The Crozat Appliance compared to ALF Expander

Crozat Appliance is a Gentle Orthodontic Alternative


crozat growth appliance


Drs Gary Adams and Viet Le welcome you to our practice. If you are looking for information about the Crozat Appliance, you have found the right place. Many of our patients have crowded teeth, tied tongues, and mouth breathing habits. Others have TMJ pain, bad posture and sleep apnea. We help our patients smile, sleep, breathe, bite and posture better. We accomplish these things by integrating orthodontic expanders (like the Crozat), chiropractic services, breathing exercises and myofunctional or tongue correction therapy. Our therapy helps our patients have a better smile, sleep better and live a pain-free healthy life. We are located in Vienna Virginia near Tysons Corner and just outside of Washington DC.


What is the Crozat Appliance?


The Crozat is a springy light gauge non-corrosive wire. The Crozat can be removed and adjusted to increase the devices size and shape. As the device is slowly adjusted from one visit to the next it slowly stimulates the jaws to grow wider and larger. The Crozat is a gentler alternative to traditional braces. The forces placed on the jaws, face and cranial bones are more gentle and balanced than braces. This treatment is a favorite among cranial sacral therapists and osteopathic doctors. The Crozat appliance was invented by Dr. Crozat in 1919. The Crozat is the sister appliance of the ALF appliance.


The things are all linked:


  1. Straight teeth
  2. Jaw structure and facial profile
  3. Posture
  4. Healthy breathing patterns
  5. Overall health



Crozat vs ALF Appliance


The Crozat is different than the ALF in that there is a metal connector that crosses from one side of the palate to the other. This feature helps in cases where more expansion in the back of the maxilla and palate is necessary. The Crozat is a forward growth appliance and is also considered an arch development appliance. It is used to grow bone in a more forward and wider direction. The Crozat is capable of aligning teeth and making them straighter, but it does so by creating more room in the mouth for all the teeth to fit.

Dr. Adams likes using Crozat appliances. But he more often use Schwarz, ALF, Twin Block and DNA appliances


Goals of Crozat Appliance Treatment:


  • Optimize facial growth and profile
  • Improve tongue function
  • Promote healthy breathing patterns
  • Balance the  bite
  • Balance the jaw and facial bone relationships
  • Create healthy posture


How Do Teeth Get Crooked?


The reason why teeth grow crooked and crowded is because of poor tongue function, unhealthy mouth breathing patterns and a diet consisting of foods that are too soft. This is why kids mouths and faces do not grow large enough for all their teeth to fit and bite properly. If tongue and breathing problems are not corrected, your child will fall behind again in their development 1-2 years after appliance therapy. That is right, the teeth will get crowded and crooked all over again, if the root cause of developmental problems are not corrected. Kids continue to grow till at least the age of 19.


The Crozat Device Uses Natural Tongue Pressure


Treatment uses tongue pressure and light outward force from the Crozat to correct teeth crowding. The natural forces promotes jaw bone growth in the direction the dentist adjusts the appliance and the tongue pushes. Success of the treatment hinges on tongue pressure. Therefore diagnosis and treatment of tongue and lip ties is necessary. Anterior growth creates more space for teeth to fit and bite better. As the treatment progresses, space in the entire mouth and nasal passageways increase. The gain of volume in the mouth and nasal passageways allows for breathing with less airway resistance. The upper airway is basically the mouth and nasal membrane spaces.

The Crozat can improve smiles, TMJ pain, sleep apnea and posture problems. The treatment also decreases loud breathing, snoring, teeth clenching and nasal stuffiness. Teeth clenching is one of the leading causes of tooth loss. Sleep disordered breathing (including sleep apnea) causes heart disease.


What Can the Crozat Accomplish?


  1. Growth of the jaws and increases space for the teeth to fit.
  2. Larger tongue space
  3. Improves nasal breathing
  4. Improves facial profile
  5. Creates balance and symmetry of facial bones
  6. Improves posture
  7. Balances the bite or occlusion


How Does the Crozat Work?


The Crozat produces a light springy outward pressure. The device works with proper tongue forces during eating and swallowing. Crozat therapy creates the perfect conditions for natural jaw development and growth. The tongue during normal function such as talking and swallowing puts outward pressure on the teeth and jawbones. In a growing child, pressure on jaw by the tongue is the primary stimulus for jaw growth.


What is a Tongue Tie?


tied tongue


Tongue tie is also known as lingual frenum. The tie is a connection between the tongue muscle and the mandible. A strong tongue tie can limit the range of motion of the tongue. And it changes the shape of the tongue as it moves. Usually a tie will cause the tongue to get pointy, taper and curl down on extension. Tongue ties can cause speech problems, feeding problems for babies. The biggest problem with tongue tie is then tongue will not apply proper pressure to the jaw bones in a growing child. Less pressure leads to under development of the mouth and nasal passageways. Tongue ties can be easily be released with a laser.  The procedure is easily done with a laser. The procedure is called a lingual frenectomy. After untying the tongue, tongue exercises and myofunctional therapy is necessary for reattachment.


What is a Lip Tie?


A lip tie is a connection between the lip muscles and the jaw that restricts the range of motion of the lip. When the connection draws the lips too tightly up against the teeth, there is a change to the size and shape of the jaw bones. Problems may include displacement of the teeth backwards, loss of gum tissue around the teeth and opening of a space in between the teeth called a diastema. A “lip tie” is an example of a maxillary frenum. The ties can be easily removed a laser. There is no bleeding, minimal discomfort and huge benefits.


Is the Crozat a Rapid Expander


No. The Crozat Appliance uses light forces and is a slow palatal expander. The Crozat is shaped like the mouth and tongue should be shaped. A rapid palatal expander uses heavier forces with a screw mechanism. Rapid palatal expanders grow the back of the back of the mouth more than the front. The result is lots of space in the back of the mouth and minimal space in the front. The main problem with RPE is minimal growth in the anterior palate and expansion is too fast and appliance pressure too much.


Crozat Appliance Cost


Crozat Appliance treatment time can last 12 – 24 months. Treatment involves a cone beam CBCT scan, full examination, diagnosis and appliance treatment plan. The therapy includes periodic adjustments and evaluations. The cost of Crozat Appliance therapy is usually between $8000 – $12,000 depending on the complexity and treatment time.