The House of Delegates (HOD) will meet on May 4, 2018 and May 7, 2018 at the Washington, D.C. Marriott Marquis, concurrent with the AAO Annual Session.

While voting and speaking privileges are limited to delegates, alternates and certain AAO leaders, members may observe the proceedings. Delegates will discuss, revise and vote on resolutions impacting the future of the AAO during 2018-19 and beyond.

Proposed resolutions will be accessible to all members in the HOD Book of Reports, which will be live at on or before April 20. The site will feature the Book of Reports in its traditional online format as a well as a new tool to navigate resolutions and comment on them. Online comments will be treated as testimony for Reference Committee consideration.

Delegates and alternates – and all members – are encouraged to familiarize themselves with the online comment tool’s functionality. It is anticipated that it will become the single resource for reviewing and commenting on resolutions in 2019.

Schedule and Locations of HOD Meetings
All House of Delegates activities and meetings take place at the:

Marriott Marquis, Washington, D.C.
901 Massachusetts Ave. NW
Washington, D.C.  20001
(202) 824-9200

First House of Delegates Meeting, Friday, May 4

Closed Session:  12:00pm – 12:30pm (Attendance limited to Delegates, Alternate Delegates, Voting Members of the BOT, General Counsel, Executive Director)

Open Session:  Regular business to begin following the Closed Session (approximately 12:40pm – 3:00pm or until conclusion of business)
Location:  Marquis Salons 1-5

2018-19 Budget Review and Consideration of Other Financial Matters

Time:  3:00pm – 4:00pm

Location: Marquis Salons 9-10

Members of the Budget Advisory Committee will be available for questions.


Reference Committee Hearings

Time:  4:00pm – 6:00pm 

Hearing Room Assignments:

- Reference Committee #1(Bylaws):  Marquis Salon 6

- Reference Committee #2 (Policy):  Marquis Salons 7-8

- Reference Committee #3 (Budget):  Marquis Salons 9-10

Second House of Delegates Meeting, May 7

Time:  12:00pm – 5:00pm (or until business has concluded)

Location:  Marquis Salons 1-5

Apr. 5, 2018

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Are your patients who are active in sports protecting themselves from facial injuries? National Facial Protection Month (April) is an ideal time to educate your patients and community about the importance of mouth guard use. National Facial Protection Month is sponsored by the AAO, the American Association of Oral and Maxillofacial Surgeons, the American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry, the Academy for Sports Dentistry and the American Dental Association.

Resources that AAO members can use to promote facial protection in their practices and communities are located in the Facial Protection Month section of and  include:

New statistics from a 2017 AAO study of 1,000 U.S. parents whose children play organized sports are available under Facial Protection Month Media Outreach Materials (in Key Messages for National Facial Protection Month). The statistics are ideal for media interviews about mouth guards and facial protection, or to share on social media.

A new infographic about the three types of mouth guards, and pros and cons of each, is available in Facial Protection Month Stock Photos.  It may be used when doing a local television interview or provided to a newspaper or news website. You may also use the graphic on a practice website/social media outlet.
Social media content:  Like/follow AAO social media during April and share facial protection items that will be posted throughout the month. Channels include Facebook, Instagram, Twitter and YouTube (click on each linked outlet name to access AAO content).

An updated press release template that may be customized for local media outreach, using your name as a source, is now available under Facial Protection Month Media Outreach Materials. Customize and submit to local media outlets or adapt as a blog or social media post.

▪ The handout “When Do You Need a Mouth Guard?” is available for download as a flier and poster.  It is available under Facial Protection Month, “NFPM Posters/Handouts/Fliers - Create an Office Display.” *

The educational flier is a black-and-white piece sized at 8.5” by 11”. The poster is full color and comes in three sizes: 8.5” by 11”, 11” by 17” and 22” by 34”.

