AAO members make a positive impact every day. Orthodontists are health care providers, small business owners, job creators, philanthropists, grassroots advocates, and engaged in their communities. Passion for serving others is evident within the specialty and orthodontics is about being part of things larger than your own self-interest.

Being an orthodontist requires hard work, integrity, trust, commitment, solid judgement, creative thinking, and servant leadership, amongst other noble attributes. These important individual qualities can also transcend well beyond the orthodontic profession into other areas of service.

The AAO encourages orthodontists to become even more civically engaged. AAO Advocacy and AAOPAC offer members ways to take action and build relationships with public policy decision-makers. The AAO Foundation provides an easy way for orthodontists to volunteer and donate. AAO members are part of the U.S. Armed Forces, and the AAO looks forward to celebrating them at the 2024 Annual Session in New Orleans.

There are also other ways you can serve your community in a broader capacity. Have you ever thought about serving in public office? The positive qualities shared by orthodontists can play a significant role in leadership decision-making at the local, state/provincial, and federal levels. For example, we currently have AAO members serving on state dental boards, including Dr. Don Spillers and Dr. Gregory Goggans (Georgia), Dr. Edward Sammons (Indiana), Dr. Bruce Haskell (Kentucky), Dr. Edwin Morris (Maryland), Dr. Virginia Mennemeyer (Missouri), Dr. Suzanne Cassata (New York), Dr. Alison Fallgatter (North Dakota), and Dr. Britt Reagin (South Carolina).

Currently Dr. Andrew Horne (pictured above), a Board-certified orthodontist and AAO member, is running for Congress in Arizona’s 1st Congressional District (Scottsdale). His primary election is August 6, 2024. His primary election is August 6, 2024, and his website notes: 

“While pursuing higher education at Arizona State University, I continued to reside in District 1. After completing my Doctor of Dental Surgery and residency in Orthodontics and Dentofacial Orthopedics, I established my own private practice in Colorado Springs, Colorado. However, I made the decision to move back to my hometown to provide my daughter with the invaluable experience of growing up surrounded by her four grandparents and enjoying a wonderful childhood in Arizona. Since moving back to the Valley, I have founded two successful small businesses which continue to grow.”

Dr. Horne received his dental degree from the University of Michigan School of Dentistry and completed the orthodontic residency program at the University of Colorado Anschutz Medical Campus. He also completed the University of Michigan Stephen M. Ross School of Business’ MBA degree program.

Whether it is your local school board, city council, state/provincial office, federal office, or any other public service role, the AAO encourages its members to engage in the political process and to use their talents and leadership as an orthodontist to do even more through public policy.

Do you currently serve in an elected office or appointed governmental position? Let us know what position you hold by sending an update to [email protected]. Thank you for leading and serving. Orthodontists continue to make a profound impact on their communities!