Dear AAO Member,

Within the AAO, leaders and other volunteers have continued working closely with our staff to provide benefits, programs and services that have value for you as a practicing orthodontist. Below are some of our major accomplishments from the past year, that we believe will benefit members and help advance the specialty:

● Our Legal Department has provided input on direct-to-consumer-treatment related court cases or proposed legislation in Georgia, Alabama, New Jersey, Arizona and New Mexico, and launched an online timeline of direct-to-consumer advocacy activities.

In addition, 2018-19 AAO President Dr. Brent Larson completed a national satellite media tour of interviews about direct-to-consumer orthodontics.

The Component Legal Support Fund has enabled our Legal Department to provide aid, in many cases on specialty advertising issues, in a new total of 31 states and two provinces.

● During the past year, AAO Consumer Awareness Program ads have appeared online to more than 1.4 billion consumers, generating 7 million visits to the AAO consumer website.

● The attractively re-designed and mobile-friendly AAO consumer website helps millions of visitors who are seeking to learn about orthodontic treatment. Frequent new content posts are all search-engine-optimized to place our material high up in online search results.

● Our newly designed member website is organized by usage data, providing information about programs and member benefits structured around the pages and information that members seek out most frequently.

● The 2019 Annual Session in Los Angeles was a great success, attracting more than 200 speakers, dozens of orthodontic experts, countless vendors and more than 16,750 attendees.

● The 2019 Winter Conference, “Sleep Apnea and Orthodontics: Consensus and Guidance,” had nearly 1,000 attendees – about 34 percent over projected attendance.

● The AAO white paper, Obstructive Sleep Apnea and Orthodontics, was presented during the 2019 Winter Conference and then made available to all members.

● The AAO had a place at the table and our perspectives on many topics voiced among nationally noted dentists, dental specialists, physicians and public health experts participating in the 2018 U.S. Surgeon General’s Listening Session on Oral Health. At the meeting – the first of its kind held since 2000 –the AAO was represented by our current president, Dr. Gary Inman.

● As a first step toward our strategic objective of supporting innovation within the specialty, we presented the first AAO Ortho Innovator Award to Dr. Brandon Owen, developer of a custom digital bracket system.

We are excited about initiatives currently in the early phases that also hold promise to benefit the specialty. Many thanks for your membership in the AAO.

Best regards,

Lynne Thomas Gordon, CAE
Chief Executive Officer