More than 80 participants took part in the 2018 Leadership Development Conference last month in Scottsdale, Arizona. Attendees included component, constituent and council leaders, speakers and AAO trustees. Forty component (state) organizations and all eight constituents were represented. The conference was spearheaded by the AAO Component Support and Leadership Development Committee, chaired by Dr. Ken Dillehay, the AAO trustee representing the Southwestern Society of Orthodontists.

Dr. Dillehay joined other attendees in offering short, videotaped comments on the Leadership Development Conference and how it will help participants to better serve their organizations. Additional participants appearing in the video include:

♦ Dr. Jean Asmar, interim president, District of Columbia Society of Orthodontists
♦ Dr. Eric Barnes, secretary-treasurer, Illinois Society of Orthodontists;
♦ Dr. Allen Chance, director-at-large, Tennessee Association of Orthodontists;
♦ Dr. Myron Guymon, AAO trustee representing the Rocky Mountain Society of Orthodontists;
♦ Dr. Ali Husain, president- elect, Delaware;
♦ Dr. Anil Idiculla, chair of the AAO Council on Communications;
♦ Dr. Valerie Martone, secretary-treasurer, Rocky Mountain Society of Orthodontists;
♦ Dr. John Monticello, president-elect, Great Lakes Association of Orthodontists;
♦ Dr. Suzanne Stock, president-elect of the Iowa Society of Orthodontists;
♦ Dr. Emily Willett, new/younger member asked to attend by the Nebraska Society of Orthodontists.

View the Leaders’ Comments Video

During the meeting, participants heard from expert speakers and discussed a range of topics including effective leadership, trends affecting the specialty, legal and administrative issues, diversity, state advocacy, the AAO Consumer Awareness Program, speaker management, parliamentary procedure and facilitating Board meetings.

Learn More and Access Presentations on Conference Topics

Between conferences, constituent and component leaders and other AAO volunteers are encouraged to use the new online Leadership Network. The network, which is available to all AAO members, is a centralized repository of many types of information and resources that the Component Support and Leadership Development Committee identified as being helpful to leaders and volunteers at all levels.
Mar. 5, 2018

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Before, during and after the 2018 Annual Session, enjoy Washington Nationals baseball and cultural events in the nation’s capital. Washington, D.C.’s rich cultural scene offers a wealth of opportunities for fans of the performing arts.

Go Out to the Ball Game
The Washington Nationals Major League Baseball team will have home games (vs. Philadelphia Phillies) on May 4, 5 and 6 during Annual Session. Registrants will have access to tickets at discounts of 17 to 20 percent, depending on the game.

To purchase discounted tickets, click here, then:
♦ Select your preferred game;
♦ Enter ORTHO18 in the Coupon Code box.

* If you are in Washington at any other time during the 2018 baseball season and wish to attend a Nationals home game, the coupon discount code will still apply.

Enjoy Riveting Theatrical and Ballet Performances
Royal Shakespeare Company: Hamlet (North American premiere, The Kennedy Center), May 2-May 6;

True West, by Sam Shepard (The Horowitz Visual and Performing Arts Center's Studio Theatre), April 26-May 13;

Rite of Spring,” an original adaptation of Igor Stravinsky's iconic 1913 ballet (the Dance Loft on 14), April 27 – May 11;

Iron and Coal. A world-premiere theatrical concert by acclaimed composer and performer Jeremy Schonfeld, based on the original concept album Iron & Coal by Jeremy Schonfeld. (The Music Center at Strathmore, May 3- May 4).

Immerse Yourself in the Sounds of the Capital City
Beethoven's Choral  Symphony, Los Angeles Philharmonic, (The Kennedy Center), April 26;

Washington Bach Consort’s Performance of J.S. Bach’s Mass in B Minor, (the historic National Presbyterian Church, where many U.S. presidents have worshipped), April 29;

The Washington National Opera, The Barber of Seville, (The Kennedy Center), April 23 – May 19);

Joshua Redman Quartet (Blues Alley, Washington’s renowned jazz and supper club),  May 3 – May 6;

TAUK (funk, hip-hop, progressive rock, and jazz band, at the 9:30 Club - named by Esquire as the best music venue in the United States), May 4.

