2017 was a very eventful year for the AAO in so many areas.  From breaking attendance records and dispelling myths, to lobbying for positive change and ​making every effort to move our specialty forward, 2017 was a year to remember.

Below are just 17 highlights from the AAO in 2017.
  1. In 2017, total AAO membership exceeded 19,000 worldwide.
  2. More orthodontists (6,727) attended the 2017 Annual Session in San Diego than any other meeting in our history. Just as exciting…a record number of students (1,812) were also in attendance.
  3. With natural disasters making repeated and unwelcome headlines in 2017, the AAO worked to provide immediate assistance to orthodontists in need.  As a result, almost $200,000 was raised for the AAO’s Disaster Relief Fund.
  4. Nearly 100 AAO members (including 19 residents) met in Washington, D.C. at one of the largest AAO’s Advocacy Conferences ever, visiting elected officials and advocating for issues critical to orthodontists.
  5. Registered users of AAO’s online Practice Opportunities and Careers service reported 79 successful matches between job seekers and providers for the 2017 calendar year, an increase of 27 from 2016.
  6. AAO’s Political Action Committee raised over $330,000, making 2017 one of the most successful AAOPAC fundraising years to date.
  7. The AAO and its lobbying team helped ensure student borrower benefits were not cut and remained unchanged in the new tax bill.
  8. The number of followers on the AAO’s consumer Facebook page increased 1,975%…from 2,000 to 41,500 in 2017.
  9. 2017 welcomed over 1.5 million unique visitors to the AAO’s consumer website, a 354% increase from 2016.
  10. More than 500 posts were shared on the AAO’s consumer social media outlets, reaching over 110 million unique people.
  11. The AAO’s Council on Communications launched several new creative items, including this Buzzfeed video that reached over 3 million unique people.
  12. Media coverage regarding “Don’t DIY” appeared in a wide variety of news outlets in 2017, including Good Morning America, US News & World Report, Buzzfeed, and more.
  13. More than 15 orthodontic residency programs participated in the AAO’s new legal course for residents.
  14. The AAO’s Component Legal Support Fund provided support for 12 states dealing with everything from revisions to state specialty laws to changing the delegable duties for orthodontic assistants.
  15. More than 4,700 hours in CE credits were earned by doctors and orthodontic staff in 2017 on the AAO’s Online Lecture site.
  16. During 2017’s National Orthodontic Health Month in October, the campaign’s “Seven Common Orthodontic Myths” was seen over 15 million times online.
  17. Thousands of AAO members made direct contact with AAO staff in 2017…getting prompt, personalized attention, and helping them run better, more efficient practices.

While this isn’t all we accomplished in 2017, we are excited to share these brief highlights, and continue supporting the orthodontic specialty in 2018 and beyond. Happy New Year!