The World Federation of Orthodontists (WFO) is unique in that it provides benefits to its individual members but also to the global support of “orthodontic treatment by orthodontists.” All is provided at a low multi-year dues rate to WFO members (who are known as Fellows). All AAO members are eligible to join for less than $50/year for a five year period.
The AAO was a founding member of the WFO with AAO representatives including the first WFO president, AAO Past President Dr. William DeKock, serving as members of its governing executive committee. The WFO continues to grow with WFO Fellows in over 100 countries and will celebrate its 25th anniversary in 2020. Only orthodontic specialists may be members of the WFO—no matter where they practice.
The purpose of the WFO is to advance the art and science of orthodontics throughout the world. The chief objectives of the WFO are:
- Encourage high standards in orthodontics throughout the world
- Encourage, and assist when requested, in the formation of a national organization of orthodontists in countries where such organizations do not exist
- Encourage and assist in the formation of national orthodontic specialty certification boards
- Encourage high standards in orthodontic research and treatment
- Encourage the exchange of orthodontic research and treatment information
- Encourage high standards of orthodontic specialty education, training, and certification
- Sponsor and administer the International Orthodontic Congresses every five years
It is through individual country and regional “affiliates” of the WFO that much of the strengthening of our specialty takes place. Individual membership dues also provide the following:
- The Journal of the World Journal of Orthodontics—an online journal focusing on clinical treatment.
- The WFO Gazette—an online newsletter providing information about orthodontics around the globe
- Reduced registration fees to attend the International Orthodontic Congress. Past foreign IOC host cities have included Paris, Sydney and London. The 2020 meeting is in Yokohama, Japan (near Tokyo)—with all meeting activities in English.
- Reduced fees to attend meetings of other national orthodontic organizations
- Support the AAO in its review of international member applicants (ensure they are specialists)
- WFO members are listed in the online International Orthodontic Directory
- Use of the WFO logo and World Orthodontic Health Day promotional materials
“Being the only truly international organization of specialist orthodontists in the world, the WFO is in the unique position of being able to serve as the vehicle for recognized specialists everywhere to collaborate and share their practice experience, basic science and clinical research,” says Dr. Thomas Ahman of Lima, Ohio, representative of North America on the WFO Executive Committee. “Continued growth and recognition of our specialty, all to the benefit of the patients we serve, requires the collaborative efforts of orthodontic specialists world-wide.”
Learn more about the WFO at wfo.org.