AAO Gears Up for 2021 Virtual Annual Session

Dear Colleagues,

As we turn the page to a new fiscal year it is my pleasure to update you about the latest developments from the AAO. Did you ever wonder why you get your AAO dues notice around June 1 of each year? For those of us who are intimately involved with AAO governance, this renewal calendar provides an opportunity to ensure that every member recognizes the value in their AAO membership – without competition from end-of-year holidays. Additionally, we are able to thank you, our members, for supporting the orthodontic specialty and contributing to a unified voice of orthodontics.

I’m struck today by an unusual but comforting feeling: excitement about the AAO Annual Session scheduled for the end of June! The need to move this year’s Annual Session from an in-person event in Boston to a virtual meeting was of course disappointing. We were all looking forward to welcoming the world of orthodontics to our beloved Boston.  But a virtual meeting does have its upsides. For one, we’re able to cast a wider net in inviting International Members to join us in what has become the world’s largest celebration of orthodontics. Last year’s Virtual Annual Session boasted over 10,000 registrations from members of the AAO – an Association record!

There are so many excellent speakers who will be participating this year, that I truly don’t know where to begin. Dr. Daniela Garib will present “Aging of the Occlusion: What Should We Know?”. Dr. Christian Groth’s presentation “Exploring New Tech in the Ortho Marketplace” is one that I am looking forward to attending. Other spectacular speakers from NESO include Drs. Ravindra Nanda, Alfred Griffin, Flavio Uribe, Barry Glaser, and Katherine Klein.

Another upside to this year’s virtual event, which includes up to 18 CE hours, is the AAO is providing a “30-Day Replay” of all Annual Session programs. Content from Annual Session will be posted on the event page 24 hours after the Closing Keynote, providing an excellent opportunity to review what you missed at your own pace.

This year’s meeting will also feature a new, exclusive AAO member benefit that we are calling TechSelect. AAO TechSelect is an unbiased resource providing educational items and product previews for the in-house fabrication of clear aligners. This new member benefit brings you the information you need to understand the process, select equipment, software, and supplies for your practice, and get up and running. As you likely know, and I strongly believe, the benefits of in-house fabrication for you and your patients can be a gamechanger.  AAO members indicated there was a need for this resource. Learn about and take advantage of this excellent new resource.

Lastly, we are paying special attention to the value of unity and considering what a unified orthodontic profession looks like. All of the benefits of AAO membership – the practice resources, the outstanding professional advocacy, the award-winning consumer education initiatives – are all made possible through the membership renewals from orthodontists like YOU. Please take a moment in the next few weeks to consider the role that you play in the AAO and what that means to our profession.

And while we’re at it, thank you for your membership in the American Association of Orthodontists!

You can always reach me at and 315-569-8219.




John Callahan

Trustee- Northeastern Society of Orthodontists