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Membership FAQs

Don’t see your questions addressed below? Contact AAO Member Services at 800-424-2841, membership@aaortho.org or chat (click the box below).

Membership Categories + Eligibility

What membership categories are available through the AAO, and how do I know which one is right for me?

AAO member categories and basic eligibility requirements* are as follows:

  • Active – An orthodontist who has completed the full curriculum of an ADA/CDA-accredited orthodontic program in the U.S. or Canada (includes full-time academicians in the U.S. and Canada).
  • Academic (non-U.S./Canada graduates) – An orthodontist who has completed a graduate orthodontic program outside the U.S. and Canada and is employed full-time at an ADA/CDA-accredited dental or orthodontic program in the U.S. or Canada.
  • Student – A student who has been accepted and/or enrolled as a full-time student in an ADA/CDA-accredited orthodontic program in the U.S. or Canada; or has completed the full curriculum of an orthodontic program and been accepted and/or enrolled as a full-time student in an advanced educational program at an ADA/CDA-accredited educational institution (includes formal fellowship training).
  • Service – A military service member or civilian employee of the U.S. or Canadian government who is a practicing orthodontist or commander and has completed the full curriculum of an ADA/CDA-accredited orthodontic program in the U.S. or Canada.
  • Retired – A retired orthodontist who has been an active, service or international AAO member for at least ten cumulative years.
  • International – An orthodontist who has completed an accredited orthodontic program, practices outside the U.S. and Canada, and is a member in good standing of the World Federation of Orthodontists (WFO). WFO membership is not required for graduates of an ADA/CDA-accredited orthodontic program in the U.S. or Canada.
  • International Student – A student who has been accepted and/or enrolled as a full-time student in an orthodontic program outside the U.S. and Canada and is a student member in good standing of the WFO.

 

*For more detailed eligibility requirements, please see AAO Bylaws or contact AAO Member Services at 800-424-2841, membership@aaortho.org or chat (click the chat box below).

What should I do if I need to transfer to another member category?

Transitions between member categories may include Student to Active and Active to Retired, among others. Please note that Student members are automatically transitioned to Active when Student eligibility ends and once verification of graduation has been received. If you believe you may need to immediately transition to another member category, contact AAO Member Services at 800-424-2841, membership@aaortho.org or chat (click the box below).

I have retired from practice. What does that mean for my AAO membership?

First and foremost, congratulations! Members who retire and have been members for at least ten cumulative years (excluding Student membership), may transition to Retired status and enjoy the privileges of membership at no cost. Click here to complete a Retired membership application or contact AAO Member Services at 800-424-2841, membership@aaortho.org or chat (click the box below).

Do I need to be a member of another organization to be an AAO member?

The AAO supports organized dentistry and orthodontics at all levels and encourages membership where it’s available. However, membership outside the AAO is only required for the following member categories and organizations:

  • Active – Membership required in the American Dental Association (ADA) at the time of application with the AAO if you are a permanent U.S. resident. Membership is also required with your designated AAO constituent (regional) organization.
  • Student – Required membership includes the American Dental Association (ADA) at the time of application with the AAO if you are a permanent U.S. resident.
  • International – Membership required in the World Federation of Orthodontists (WFO). Not required for graduates of an ADA/CDA-accredited orthodontic program in the U.S. or Canada.
  • International Student – Membership required in the WFO.

Becoming an AAO Member

How do I join the AAO as a practicing orthodontist?
  • Are you a former AAO member who wants to rejoin? Click here to learn more about reinstatement. 
  • Are you full-time orthodontic faculty at an accredited orthodontic program or dental school? Complete the membership application linked below, and learn more about how to receive a dues reduction. [LINK TO THE THIRD QUESTION UNDER MEMBERSHIP DUES]
  • Have you retired from practice? Learn more about retired membership status. [LINK TO THE THIRD QUESTION UNDER MEMBERSHIP CATEGORIES + ELIGIBILITY]
  • To apply for AAO membership, complete an AAO membership application.
    • Non-student applicants will be charged a $30 application fee.
    • First-time applicants with a permanent U.S. residence must be members in good standing of the American Dental Association (ADA) at the time of application. You will need your ADA number to complete your AAO application.
    • The AAO membership year runs June 1 through May 31.

