Advocacy: How Your Membership Matters
Did you know?
The AAO goes to bat for YOU, our members, in countless ways. For example, just this past year, we have been involved in the United States, Canada and Puerto Rico on issues regarding dental specialty advertising and teledentistry. The AAO’s efforts in regards to direct-to-consumer orthodontics have taken a wide-ranging approach, as we strive to protect the health and safety of orthodontic patients, both current and prospective.
In addition to this AAO Consumer Alert, you can view a timeline of the AAO’s activities regarding direct-to-consumer orthodontics on the AAO member website. This helpful tool displays a chronological view of the numerous actions taken by the AAO regarding direct-to-consumer orthodontics, including actions involving state Dental Boards and provincial Colleges, the Federal Trade Commission (FTC), the Food and Drug Administration (FDA), and federal lawsuits in which the AAO has played important roles.
2018 was also a record-breaking year for the AAO’s Political Action Committee (AAOPAC), which had over $353,000 in contributions from over 790 AAO members. An impressive 76% percent of the federal candidates AAOPAC supported won their elections. Furthermore, the AAO’s 2019 Professional Advocacy Conference in Washington, DC was attended by over 100 members and resulted in 86 House meetings and 60 Senate meetings where AAO members discussed the RAISE Act affecting limits for Flexible Spending Accounts, medical device tax repeal, student debt relief, and small business issues.
Additional Legal & Advocacy Resources
- The AAO’s Legal & Advocacy tab on the AAO Member Website includes numerous samples of releases, waivers, and other forms that your lawyer can use as a starting point when preparing documents for your practice – https://www1.aaoinfo.org/legal-advocacy/.
- As another member benefit, AAO’s Legal and Advocacy Department staffs the Dental Benefits Advisory Service hotline to consult on dental coding and insurance reimbursement matters.
- The AAO has aggregated each state’s dental laws and regulations – https://www1.aaoinfo.org/legal-advocacy/state-laws-and-regulations/
- AAO members can report a non-orthodontist advertising as an “orthodontist” and, if appropriate, the AAO will send the non-orthodontist a cease-and-desist letter – https://www.aaoinfo.org/Node/7899.
- AAO attorneys are available to AAO members to discuss day-to-day issues that arise in their practices. While they cannot represent you, they can provide simple, non-legal guidance. You can contact the AAO legal staff at 1-800-424-2841.
By being an AAO member, you play a part in presenting a unified voice that advocates for the health and safety of orthodontic patients and supports the orthodontic field.
Thank you for your membership.