The Temptations and the Four Tops, (MGM National Harbor), May 4;

The Washington National Opera, Candide, (The Kennedy Center), May 5-26;
Clarinetist David Shifrin and the Miro Quartet, performing quintets by Mozart and Brahms (International Student House of Washington DC), May 6;

Julia Bullock, soprano, and John Arida, piano (National Gallery of Art, May 6);

 ♦ Shanghai Quartet  and Alexander Fiterstein: String Quartet + Clarinet (JCC of Greater Washington), May 6.
Mar. 2, 2018

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Register now and join your colleagues for the wealth of exceptional learning experiences available at the 2018 Annual Session. Recent additions to the Doctors Scientific Program include:

♦ Dr. Olivier Albert Sorel of Rennes, France, speaking on, “Diagnosis, Prognosis and Control of Adult Orthodontic Treatments Focused on Taking into Account the Shape of the Teeth” and 
♦ Dr. Daniel Rinchuse of Greensburg, Pennsylvania, speaking on, “Learning from Success and Failure of Orthodontic Cases.”

Drs. Sorel and Rinchuse will be speaking on Tuesday, May 8.
Access the Complete Doctors Program Schedule
(Scroll down the linked page to view the schedule.)
“The best way to describe the specialty of orthodontics right now is that it is energized,” says Dr. Larry Wang, serving as 2018 Doctors Scientific Program co-chair along with Dr. Chun-Hsi Chung. “We wanted to tap into this energy and bring it to our nation's capital.

“Doctors Program lecturers will address everything from sleep apnea to customized appliances to accelerated orthodontics,” Dr. Wang continues. “We wanted our attendees to receive valuable pearls on the day-to-day challenges we face in our practices all across the globe.  We selected speakers who could present the very latest techniques and clinical protocols on the correction of Class II and III malocclusions, open bites and asymmetries, impacted teeth and TMD therapy, and much more. There is even a discussion on craniofacial patient discoveries on the International Space Station!" *

Lectures in the Doctors Scientific Program will include:
• Dr. James McNamara on early treatment of transverse problems;
• Dr. Terry Sellke on the future of remote monitoring of orthodontic treatment;
• Dr. Jeffrey Okeson on how orthodontists can help the TMD patient;
• Dr. David Sarver on esthetic smile design and case presentations;
• Dr. William Wilcko on long-term results of periodontally accelerated osteogenic orthodontic procedures;
• Dr. Chris Chang on gummy smile correction;
• Dr. Steven Jay Bowman on improving the predictability of clear aligners.

* In cooperation with the UCLA School of Dentistry and Dr. Kang Ting, an AAO member, the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) and the Center for the Advancement of Science in Space (CASIS) advanced a study of osteoporosis and bone growth by taking 40 rodents to the International Space Station in June, to live in a microgravity environment. At Annual Session, Dr. Ting and Dr. Jin Hee Kwak will present, “Taking Craniofacial Patient Discoveries to the International Space Station.”

Mar. 2, 2018

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Network, Find Career Opportunities While at the 2018 Annual Session
Make contacts and gain insights helpful to your career planning process at the 2018 Annual Session, May 4-8 in Washington, D.C.  You will find unique opportunities at events that are partly or entirely for residents and younger members.

Register now for Annual Session (or, if you have registered, access your registration to reserve or purchase event tickets).