For questions, contact AAO Member Services at 800-424-2841, membership@aaortho.org or chat (click the chat box below).

How do I join as an orthodontic resident or postgraduate student?
  • To apply for Student Membership complete an online application (preferred) or PDF application.
    • Student Member applications are processed upon receipt and applicants will be charged $30 for the first year’s dues.
    • First-time applicants with a permanent U.S. residence must be members in good standing of the American Dental Association (ADA) at the time of application. You will need your ADA number to complete your AAO application.
    • The AAO membership year runs June 1 through May 31.
  • AAO Student Members are eligible to continue their Student Memberships through May 31st of the year following their orthodontic residency program graduation. Learn more about transitioning to Active membership. [LINK TO THE SECOND QUESTION UNDER MEMBERSHIP DUES]

For questions, contact AAO Member Services at 800-424-2841, membership@aaortho.org or chat (click the chat box below).

How do I join as an international orthodontist?

Note: International applicants must be members in good standing of the World Federation of Orthodontists (WFO). (Graduates of accredited U.S. or Canadian orthodontic programs are exempt from this requirement.)

  • Are you a WFO member?
    • If yes: click here to complete an online AAO application (use your WFO login credentials when prompted).
    • If no: click here to complete a combined AAO/WFO membership application. This application is also available in Spanish.
  • International applications are processed monthly.
  • International applicants who complete the PDF application will be charged a $30 application fee.
  • The AAO membership year runs June 1 through May 31.

For questions, contact AAO Member Services at +001-314-993-1700, membership@aaortho.org or chat (click the chat box below).

How do I join as an international student?

Note: International student applicants must be student members in good standing of the World Federation of Orthodontists (WFO).

  • Are you a WFO member?
    • If yes: click here to complete an online AAO application (use your WFO login credentials when prompted).
    • If no: click here to complete a combined AAO/WFO membership application. This application is also available in Spanish.
  • International student applications are processed monthly.
  • International students may join for FREE for the first year. Renewals are $30 per year.
  • The AAO membership year runs June 1 through May 31.
  • International Student Members are eligible to continue their International Student Memberships through May 31st of the year following their orthodontic training program graduation.

For questions, contact AAO Member Services at +001-314-993-1700, membership@aaortho.org or chat (click the chat box below).

How do I join the AAO Orthodontic Staff Club?
  • To enroll in the Orthodontic Staff Club, complete this application.
    • The Orthodontic Staff Club annual fee is $50 per practice for an unlimited number of staff.
    • The application must be signed by your employer (AAO member doctor).
  • The membership period runs June 1 through May 31.

For questions, contact AAO Member Services at 800-424-2841, membership@aaortho.org or chat (click the chat box below).

 

Membership Dues

What are AAO membership dues?

Annual membership dues vary by member category. Following are dues amounts for the 2019-20 membership year:

  • Active – $793*
  • Academic (non-U.S./Canada graduates) – 50% of Active dues for senior faculty (associate professor or higher) and 25% of Active dues for junior faculty (assistant professor or lower)
  • Student – $30
  • Service – $300
  • Retired – $0
  • International – 50% of Active dues
  • International Student – $30 (free for the first year)

*Accounts for AAO member dues only. Active members also contribute to the Consumer Awareness Program (CAP) assessment, which is $800 per member for the 2019-20 membership year. The CAP is the ONLY mass awareness campaign working to raise awareness among consumers about the benefits of orthodontic treatment provided by specialists. To find out your total amount due, which may also include constituent (regional) and/or component (state) dues, contact AAO Member Services at 800-424-2841, membership@aaortho.org or chat (click the chat box below).

I am a recent graduate and just getting started in practice. Does the AAO do anything for me?

