and opposite reaction. It says that if a body exerts force on another body, then the second body acts on the first one as well. These two forces have the same strength, are on the same plane, but have opposite directions.

In orthodontics this means that if you move one or more teeth into correct alignment, you get equal strength, opposite forces on teeth which you use as anchors. Meaning, they do something we don’t want which is they move those teeth in the opposite direction. In order to avoid the movement of those anchoring teeth, we produce the movement forces via mini-implants.

Their function in orthodontics can be explained as anchorage devices or temporary anchorage devices – which is where the acronym TADs comes from.


How do TADs look and what are they used for?

TADs are made up from a few parts. The head, neck and body. The head has a smaller diameter (1.2 – 2.3 mm) than the one of regular implants. The length of the neck can vary (from 4 to 15 mm) depending on the usage and purpose.

Types of TADs.

TADs are usually divided by the placement in the bone and are split into interradicular and extraradicular. Interradicular mini-implants are placed between the roots of teeth and extraradicular are placed outside the roots of teeth. The latter allow for the movement of the complete dental arch because they do not present an obstacle. Nevertheless, sometimes we want to move only a few teeth or a group of teeth, which means that the interracial are used more often. This is also due to the fact that they are easier to bear by the patient. Extraradicular implants are used more rarely but have allowed us to achieve results that were so far unimaginable.


The possibilities and indications of TADs use.

However simple the procedure of setting TADs may be, we use them only when truly necessary. Some, previously impossible, situations where skeletal anchors are used are:

  • The closing up of extraction areas in places of lost teeth
  • “Gummy smile” correction – meaning that the gums are too visible when smiling, corrected by moving the complete dental arch upwards
  • Skeletal expansion of a narrower upper jaw in adults
  • The correction of dental arches when one of the two is set either too far back or front.
  • The correction of an open bite by pushing the back teeth into the bone. This gives a much better result stability than with the classic closing with bands./li>

Mini-implant – procedure


Step 1

The orthodontist applies a small dose of local anesthetic near the point of TADs insertion.


Step 2

The mini-implant is screwed into place at the planned bone area. The procedure lasts only for a minute or two.


Step 3

After the planned alignment of teeth, the mini-implant is removed from the bone by an even more simple unscrewing process with local anesthesia.



Why are mini-implants set into the hard palate?

The palate is the ideal place to place mini-implants for a variety of reasons. Apart from having a good amount of hard bone, by setting the implants into the palate there is no chance of damaging the surrounding dental structures. Additionally, when set into the palate, the mini-implant is very easily accessible and does not disrupt the treatment.

When isn’t it possible to set mini-implants?

There are certain situations when setting a mini-implant can be difficult. They’re often situations when there isn’t enough bone or there is some type of disease of the bone. Then there are issues with metabolism disorders, immunocompromised patients, severely bad oral hygiene, and unstable diabetes. Even then, these situations are rare and most patients can go through the whole procedure without issues. You can contact us with full confidence.