AAO to expand donated orthodontic care program

The American Association of Orthodontists (AAO) is getting help for a program that provides orthodontic care to indigent children.

The Donated Orthodontic Services program now operates in five states (Illinois, Indiana, Kansas, New Jersey and Rhode Island) and may be expanded to other states, the AAO noted in a press release.

The Northeastern Society of Orthodontists (NESO), an organization within the AAO, has developed a business model to help the program grow.

Performance Healthcare Products and Shock Doctor will sponsor the program. Performance Healthcare will donate 10% of sales of Performance scrubs and 25% of sales of Performance sleepwear made to NESO members or contributors to the program. Shock Doctor has contributed $5,000 and will donate 10% of all sales to orthodontists to the program.

Since the program began in 2009, 30 children have completed treatment and 397 more are receiving treatment. The average length of comprehensive orthodontic treatment is 22 months but ranges up to 36 months for patients with severe orthodontic problems.

To date, 380 orthodontic specialists have volunteered their services in the five states. Prospective patients must submit an application for the program and are evaluated by the Dental Lifeline Network to determine eligibility. Families of patients who qualify are asked to pay a nominal fee.

The program accepts AAO members as volunteers. Orthodontists who volunteer for the program are not compensated for their time or reimbursed for the cost of braces, diagnostic tests, or laboratory fees.

For-profit entities who want to become a program sponsors may contact the AAO.

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