Career-Related Annual Session Events
Practice Transition Seminar, Friday, May 4 (Convention Center)
This all-day event includes breakfast, lunch and a cocktail reception sponsored by Ziegler Practice Transitions.  Residents’ ticket price is $60. Members in active practice pay $125.  Members who are approaching retirement and planning to sell their practices, and/or bring in partners or associates, will be in attendance. Presentations by expert consultants will include:
  • “Understanding Orthodontic Transitions: Value, Pitfalls and Associations” – Ken Alexander
  • “DSO Panel Discussion” – Representatives from dental service organizations will be joined by industry consultant Roger Hill
  • “Compensation Expectations during Career Transitions: Associates, Buyers and Sellers” – Doug Copple and Shannon Patterson
  • “C.A.D.E.T. (Coverage Agreements for Death/Disability/Displacement in Emergency Transitions” – Dr. Laurance Jerrold.
New Orthodontists and Residents Conference, Sunday, May 6, 2:30 p.m. – 4 p.m. (Marriott Marquis)
During this free program hosted by the AAO Council on New and Younger Members, keynote speaker Andrew Tucker will present, “Planning Your Professional Future.” Mr. Tucker will address student loan debt, how to balance repayment with tax-advantaged savings, and determining when to prepay debt and when to save. Attendees will also learn the pros and cons of private student loan refinancing, balancing student loan debt with home and practice purchases, and strategies to control income taxes despite loan repayment. Following the keynote, attendees will break into roundtable discussions on various topics of interest to new orthodontists.
There is no fee for members attending this event, and no ticket/reservation requirement.

Orthodontic Career Fair, Sunday, May 6, 4 p.m. – 5:30 p.m. (Marriott Marquis)
Network with employers who are hiring orthodontists and learn about opportunities with their organizations. There is no fee for members attending this event, and no ticket/reservation requirement.

Additional Events of Interest
 ● AAO Member Town Hall, Saturday, May 5, 12 noon – 1 p.m. 
Representatives of the Board of Trustees and the Council on New and Younger Members will be available to discuss issues of interest in a new, round-table for format ideal for direct interaction. The event will be easy to access due to its location in the Exhibit Hall café. The event is open to all members with no registration or ticket required.

Orthodontic Residents Reception, Sunday, May 4, 5:30 p.m. – 8 p.m. (Lucky Strike)
Enjoy relaxing with your friends in the unique Lucky Strike atmosphere featuring chef-driven food and drink, and bowling.

There is no fee for student (resident) members attending this event, but a ticket is required and should be reserved in advance via registration. Guest tickets (required) are available for $35. Sponsored by American Orthodontics.

Risk Management for Residents and New Orthodontists, Sunday, May 6, 8 a.m. – 11 a.m. (Convention Center)
During this free program sponsored by the AAO Insurance Company, learn from claims experts how to avoid malpractice risks specific to the new orthodontist. No ticket or advance registration required.

Younger active (in practice) members who attend the above session or the Saturday morning lecture, “Risk Management for Orthodontists,” will receive a 10 percent premium discount on AAOIC professional liability insurance. Simply complete the certificate provided at the event, return it to the program speaker, and the underwriting department will apply the credit.  If your premium for the year has already been paid, your credit will be applied to your next two years’ coverage.  If you have not renewed your policy for the year, the premium discount will appear as a credit on your upcoming renewal notice.

If you are a graduating resident and purchase AAOIC insurance upon entering practice, you will also be eligible for the premium discount based on having attended an Annual Session risk management program.

View the complete Annual Session Events Schedule
Feb. 27, 2018

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The 2018 Annual Session Planning Committee “knew no meeting would be complete without tackling the issues of practice management in today's economic environment,” says Dr. Larry Wang, Doctors Scientific Program co-chair with Dr. Chun-Hsi Chung. “For the first time, a special program has been put together to look at best practices for consultation techniques, employee motivation, HR management and social media marketing.”

The Business of Orthodontics LIVE! series will feature two three-lecture sessions on Monday, May 7. At the conclusion of each half-day, the lecturers will be part of Q and A panels open to all lecture attendees. Panel discussions will be moderated by Drs. Matthew Ng (morning) and Lance Miller (afternoon).  Expert presenters will include Dr. Mark Dake, Landy Chase and Dr. Terry Sellke in the morning, and Ali Oromchian and Drs. Neal Kravitz and Kyle Fagala in the afternoon.

Tech Intelligence to Help Your Practice Thrive
“We are all aware that technology is a large driving force behind orthodontic practice in this generation,” says Dr. Wang.  “The Planning Committee took the approach of asking the top doctors in the area of orthodontic technology who they would want to hear.  The result is a series of dynamic technology lectures looking at the use of apps for practice efficiency, transitioning to customized digital appliances, keeping IT expenses under control, use of digital workflows in the modern orthodontic office, and other topics of high interest to many orthodontists.”

