A private jet pilot who works coast to coast; an ophthalmologist affiliated with a leading Midwestern teaching hospital, a family dentist with a thriving practice and a former opera singer are among the initial class of inductees into the AAO 2014 Adult Hall of Fame.

The group, which includes one man and five women, underscores the fact that adults are seeking orthodontic treatment in record numbers. The number of adult orthodontic patients increased 14 percent from 2010 to 2012, to a record high of 1,225,850 patients ages 18 and older. More men are also opting for orthodontic treatment. As of 2012, 44 percent of adult patients were male, a 29 percent increase as compared to 2010 survey results.*

Each of the Hall of Famers sought treatment for different reasons:

  • Amielle Zay Abshire is a New Jersey-based private jet pilot in her early 30s who realized that her smile is the first thing that greets the celebrity and high profile passengers she ferries around the country. She wanted her smile to be the best it could be.
  • Dr. Steven Couch is an ophthalmologist affiliated with Washington University in St. Louis, one of the most prestigious medical centers in the country. Dr. Couch did not have orthodontic treatment as a youngster and in his early 30s felt the time was right.
  • Dr. Nina Zeigler is a general dentist in Missouri. She had a sparkling smile, but her open bite and a severe clenching and grinding problem were not visible.
  • Sarah Bryan Miller, a former opera singer in Chicago, sought orthodontic treatment in her mid-30’s due to a troublesome overbite and an unusually small jaw that impacted the quality of her singing voice.
  • Pam Waterman, an Arizona cookbook author and founder of Metal Mouth Media, realized that even though she had treatment as an adolescent, her teeth had shifted because she did not wear her retainers. She needed to improve her smile for media appearances.
  • Dr.  Dorienne Taylor-Bishop explained that years earlier, while she was in dental school at Howard University, one of her professors suggested she get orthodontic treatment as it would be covered by her student health insurance.  She began treatment. However, after 19 months, she opted to have her braces removed early for her wedding pictures.  In March 2013, at the age 48 – with two children in college and a dental practice in Maryland in which she referred patients to orthodontists – Dr. Taylor-Bishop decided it was at last time to complete her own treatment.

The AAO recently sent a news release to national media outlets announcing the Hall of Fame inductees and pointing out that today’s wide variety of innovative treatment options can make the process of orthodontic treatment barely noticeable.

To learn more about the individual stories of the 2014 Adult Hall of Fame inductees, visit the AAO consumer website, https://www.aaoinfo.org/

* Data from the 2012 AAO Economics of Orthodontics Survey (formerly the Annual Economic Survey and the Biennial Patient Census Survey).