▪ The educational flier “Prevent Accidents but Know What to Do If One Occurs” also appears under Facial Protection Month, “NFPM Posters/Handouts/Fliers - Create an Office Display.” *

The flier offers first aid suggestions in the event of a broken, injured or knocked-out tooth. It may be downloaded, customized with your contact information, and given away to coaches and others who work with youth sports teams. It may also be useful for school nurses.

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention fact sheets, including one in Spanish, address concussion and other sports injuries. They are linked for download under Facial Protection Month Fact Sheets.
* If a copy and print service will be printing a poster or flier, be sure to download the AAO Permission to Print letter that is linked on the NFPM Posters/Handouts/Fliers - Create an Office Display page. The letter will meet printers’ requirements when printing copyrighted items from the AAO website.

Apr. 5, 2018

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by Dr. Iva Manevska
Today it’s clear that malocclusion affects a person’s self-confidence and everyday interaction with others. As a result, in part, having braces has become more of a fashion accessory than ever before. Even models in some of the latest fashion campaigns have braces and are not intimidated by them. But while more people want to have braces, once they are in treatment the first question they ask after the band up is, “When are they coming off?” What happens in between, and how can we prevent this? How do we as orthodontists deliver treatment while maintaining the motivation level of our patients?
Large orthodontic appliance manufacturers and companies are now present in our everyday lives, and those of our patients. Technology is a major part of orthodontic treatment. We have a myriad of appliances and protocols which promise all of us - the teenager on his Facebook page and the adult who never had the courage to undergo treatment - a faster, invisible and painless orthodontic experience. So, how can we stand out here? There isn’t a universal formula or a magical approach, but there are basic characteristics which differentiate the great orthodontist from a good orthodontist.
First, we must understand the human psychology and motivation patterns. Every patient is unique. We don’t just straighten teeth; we help the bullied child, the shy boy in the back of the classroom, the girl who wants to become a movie star, the next Mark Zuckerberg. Orthodontic treatment can be more effective and successful when patient compliance is present. The role of the clinician is to find the key approach that will empower individual patients. Our responsibility is to understand the patient, and it all begins with the attitude of the orthodontist. The effectiveness of treatment depends on the positive attitude and effort of the orthodontist. Here are five tips for providing the most effective and pleasant orthodontic treatment that will keep your patients motivated:
1. Make the Office and Treatment a Positive Experience
Positive psychology has the potential to change people’s lives. The orthodontic office should be friendly, relaxed and professional. Everyone is in a constant rush to achieve something, go somewhere or create something. Everyone has some kind of inner struggle or fight. So, one thing we can do for our patients is to make the time spent at our office as enjoyable as possible. Always make positive notes about the progress and ask, in a kind manner if the hygiene or cooperation is lacking (while explaining the benefits). As a result, when the patient thinks about treatment, positive thoughts come to mind.
Apply the same attitude with your team. Make sure your team understands how you want the office to be viewed. Make it a place the patient wants to return, a place which will create good memories. We have the unique chance to “raise” our patients by watching them transform from insecure adolescents to self-confident young adults. So, do the best you can for the patient in this very important aspect of their personal development.
2. Educate Patients and Staff, Keep Up-to-Date with Social Media
In the aesthetically-conscious society of the 21st century, with millennials being the major group of patients in our offices, we must keep up with fast-changing technologies to communicate effectively with patients. Malocclusion is a deviation from a norm, which is understood differently by the professional and the lay person. In any stage of treatment, a problem must be explained to the patient. Solutions to the problem and the patient’s role in the proposed solution should also be proposed. As a result, short term goals are established and motivation is refreshed. Choose your team carefully and make sure they share the same vision and passion. Together, with good communication, you will ensure the patient and parent understand the costs and benefits of treatment and their role in it.
3. Involve the Patient in Treatment Decisions
The Internet gives patients access to all kinds of information regarding orthodontics. It is not uncommon for a patient to come to the office requesting a specific treatment or appliance. Carefully listen to the patient’s thoughts and concerns, and then discuss the benefits, risks and any possible treatment modalities. Give your professional opinion based on experience, but let the patient have an active role in the final decision. This results in feeling that the patient is a part of the team and responsible for the treatment outcome.
4. Develop a Reward System and Establish Short-term Goals
Develop achievable and short-term goals. When improvement is seen, it must be shared with the patient. Information should be given about the treatment progress. Orthodontic treatment can be uncomfortable and time consuming, so we must remind our patients of the final goal and encourage them on their journey toward it. Compliments and concern can be expressed in the right words and at the right time. A sense of success offers the patient a foundation on which to build other positive experiences.
5. Practice Good Communication Techniques
The conversation should start on a personal note. Good communication should be two-way, and the orthodontist must be a good listener. Carefully listen to the patient’s concerns, requests and questions. Address all issues in a kind, professional manner while making horizontal communication (your eyes and the patient’s eyes in the same line), so the patient is not intimidated or afraid of you. Communicate in a positive manner. Nonverbal communication is also important. When explaining something, try to be as simple and clear as possible. Don’t forget to ask the patient if they have any questions after you have finished your explanation!
The uniqueness and greatness of orthodontics is its power to change people’s lives and make a positive impact. We as orthodontists have the privilege to provide a hugely impactful change in people’s lives; we must do our best while delivering this life-changing service.
Dr. Iva Manevska is an AAO International Student Member and postgraduate orthodontic student at Saints Cyril and Methodius University in Skopje, Macedonia. She can be reached at
Apr. 5, 2018