Technology series speakers will present during Tech Talk, two half-day lecture series on May 6 and May 8. Speakers will include Steven McEvoy and Drs. Martin Palomo, Douglas Depew, Dan Grauer, Aaron Molen, Matthew Larson, Nikhilesh Vaid and Ed Lin.

Both Tech Talk and the Business of Orthodontics LIVE! are included in the Doctors Scientific Program, but some orthodontic staff may find the lectures relevant to their jobs and are welcome to attend.
View the Complete Doctors Program Schedule

Feb. 27, 2018

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Take a break for an early morning 5k run or a brisk walk at the 2018 Annual Session Fun Run/Walk on Sunday, May 6.  Participants will ride a shuttle to the event trail along the scenic Anacostia River in Washington’s Holley Anacostia Park. Add a ticket to this event to your Annual Session registration for just $25, which includes a Fun Run T-shirt.
Purchase Your Fun Run Ticket Online at Annual Session Registration

Tours Combine Culture, History with Outdoor Activities
In conjunction with the 2018 Annual Session, the AAO will offer tours of famous attractions in our host city, as well as fascinating but less well-known sites. Options include walking- and cycling-based tours.

Some attractions in the nation’s capital require advance planning for security that necessitates early registration by those interested in joining tours. Other tour options close early due to popularity. Please note the registration deadlines below.
Click here to access additional information including schedules and fees, and to register for tours.
(After accessing the page, click on Tour Options for detailed tour descriptions.)
Register by March 15, 2018
Monuments by Moonlight: Enjoy the visual impact of spotlights on marble during an evening walking tour featuring the Washington Monument, Jefferson Memorial, FDR (Franklin Delano Roosevelt) Memorials, MLK (Martin Luther King) Memorial, Lincoln Memorial and more.
Arlington National Cemetery: A narrated tour will explore the final resting place of more than 400,000 fallen heroes in the U.S. Armed Services, the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier and President John F. Kennedy’s gravesite.
Bike the Sites: Both avid and occasional cyclists will enjoy a ride encompassing he famous monuments and memorials of the National Mall. The tour fee includes bike and helmet rental.
Hillwood Estate: Marjorie Merriweather Post purchased the estate and converted it into a museum featuring the most comprehensive collection of Russian imperial art outside Russia, as well as Faberge Eggs and 18th century French art. Docents will lead the group through the mansion and 25 acres of gardens and surrounding woodland.
Historical White House Walks: This walking tour in the neighborhood surrounding the White House is also a one-person play led by the character Liz Carpenter, who was press secretary to Lady Bird Johnson (wife of President Lyndon Johnson).
Sites by Segway: After learning how to safely ride a Segway, glide around the National Mall monuments and memorials. A head-set based narrative provides stories about each landmark.
Register by March 31, 2018
First Ladies Walking Tour:  Highlighting the historical contributions of First Ladies and the changing role of the presidential spouse, this tour will include a walk past the White House to the American History Museum to view the First Ladies Collection.
Georgetown Walking Tour: Walk through neighborhoods in Georgetown that were frequented by historically significant men and women including President John F. Kennedy, who planned his campaigns in a Georgetown residence.
Monuments by Day: Ride on a mini-coach to the National Mall, where participants can explore the monuments on foot.
Mr. and Mrs. Washington’s Estate: Explore the 21-room home and garden overlooking the Potomac River and learn about the life of the first U.S. president.
Secrets and Scandals: Be scandalized via a unique look at Washington, D.C.’s storied past, walking through the locations of some of Washington, D.C.’s most famous scandals and cover-ups.  
Feb. 27, 2018

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The hometown newspaper of Congressman John Garamendi reports that the student loan bill (H.R. 4001) that he introduced in the House of Representatives in October is awaiting action by a Congressional committee.

During 2017, AAO leaders and legislative counsel led dental organizations that worked closely with Rep. Garamendi on the bill. The legislator introduced the Student Loan Refinancing and Recalculating Act with Rep. Brian Fitzpatrick of Pennsylvania. Congressman Garamendi is a Democrat and Congressman Fitzpatrick is a Republican, so the bill had immediate bi-partisan support.

