From an orthodontic perspective, the application of tensile and compressive forces to bones of the craniofacial skeleton is not a new concept. Principles of dental traction for the correction of skeletal deficiencies have been practiced in dentistry since the 18th century. As early as 1728, Fauchard described the use of the expansion arch. When the ideally shaped metal plate was ligated to the crowded dentition, the teeth were broadened to a more normal form (Steiner, 1933). However, this type of traction was limited to tooth movement only and had little effect on the shape of the bone.
FIG. 2.1.1. Fauchard's expansion arch. Reproduced with permission from Steiner CC. Is there one best orthodontic appliance? Angle Orthod 1933;3:277-298.