shorter treatment
no more headgears
predictable results
avoids surgery
avoids tooth extractions


In this section we attempt to answer some questions that patients tend to ask repeatedly. Perhaps you will find your personal questions answered here also. Keep in mind that the information provided here is no substitute for a consultation and professional advice with your orthodontist. Please read our disclaimer for further details.
Q: Do I need a shot for the procedure?

Most people do not. Usually a little numbing gel is sufficient. Sometimes if your gums are not healthy or unusually thick the gel might not be enough. At that point your doctor might chose to give you a little shot to make sure you are comfortable. You can find more details on the insertion process here.
Q: Does the procedure hurt?

A: Obviously pain is subjective - so some people are more sensitive than others. But most patients agree that getting a TAD does not hurt. There will be some pressure which cannot be avoided, but no pain should be present since you are numbed. The pressure decreases within a few hours after the procedure, sometimes it will take a little longer but long lasting discomfort is extremely rare if the insertion went well.
Q: How long will I need the TAD before it is removed?

A: That depends entirely on your orthodontic problem, your individual rate of tooth movement, and your level of compliance. As long as you are careful not to break your appliances, the average time patients have a TAD in their mouth is probably 6-12 months.
Q: What is the cost for a TAD?

A: That is a difficult question to answer because it is up to the doctor to determine the cost of treatment. Many orthodontists can include the TAD in your orthodontic treatment fee or in your payment plan. If the TAD is inserted by a dentist or surgeon, it may be slightly more expensive. Generally a TAD will cost between $300 and $600. However, it really only makes sense to compare the cost of a TAD to the alternative treatment option rather than look at the absolute cost of the TAD. Of course, one should also look beyond the pure cost and weigh the other advantages/disadvantages of the alternative procedures. Here are some examples how to do the math. Obviously these are just examples and no claim is made that they are accurate or realistic. You will notice that the use of TADs always compares favorably to the alternatives.

Reason for TAD placement:
open bite
Treatment goal:
correction of open bite using 2 TADs
pulling 4 teeth or jaw surgery
Cost of TAD:
$300 each -> $600 total
-Cost of pulling teeth:
free (covered by insurance) or minimal co-pay
 Cost difference when using TAD: $600 more
-Cost of jaw surgery:
if covered by insurance free, if not thousands
 Cost difference when using TAD: $600 extra or thousands saved
Advantage of using TADs:
saves four healthy teeth, saves jaw surgery
Disadvantages of using TADs:
extra cost for TADs ($600)

Reason for TAD placement:
missing first molar
Treatment goal:
space closure
Dental implant or bridge
Cost of TAD in addition to orthodontic treatment fee:
-Cost of dental implant:
Cost difference when using TAD: $2400 saved
-Cost of 3 unit bridge:
 Cost difference when using TAD: $1200 saved and no follow-up dental care as space was closed using your own teeth.
Advantage of using TADs:
saves up to $2400 when compared to a dental implant. Adjacent teeth do not need to be ground for the bridge.
Disadvantage of using TADs:
Q: What are the risks of using a TAD?
A: Generally the risks are minimal because the TAD is so small and the insertion so minimally invasive. For a comprehensive list of possible risks and complications click here
Q: Does insurance cover the procedure?
A: To date an insurance code exists, but most insurances do not cover the placement of a TAD.
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