1. Strength in Numbers
The AAO is the world’s largest dental specialty association comprised of more than 19,000 of your colleagues spanning more than 110 countries. By being an AAO member, you can play a part in presenting a unified voice that advocates for the profession and preserves the orthodontic specialty. And the larger our organization gets, the stronger we are in our ability to support orthodontists and advocate for the health and safety of orthodontic patients.
2. Promoting You and What You Do
The AAO’s Consumer Awareness Program is the ONLY mass marketing campaign working to raise awareness among consumers about the benefits of orthodontic treatment provided by orthodontists, and promote orthodontists as specialists. In 2018 AAO consumer awareness ads appeared online to prospective patients over 1.4 billion times and directed thousands of patients to AAO-member orthodontists through our online “Find an Orthodontist” service. AAO members fund data-driven advertising and public relations efforts through the Consumer Awareness Program, which has seen unprecedented growth over the past couple years.
3. AAO Annual Session
Each year, the AAO produces the world’s largest orthodontic gathering with thousands of members and orthodontic staff, hundreds of speakers and countless vendors and industry experts. The Annual Session offers attendees an opportunity to network with fellow orthodontists, learn from diverse speakers, and view the latest in clinical and practice innovations. In 2019 nearly 17,000 orthodontists, staff, and students registered for our Annual Session in Los Angeles including nearly 7,000 doctors.
4. Advocating for You and Your Patients
The AAO advocates for the orthodontic specialty to lawmakers throughout North America. Through the AAO Political Action Committee, we lead the dialogue and promote issues that are important to you and your patients, such as healthcare, student loan refinancing, small business policy and tax reform. Additionally, AAO legal staff and regional leadership are actively engaged in state-level advocacy on important issues like dental specialty advertising and direct-to-consumer products.
5. Consumer Alerts from the AAO
The AAO believes there are a number of factors and questions consumers should consider before choosing to undergo direct-to-consumer orthodontic treatment options. Orthodontic treatment involves the movement of biological material and should only be conducted under direct orthodontist supervision. That’s why the AAO makes every effort to inform consumers of the importance of orthodontic specialists as well as the potentially irreversible and expensive damage that can result from online teeth-straightening companies.
6. Practice Resources
Maintaining and growing an orthodontic practice is an ongoing challenge that affects every orthodontist in one way or another. Every AAO member has access to valuable materials and can count on a comprehensive array of forms and releases that make your job easier, including an office design manual, patient forms and releases, customizable marketing materials and much, much more.
7. First-Class Continuing Education
From an extensive Online Learning Program, to the world’s largest dental specialty library, to a subscription to the leading orthodontic clinical journal (AJO-DO), AAO resources and educational materials are readily available to help you stay at the top of your profession and maintain your continuing education (CE) requirements.
8. Orthodontic Career Services
Whether you’re just beginning residency or nearing retirement, the AAO supports your career and the wide variety of practice transition needs. Led by our online matching service, AAO Career Center, we can help you locate a position, hire an associate, or even sell your practice.
9. Legal Services
At some point in every orthodontist’s career, there will come the need for legal services or counsel. While the AAO does not legally represent individual members or offer official legal advice, it does provide reliable guidance to members on issues affecting their practices and patients. Other resources, such as answers to common legal questions, sample agreements, and legal seminars, are also available.
10. The AAO is You!
The AAO continues to be “for orthodontists, by orthodontists”. As a member-driven association, you can rest assured that your best interests are at the heart of what we do. The AAO House of Delegates, Board of Trustees, and council and committee members are all fellow AAO members dedicated to developing programs and services that will have value for you as you treat patients and manage your practice.
Online payment offers a fast and easy alternative for 2019-2020 dues renewal. Click here to learn more.