Orthopedic (Jaw Growth)


Frequently Asked Questions

What is Crozat?
The Crozat method is a way of "straightening teeth" - an approach to preventive or corrective orthodontics. It is not new. It utilizes an appliance named for Dr George B. Crozat of New Orleans, who developed it in the 1920s. Dr. Albert Wiebrecht of Milwaukee was the first to use the Crozat appliance for dental arch development to resolve the problem of crooked or misaligned teeth without removing any permanent teeth. Hence, the Wiebrecht-Crozat method of orthodontics.

What is different about the Wiebrecht-Crozat method of orthodontics?
There are many differences. First of all, the appliance itself. Instead of being cemented to the teeth, it fits behind the teeth leaving it removable for cleaning. Because it fits behind the teeth, the basic Crozat appliance is not visible when in place. It works from the inside of the mouth. Near the end of treatment, wires that are visible may be added to the front of the mouth.

There are four basic methods to resolve crowding of teeth; extract teeth to create extra space; move the posterior teeth backwards in the dental arch, as with headgear; move the front teeth forward; or widen the arches, which is what the Crozat does best at any age.

What are the esthetic advantages of widening the dental arch?
Widening, or developing the dental arch creates the most beautiful smile - the kind that people inherently prefer because there are not dark areas at the corners of the mouth during the wide smile, as is often the case when teeth are removed. The lips have more support, so the profile is fuller and not flat or concave as can happen with extractions. Surveys have shown that the public prefers a person's wide smile and full profile.

How does it look and feel?
The basic Crozat appliance is inconspicuous and patients often report that, after the initial accommodation period of a week or two, they hardly notice the presence of the appliance. There can be less discomfort than other methods because the pressures are so mild. Adjustments are made with the appliances out of the mouth. If the Crozats are used for the final finishing stages of treatment instead of braces (fixed appliances), they can have the appearance of conventional retainers.

How long will it take?
The Crozat method is not necessarily a quicker mode of treatment; it may extend over a period of several years. Each case is unique, so the length of the treatment varies, depending on the objectives, the amount of arch development needed, the response of the tissues to change and the cooperation of the patient. The Crozat only works when the patient is wearing it. Part-time wear will take much longer and we may not reach our goals. The teeth may look nice before treatment is finished, but the appliance must continue to be worn at the direction of the doctor.

When is the best time to start treatment?
Lateral arch development to relieve crowding can be started as young as five years. Young children adapt very readily to the appliance and become excellent patients. The indications for the early arch development are crowding or lack of spacing of the lower incisors. The permanent incisors are about five millimeters wider than the primary (baby) incisors, so there should be some natural spacing of the primary incisors to accommodate the permanent teeth.

Adults appreciate Crozats because of the fact that they are comfortable, hygienic and inconspicuous. Arch development is possible at any age. Active treatment time can last between 18 and 35 months. Since the appliances are removable, if the patient chooses to wear them less than full time, treatment time will be extended. The Crozat appliances are often used as retainers. And it is advisable, in light of recent research, to continue to use the retainers as much as is necessary to maintain the finished orthodontic result.

How much will it cost?
Costs vary with the extent of the problem, duration of treatment and extent of correction. A complete evaluation with a set of records is needed in order to make a comprehensive diagnosis and plan of treatment.

What are the advantages of treatment?
A close relationship develops between our office and the patient during orthodontic treatment because there are numerous appointments. Studies have shown that, as a result of orthodontic treatment, patients demonstrate increased self-confidence.

With the changes in the dental bite following Crozat treatment, many patients with a history of headache pain or jaw joint discomfort ("TMJ") have reported a noticeable improvement in their symptoms.

The benefits of Crozat orthopedics - straight, healthy teeth and a beautiful smile that can last a lifetime.