Orthodontic inventors and other product/service developers are invited to apply for the 2023 AAO Ortho Innovator Award.

Now in its fifth year, the Ortho Innovator Award is part of an ongoing effort to support innovation among orthodontists and industry suppliers. Businesses considered eligible to enter the competition are companies offering new products or services for orthodontic treatment or orthodontic practice management. 

Apply for the 2023 Ortho Innovator Award

“The orthodontic product advances of recent years have leveraged technology to enable us to choose from new and exciting options for managing workflow and delivery of excellent treatment to patients with ease of customization, efficiency and other great advantages,” said Dr. Norman J. Nagel, AAO president. “The AAO is delighted to recognize the inventors and entrepreneurs who are driving this innovation.”

“The AAO Committee on Technology (CTECH) is looking for that breakthrough idea that will help us advance as a specialty,” said Dr. Neal Kravitz, chair of CTECH, which hosts the AAO Ortho Innovator program. “If you have an idea that can help manage a practice better, a unique marketing approach, or a product that revolutionizes orthodontic treatment, I encourage you to apply. “

Each Ortho Innovator entrant must submit an “elevator pitch” video featuring the innovating AAO member/orthodontist(s) presenting the submission. 

All entries should be addressed to the AAO Committee on Technology and received by January 31, 2023. CTECH will evaluate all entries by uniqueness, originality, functionality or feasibility, and value for the orthodontic practice. 

One winner will be selected by the committee to receive the 2023 AAO Ortho Innovator award. Grand Prize winner will receive a travel stipend to attend the 2023 AAO Annual Session and exhibition space during the 2024 Annual Session in New Orleans.

Entrants May Also Apply to Present to Investors during Annual Session
The Ortho Innovator Award application is also the entry form for AAO Ortho Tank Pitch Event that will take place at the 2023 AAO Annual Session, live on the Exhibit Hall floor.  Each Ortho Tank presenter will have 10 minutes to present his or her product to potential investors.

For “how to enter” information please visit:  

Past Ortho Innovator Winners
The 2022 Ortho Innovator award went to Dr. Alfred Griffin and the company he founded, Lightforce, which offers a digital platform that provides orthodontists with fully customized, 3D printed tooth-moving tools.

2022 entries recognized in the Honorable Mention group include:

● Dr. Luis Carriere
Niti Infinity Chain

● Trimlign
Automatic aligner trimming

Previous years’ Orthodontic Innovator winners include:

2019: Dr. Brandon Owen for the KLOwen custom digital bracket system, designed for production in the orthodontic office.

2020:  Mr. Todd Blankenbecler and EasyRx, offering integrated software and applications for orthodontic practices to manage lab prescription and digital workflow processes, all in one system. In addition to Mr. Blankenbecler, EasyRx is led by an orthodontist, Dr. Marc Lemchen.

2021: Dr. Adam Schulhof for the Grin Remote Monitoring and Consultation System, featuring the Grin App and the Grin Scope, a patent-pending, FDA-listed medical device.