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During the past year, the AAO Consumer Awareness Program’s digital marketing efforts have vastly expanded public exposure to the AAO’s accurate information about orthodontic treatment and the importance of seeing a specialist.  Recent achievements include:

▪ So far during Fiscal Year 2017-18, AAO text ads with messages like, “Straighten Teeth the Right Way – See an AAO Orthodontist,” have appeared in results of over 5 million Google searches pertaining to orthodontic treatment and brought many new visitors to the AAO consumer website.

▪ Monthly visits to the consumer website,, are up 6,100 percent.  In February 2018, the site had over 700,000 visitors, as compared with February 2017, when it had about 10,000 visitors.

▪ Consumer Awareness Program content is on social platforms such as Facebook, Instagram, Twitter and YouTube. (Click on each name to follow those channels). So far in FY18, over 51 million unique consumers have seen AAO social media ads an average of 7-8 times. The average monthly Facebook reach now exceeds 20 million.

▪ New creative formats and campaign strategies driving consumer engagement and additional exposure have included the AAO’s recent video, “Normal People vs. The Professionals,” which launched on Buzzfeed in December 2017, and the National Orthodontic Health Month social media and public relations campaign, “Seven Myths about Orthodontic Treatment.”

▪ A Google brand engagement study of an AAO YouTube video showed that it was viewed by 4.8 million unique users, who were 615 percent more likely to search for AAO terms than users who were not exposed to the video.

▪ Many consumers visiting search for member orthodontists on the Find an Orthodontist locator, which now includes a Request an Appointment option.  This option is automatically provided for each member for whom the AAO has a business email address on file* (the email address is not publicly displayed). Search results for the locator are ordered by proximity to the address entered in the search box.

* Your practice website address will also be displayed on your Find an Orthodontist locator listing if the AAO has your practice URL in our database. To add an email address or web URL to your member profile:
  1. Visit the AAO member website,
  2. Sign in with your username and password.
  3. Click on “My AAO” near your name the top of the page.
  4. Click on “AAO Member Profile.”
  5. Click on “Edit” (in green) next to Demographic Information if you need to update your demographic information.
  6. Click on “Edit” (in green) next to Contact Information to add or update your email address or website URL, by clicking the green word, ADD, next to My Email Addresses or My Websites.
    When adding an email address, you will have the option to select “business” or “personal” using a pulldown feature. The Request an Appointment function on the Find an Orthodontist locator will only work if you input a business email address.
    When adding a website URL, confirm that it is your primary website address by clicking on YES below the text box.
  7. After adding your email address or website URL, click the SAVE button.
Mar. 30, 2018

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Sponsored by the AAO and the AAO Insurance Company (AAOIC, an RRG) Annual Session risk management seminars are open to all attendees. All seminars are free with no ticket required.

