Trustee Update: AAO TechSelect March 2021 eNews

Well, spring is in the air and this one seems special. Hopefully, you are well, being safe, and have been vaccinated! I can’t wait until we can reconnect F2F. I have the AAO’s Annual Session at the end of June circled twice on my calendar.

Another reason this spring is special is that I get to promote some really innovative AAO programs that will be available to members later this spring and in the fall. I am all about what can be done to use technology to enhance our practice and our patient experience. 

AAO TechSelect

AAO TechSelect is an unbiased, comprehensive resource to educate members on the process of in-house fabrication of aligners and how to evaluate products such as 3D printers and tooth movement software. The keyword is unbiased. We all get bombarded with ads telling us that one particular company or another can teach us (and sell us) how to do in-house aligner fabrication. We know it has merit, but bringing aligner fabrication in-house may seem like a daunting endeavor. Is it worth it?

A little background- In the spring of 2019, the AAO’s Growth and Transformation staff conducted a survey of consumers who completed or were considering DTC aligner treatment.

The study revealed that cost was most important in their purchase decision.  The study also revealed that if the price were the same, most would consider clear aligner treatment administered by an orthodontist. With the advertised price of DTC aligner treatment between $1,950 – $2,386 and the price of the lab fees that we orthodontists pay for third-party aligners, getting anywhere close to that price point is impossible.

With an average cost of $366 for 14 sets of aligners, in-house fabrication of aligners for minor tooth movement makes it possible. 

No one is saying cheapen your services. Rather offer a new treatment option with lower costs that you can pass along to your patients while making a similar margin. This can bring new patients to your office and be a new source of revenue to your practice. It will take many of you to step out of your comfort zone but the long-term benefits far out way sitting on the sidelines.

So get ready to get started- TechSelect will go live in May. The TechSelect website will feature over 30 videos (many featuring Dr. Ken Webb – NESO President-Elect and member of CTECH), guides, and interactive tools, including an investment payback calculator to assist members in their journey to bring fabrication of aligners in-house.

It features products that meet criteria established by the AAO Committee on Technology (CTECH), with the best prices to be available to AAO members who contact companies through the TechSelect program. CTECH will also support members in real-time through the AAO Tech Talk Facebook group.

TechSelect is a member benefit that has only one purpose-enable you to treat more patients by providing a viable treatment option for patients in need of minor tooth movement who may be considering DTC. What a great member value!

Please stay well and be safe. You can always reach me at or 315-569-8219.


John Callahan, Trustee- Northeastern Society of Orthodontists