One of the most significant revolutionary techniques developed for braces in the last decade has been the use of mini-screws (temporary anchorage devices). This involves placing a very small screw into the gum. The orthodontist can then use the screw which is connected to the braces with an elastic or small wire, to move the teeth.
The advantage of the mini-screw is that teeth can sometimes be moved faster therefore shortening treatment time. It can be used to close spaces between teeth and may save the patient having to have a bridge or more expensive dental implant restoration. Mini-screws can be used in some instances to prevent extractions or prevent the use of headgear. The screw simply acts as an anchor and can be removed once it is no longer needed.
The use of a mini-screw involves having the gum numbed with some topical anesthetic gel. This means injections are not required. Your orthodontist will be able to advise you when a mini-screw would be an advantage to use when straightening your teeth with braces. Orthodontists have experience in placing mini-screws and can advise you if they can be of benefit to your orthodontic treatment with braces.