Practicing orthodontists who carry AAOIC professional liability insurance will receive a 10 percent premium reduction credit for two years after attending either the Risk Management for Orthodontists program or the Risk Management for Residents and New Doctors program.*

Risk Management for Orthodontists
(AAOIC Premium reduction credit 10 percent - for two years)
Saturday, May 5: 8:00 am – 11:00 am at the Marriott Marquis (Salon 6)
CE Credit: 2.5 hours

Attend this program to learn how to protect your practice and minimize your risk.

Risk Management for Orthodontic Staff
Saturday, May 5: 2:30 pm – 3:30 pm at the Convention Center, (Street Level, Room 150)
CE Credit: 1 hour
Orthodontic staff can contribute to or help prevent malpractice claims against the orthodontist in countless ways, from patient communication and records documentation to health/dental history-taking and performing clinical procedures. This program will enable your team to help reduce malpractice exposure for your practice.

Risk Management for Residents & New Doctors
(AAOIC Premium reduction credit: 10 percent - for two years)
Sunday, May 6:  8:00 am – 11:00 am at the Marriott Marquis (Salon 6)
CE Credit: 2.5 hours
This program will address how choice of practice venue, communication skills and record-keeping practices affect malpractice exposure, as well as due diligence regarding potential employment opportunities and defensive practice techniques. 

* 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.
American Association of Orthodontists is an ADA CERP Recognized Provider. ADA CERP is a service of the American Dental Association to assist dental professionals in identifying quality providers of continuing dental education. ADA CERP does not approve or endorse individual lectures or instructors, nor does it imply acceptance of credit hours by boards of dentistry.

Concerns or complaints about a CE provider may be directed to the provider or to the Commission for Continuing Education Provider Recognition at

Mar. 29, 2018

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Dr. Nahid Maleki, AAO president, is eager to see 2018 Annual Session attendees enjoy every aspect of the meeting and the experience of being in the nation's capital. Dr. Maleki has spent most of her adult life studying and working in Washington, D.C. She completed her orthodontic residency at Georgetown University, then became a tenured associate professor at her alma mater and has been in private orthodontic practice in the heart of the city since 1982.

The city’s historic Georgetown neighborhood, which extends along the Potomac River and features Federal-style architecture and cobblestone streets, is one of Dr. Maleki’s favorite places to explore.

“In Georgetown, there's a story to be told everywhere you look,” says Dr. Maleki. “After walking past Jackie Kennedy's N Street home, you can visit in the booth at Martin's Tavern (1264 Wisconsin Avenue, NW), where President (John F.) Kennedy proposed to her.* A climb on the ‘Exorcist steps’ (featured in the film of the same name) can be rewarded by a meal at the Tombs (located nearby at 1226 36th Street, NW).  Patisserie Poupon (1645 Wisconsin Ave, NW) is the place to meet a friend for a quiet morning coffee and pastry or quiche.”

Dr. Maleki also invites Annual Session attendees to visit the Historic Georgetown Club, of which she is a member, for relaxation, food or drinks at any time while in Washington.  Designed to be similar to renowned, elegant dining clubs in London and Paris, the club is often visited by world leaders, diplomats and business leaders. To gain admission to the club, say that you are a friend of Dr. Nahid Maleki’s.