The Reporter News of Solano County, California, which includes Congressman Garamendi’s district, published updates on the legislation on February 20.  The article, “Congressman John Garamendi’s bill to ease student loan debt awaits committee action,” reports that the committee responsible for the bill is headed by Representatives Virginia Foxx, Republican-North Carolina and Robert Scott, Democrat-Virginia.  The AAO is listed in the article among organizations supporting the legislation.

The House of Representatives Education and the Workforce Committee must review the bill and prepare a favorable or unfavorable report on it. If it is reported favorably, the Rules Committee would determine when the full House will hear the bill.*

Three orthodontic residents who are AAO members met recently with Congresswoman Foxx to discuss the bill and student debt issues faced by orthodontists. Their meeting with Congresswoman Foxx was arranged by the AAO’s legal counsel.

Key features of H.R. 4001 include:
  • Allowing borrowers to refinance their student loan interest rates to the 10-year Treasury note rate, plus one percent, throughout the lifetime of the loan.
  • Eliminating origination fees and instead setting future student loan interest rates at the 10-year Treasury note rate, plus one percent.
  •  Delaying student loan interest rate accrual for many low- and middle-income borrowers while they are in school.
  • Allowing borrowers in medical or dental residencies to defer payments until the completion of their programs.
Learn More about HR 4001
* “U.S. House of Representatives, Wikipedia
Feb. 26, 2018

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by Dr. Rob Taylor

Last week I returned from the Midwinter AAO conference in Arizona where I must confess it was an uncomfortably warm 85 degrees :).  The educational conference was preceded by the 1-day annual AAO leadership conference.
Attending these conferences was a nice reminder of just how blessed we are to be orthodontists!  More importantly, it reminded me how important it is to get together with old friends and colleagues.  It may have cost me a few bucks not being in my office, but it was worth every penny seeing old friends!  Finally, it was a good reminder of how great the AAO organization is and what it is doing to advocate for our profession.  I feel a great responsibility to convey this message to membership.
It is critical to remember that the AAO is a membership organization.  It is an advocacy organization.  Its primary purpose is to advocate for the benefit of you as a practicing, real-life orthodontist.  Currently, there are some significant forces and issues affecting the orthodontic world.  Some of these forces--if left unchallenged--could dramatically and negatively alter the basic fabric of our profession and leave us wondering how it all happened???
Direct-to-consumer advertising, do-it--yourself/tele-orthodontics, unregulated advertising and providers, student-loan debt, taxes, and  flexible spending accounts are some of the major issues that have changed, are changing, or have the potential to change.
On a daily basis, whether you think about it or not, the AAO is digging in and fighting for YOUR best interest regarding these issues.  As a reminder, we each save hundreds, if not thousands of dollars each year thanks to the moratorium of the 2.3% medical device tax fought for by the AAO.  Flexible spending accounts too were and are under pressure of change.  Think how dramatically your practice would change if FSA's were reduced? … or increased?  Both are potential options in the future and it is nice to know the AAO is fighting for our cause.   Student loan debt too is a serious concern for the AAO leadership, and they are advocating to lessen the burden for future orthodontists.
The biggest concern of many members in recent years has been the goal to educate (and warn) the public regarding the difference between an orthodontist and a dentist.  The Consumer Awareness Program (CAP) is changing gears in a very positive way and they are seeing dramatic improvements in the effectiveness.  If you haven't seen some of the recent creative ads they have published, take some time and check them out.  Here is one that they posted to Buzzfeed and now the link on facebook alone has over 1.9 million views:
I encourage you to share this link and others on your own office sites.
When I personally login to the AAO member site, it shows that my name has been provided to about 400 people in the last seven months on the orthodontist locator site.  If only one of those people started treatment, it is worth the annual CAP assessment.
Do-it-yourself/teleorthodontics in the form of companies like Smile Direct Club is currently a big concern for many.  Personally, I am not overly concerned that this will significantly alter our practice success in the next several years.  Orthodontists treat about 3 million people in the US annually.  There are 300 million Americans.  How many of those non patients would like a quick fix and don't want to deal with an orthodontist--probably a decent number.  But I don't feel it is going to be a large percent of our current patients.  I think it is mostly a different patient pool.  Even if they do take some of our current patients, they do create an increased general awareness and increase the size of the entire orthodontic pie.  In addition, some of those do-it-yourself cases will end up a mess and will eventually find themselves asking for our help.  I am currently treating a patient who had this experience.  She showed up in my office with a 3 mm posterior open bite and was quick to sign up for legitimate treatment.  While I don't believe the current do-it-yourself model will dramatically alter our practices and patient safety, I am concerned about the future and how it can significantly alter the landscape.  The only way we will even have a voice in shaping the future is a collective one.  Individually, we can do very little, but together we can have a powerful voice.
The AAO recognizes the potential harm these companies pose on unsuspecting patients and the legal team currently has filed complaints in 36 states.  What will come of it?  Not sure yet, but we have a dog in the fight thanks to the AAO.
The final point I want to make is the access the AAO provides for continuing education.  It is nice to be part of online study clubs or watch CE from our living room in nothing but our birthday suit if we want.  However, there is something invigorating, something energizing about organized conferences.  Getting together with people who share our common interests and goals and learning from each other is simply invigorating.  It makes us want to do more, to be better and reminds us why we love this profession.  The perfect mixture of science and art, orthodontics is a phenomenal profession.  That is why it was recently rated the #1 job (for you millennials, that is not a hashtag) in the U.S.
May we move forward together always remembering to give back to this wonderful profession and retain the collective voice we have as an organization by supporting the AAO.

