A recent AAO member survey questioned respondents about whether they had other orthodontists in their families, as part of an ongoing effort to understand motivations for entering the orthodontic specialty. The survey results align with anecdotal observations that it is common for orthodontists to have family member peers. Data from the survey responses include:

  • 83% of respondents are the first person in their family to become an orthodontist.
  • 20% of respondents reported that they have at least two generations of orthodontists in their family including 3% with at least 3 generations.

Additional information generated by the survey includes:

  • Of those who are not the first in their family to enter the specialty, 69% had one parent who was an orthodontist and 46% had a family member besides parents, siblings, or grandparents.  Of those, the most frequently mentioned were uncle and cousin.

Among respondents who have orthodontic family members:

  • Those with an orthodontist as a family member were nearly evenly split about whether they went into practice with a family member, with 58% doing so.
  • Respondents with a parent as the family member who was an orthodontist were more likely to go into practice with a family member (76%).

* Comparisons stated in the survey report as significant are relative to the 95% confidence level.