Yes! The AAO realizes this is a challenging time and is committed to supporting you throughout your career. First, we will extend your Student membership eligibility through May 31st of the year following your orthodontic residency graduation. Once you transition to Active status, your dues will gradually increase over the next several years until you reach the full dues/assessment amount:

  • 10% of full dues/assessment in year one* of Active membership (within one year of completing orthodontic residency)
  • 25% of full dues/assessment in year two
  • 50% of full dues/assessment in year three
  • 75% of full dues/assessment in year four
  • 100% of full dues/assessment in year five

*Members who graduate in August through December will transition to first-year Active member after their Student eligibility ends. Members who graduate in January through July will transition to second-year Active member.

I am full-time faculty at an accredited orthodontic program. Am I eligible for a dues reduction?

Yes! Full-time orthodontic faculty at an accredited program in the U.S. or Canada may qualify for a dues reduction to 50% of Active dues for senior faculty (associate professor or higher) and 25% of Active dues for junior faculty (assistant professor or lower). Faculty who are eligible for reduced dues are also exempt from paying the CAP assessment. Click here to access a faculty dues reduction form (department chair signature required). 

I have been an AAO member for a LONG time. Am I eligible for a dues reduction?

In recognition of members’ loyalty and support, the AAO offers Life Active membership to those who have been members for 30 or more cumulative years and are 65 years of age or older. Eligible members receive a reduction to 60% of full dues/assessment and are automatically transitioned to Life Active status when eligibility requirements are met. Life Active members who accumulate 50 years or more of membership are exempt from all dues and assessments.

I only practice part-time. Am I eligible for a dues reduction?

The AAO offers a “senior limited practice” waiver for members who have at least 30 cumulative years of membership and practice no more than 350 hours per year. Eligible members receive a 50% reduction of the full dues/assessment amounts. See the question below on dues waivers to learn how to apply.

I am currently experiencing a financial hardship. Does the AAO offer dues waivers?

Yes! Waivers may be requested by members who:

  • Experience significant financial hardship due to a debilitating medical condition, act of God or other similar event.
  • Have significantly reduced practice time to care for an immediate family member.
  • Are called into active military duty for the U.S. or Canadian government.
  • Have at least 30 cumulative years of AAO membership and practice no more than 350 hours per year.
  • Serve full-time in a humanitarian service capacity.

Click here to learn more or apply for a dues waiver. For questions, contact AAO Member Services at 800-424-2841, membership@aaortho.org or chat (click the chat box below).

Membership Renewal

What is the AAO membership renewal period, and when is my payment due?

The membership renewal period runs from June 1st to May 31st. This is the same for all members regardless of when they join. Renewal notices and invoices are typically sent in late May, prior to the start of the next membership year. Payments are due upon receipt of the first invoice or by June 1st.

Can I set my membership to renew automatically in the future?

Yes! The AAO has made renewing future years of membership easier with auto-renew. This is available on the mailed renewal invoice and during online checkout. If you would like to opt in to auto-renew now, contact AAO Member Services at 800-424-2841, membership@aaortho.org or chat (click the chat box below).

Can I pay my dues in installments?

Yes! The AAO is pleased to offer financial flexibility to meet your budgetary needs. Installment arrangements may be made by contacting AAO Member Services at 800-424-2841, membership@aaortho.org or chat (click the chat box below).

Membership Lapse + Reinstatement

My AAO membership has lapsed. Can I reinstate and is there a fee to do so?

The AAO always welcomes back its former members with open arms! If this is your first occurrence of a lapse, you will be required to pay only the current year’s dues and assessment (if applicable). For members with more than one lapse previously, an administrative fee will be assessed equal to 25% of the dues and assessments missed during the most recent lapsed period (maximum of three years). Click here for detailed instructions for reinstating your membership or contact AAO Member Services at 800-424-2841, membership@aaortho.org or chat (click the chat box below).

Please note that your reinstatement date is not equal to your renewal date. The renewal period for all members runs from June 1st to May 31st.

What’s the downside to letting my membership lapse?

Allowing your membership to lapse means you are no longer eligible to receive the privileges of membership, including significant registration discounts to AAO conferences, eligibility for professional liability coverage through the AAO Insurance Company and your subscription to the AJO-DO, among many others. Allowing your membership to lapse may also impact your amount due when you decide to reinstate (see question above) or your tenure as an AAO member to qualify for Life Active or Retired status.

We hope you take pride in being an AAO member throughout your entire orthodontic career!