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AAO holds meeting in nation’s capital.
There were brackets, there were wires, there were retainers, there were digital imaging devices, there were different types of practice management software and there were also hundreds of other products one might commonly think of in association with orthodontics and the running of an orthodontic practice.

But the exhibit hall at the 110th Annual Session of the American Association of Orthodontists also offered some products one might not necessarily associate with the daily duties of an orthodontist’s job yet go a long way to ensuring the success of a practice all the same.

Take Lips Inc., for instance. Jodi and Warren Levine offered lip balm in 30 flavors, from the familiarity of peppermint and strawberry to the more exotic blueberry pomegranate and white cranberry. But why exactly does an orthodontist need lip balm for his or her practice? Because these lip balms come with customized labels, essentially making them a unique business card that patients will not only carry around with them but can also use on a daily basis.

At the booth of Happy Feet, staff members were turning the focus to feet. Meeting attendees had the opportunity to slip on a pair of insoles, which the company says are designed in such a way that you get a foot massage with every step, reducing fatigue, helping with back and leg pain, and, in general, making it more comfortable to get through the day so your focus can be firmly on your patients.

Over at the PracticeGenius booth, the focus was on keeping patients happy. The company has created a web-based marketing and communication application, and it promises to be fun and rewarding for orthodontists and patients alike. Basically, with a personalized membership card you give to them, your patients can earn points for seeing their dental professional regularly, for being on time and for taking such good care of their braces they don’t need to schedule any emergency visits. Patients can earn prizes, which they can redeem online, and you can earn their loyalty.

The AAO Annual Session also offered plenty to learn. Educational sessions began Saturday and continued through Tuesday. From lectures about force measurement to hands-on workshops on skeletal anchorages—and everything in between—there was something for everybody in Washington.

In addition to the doctor’s program, there were also plenty of courses for orthodontic staff.

“This year’s educational sessions truly reflect the theme of the meeting, Passion for Excellence,” said AAO President Dr Robert James Bray, in a letter to attendees.

In addition to the many sessions being presented in the lecture halls, there was also a lot to learn on the exhibit hall floor, where many companies offered presentations right in their booths.


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