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The following information is meant to acquaint you with the Crozat appliance and the principles of arch development. There are several methods of achieving such developments for children, but we find the Crozat appliance to work particularly well for the younger age group.

   The Crozat appliance was developed in the United States approximately eighty years ago. It has grown in popularity among those dentists involved with the management of growth and development of a child's mouth. It's popularity has grown most significantly in the last ten to fifteen years, as there is an increasing reluctance in dentistry to include tooth removal as part of orthodontic treatment of crowded mouths. The crowded mouth, the mouth that appears too small for the size of its teeth, is the most common problem we face in orthodontics today. This type of problem usually expresses itself initially around the time the first permanent incisors begin to grow in. Throughout most of the last century, the most accepted treatment course was the removal of certain permanent teeth to make room for the remaining teeth. It's an acceptable treatment approach for some children, but may be detrimental for others.

   An alternative to removing teeth in crowded mouths is to make the mouth bigger, to make the arches in which the teeth are rooted wider. And the Crozat, a relatively simple, precision fit, removable wire appliance, has been shown to be very effective for that width correction.

   Notice, we're talking about assisting and modifying bone growth, not straightening teeth. Our goal is to provide enough bone base in the mouth to allow the growing teeth to come in straight, minimizing or eliminating the need for orthodontic treatment later in the child's development. When crowding is diagnosed and therapy begun early, long term correction can achieve our desired results. And the greater the degree of crowding, the earlier treatment must be started.

   Arch development is not a solution for every crowded mouth. Many factors must be considered in the child's growth pattern. We make a thorough study of those growth patterns for each child, utilizing study casts, photographs, x-rays and a clinical examination. We will formulate a plan of treatment only after those studies are complete. During a patient's appointment, the results of those studies will be presented as well as a thorough review of the treatment plan. Please understand that we feel growth guidance of the young child is our primary responsibility in pediatric dentistry and orthodontics. We look forward to working with you and your child in this important endeavor.