Dr. Taylor is the president of the Utah Association of Orthodontists. This message originally appeared in an email to Utah members on February 23, 2018, and was re-published to all AAO members with permission from Dr. Taylor.
Feb. 23, 2018

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Some members have expressed concerns and questions about the Commission on Dental Accreditation’s recent move to remove the word specialty from all CODA documentation, as well as its website. Instead, CODA recently communicated to its communities of interest that it will refer to all advanced dental education disciplines as advanced education programs.

“This is really a clarification to avoid a misunderstanding of CODA's role,” said Dr. Brent Larson, 2017-18 AAO president-elect. “CODA is responsible for accrediting dental education programs of all types and does not, and has not, been responsible for recognizing specialties.”

Last year, Dr. Larson served on an American Dental Association task force that developed a resolution - subsequently adopted by the ADA House of Delegates - calling for establishment of the ADA National Commission on the Recognition of Dental Specialties and Certifying Boards.
Dr. Steven Siegel, AAO Board member and chair of the AAO CODA Review Committee, explained that going forward, dental specialty recognition will be based on the following process:

♦ The ADA Council on Dental Education and Licensure reviews and proposes revisions to the ADA Requirements for Recognition;
♦ The ADA House of Delegates will consider any proposed revisions to the Requirements for Recognition coming from the Council on Dental Education and Licensure;
♦ The new Commission on the Recognition of Dental Specialties and Certifying Boards will apply existing/approved House-approved Requirements for Recognition when considering a request to grant a new specialty recognition.
The AAO has strongly advocated our position that a licensed dentist seeking specialty recognition must have successfully completed an advanced education program of at least two full-time academic years, and that the program be accredited by an agency that is recognized by the United States Department of Education.

“Ultimately, it is this new commission and the courts that now determine specialty recognition - not CODA,” said Dr. Siegel.
View the CODA Communication on Advanced Dental Education Programs

“Specialty recognition and other issues of great importance to our specialty and to the well-being of the public are occurring at the state and local levels,” added Dr. Siegel. “The AAO’s Component Legal Support Fund is here to help our members, but we can only provide help if we know about the issues. If you have any concerns about pending legislation that may affect specialty recognition or advertising as a specialist, please contact AAO Associate General Counsel Sean Murphy (800-424-2841, ext. 523, ."

Feb. 21, 2018

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Searching for orthodontic career opportunities can be challenging, and we aim to ease the process by offering multiple ways to facilitate your search. Join the AAO’s Orthodontic Career Fair held each year during Annual Session to engage face-to-face with employer representatives and discuss available opportunities.