Dr. Maleki’s favorite venues in Georgetown also include:

♦ The happy hour at Sea Catch (1054 31st Street, NW), known for its ambience and array of oysters;
♦ Bistrot LePic (1736 Wisconsin Ave., NW), offering renowned French cuisine. A private dining room upstairs may be reserved for special occasions;
♦ The Georgetown Library (3260 R Street, NW), featuring quiet, elegant reading rooms and a beautiful view of the Potomac River.
* Among the selections in the 2018 AAO Tours program is a “Walking Tour of Georgetown,” which will include these and other historic sites in the neighborhood. Register for the tour by March 31.
Learn More
Mar. 29, 2018

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Dr. Robert Moss is pictured with his daughter,
Dr. Catharine Brannan
The AAO Component Legal Support Fund, established by the House of Delegates in 2015, is enabling the AAO to provide valuable assistance to Georgia members as they face proposed state rules changes to dental laws regarding False, Misleading or Deceptive Advertising.

Last September, the Georgia Board of Dentistry Rules Committee began considering a proposed update to Georgia’s specialty advertising regulation that would remove all language referring to those specialties recognized by the American Dental Association (including orthodontics), and instead use broadened language.  The AAO Legal Department heard about this change and submitted a formal response on behalf of Georgia’s orthodontists during the applicable comment period. The AAO’s advocacy efforts resulted in the specialty advertising change being tabled while the ADA House of Delegates was considering establishment of a new, separate specialty recognition body.

With input from the AAO and other specialties, the ADA HOD voted to establish the National Commission on Dental Specialties and Certifying Boards. Subsequently, however, the rule change regarding specialty advertising again became an item on the Georgia Board of Dentistry’s agenda.  AAO Associate General Counsel Sean Murphy became aware of this and alerted Dr. Robert Moss. As an orthodontist with practices in Albany and Americus, Georgia, Dr. Moss was able to attend the Board’s meeting earlier this month and discuss the proposed rule change.

“The only notice that we had that the rule change was going to be discussed again was the result of continued communication with the Board by Sean Murphy,” says Dr. Moss, who is the Georgia Association of Orthodontists delegate to the AAO House of Delegates.

“As a Georgia dental provider, I was able to attend the rules meeting,” Dr. Moss continues. “My daughter, Dr. Catharine Brannan, an orthodontic resident and student member of the AAO, accompanied me. I was invited to speak regarding the proposed change. My message was simple: The new language is very broad and could be open for unintended interpretation. The AAO recommends the language recently adopted by the Louisiana State Board of Dentistry,* which requires a dentist seeking specialty recognition to have successfully completed at least a two year, post-doctoral program accredited by an accreditation body recognized by the U.S. Department of Education.  Because the AAO had submitted this language to the Georgia Board, it was read into the record, and all present spoke very favorably of this approach.”

Dr. Moss believes that the next step will probably be another comment period with an open public discussion in the near future, during which Sean Murphy from the AAO and AAO orthodontists will be able to provide comment.

“The Component Legal Support Fund has made it possible for the AAO to not only be involved with Georgia’s rule change issue, but also to have one of our attorneys, Sean Murphy, attend many important state board of dentistry hearings all over the country,” says Dr. Moss. “Consideration of who or what is a specialist is now taking place in more than a dozen states and the AAO is there, advocating that specialty laws should not be diluted and educational requirements for specialists should not be lowered.”

You are, of course, entitled to exercise your own constitutional rights as a citizen of your state and contact or make comments to your government about any public health and safety matter.  Should you feel compelled to do so, you can individually and independently contact your respective state dental board (contact information for state dental boards is available on the AAO website under the “Legal and Advocacy” tab), elected officials, and/or attorneys general regarding your own thoughts about this or any important public health and safety matter.  In addition, if your state is considering actions of concern to orthodontists, please contact Sean Murphy at to learn about the Component Legal Support Fund.

* In October 2017, the Louisiana State Board of Dentistry adopted language that reads in pertinent part: “The board finds that terms implying that a dentist is a specialist in some field of dentistry are terms of art indicating that the dentist has completed an accredited post-doctoral educational program in that field of at least two years. Therefore, a licensed dentist seeking specialty recognition must have successfully completed a post-doctoral program in a specialty area of dentistry consisting of at least two full-time years and which is accredited by an accreditation agency that is recognized by the United States Department of Education.”
Mar. 22, 2018

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