AAO Chicago 2023: The World’s Greatest Celebration of Orthodontics

In April, the American Association of Orthodontists Annual Meeting hosted approximately 15,000 orthodontists, specialists, and our own hometown orthodontic team, boasting it as the world's largest celebration doctors who are committed to straightening your teeth (and creating beautiful Forever Smiles). Once every ten years it takes place in our own backyard - Chicago! But what makes this event like none other is that Chicago represents the largest and most actively engaged community of orthodontists and ortho teams in the field.

At this year’s conference, our favorite Forever Smiles team joined the annual session’s Innovation & Tech Talk path to discuss and learn more about the latest advances in orthodontics including valuable insights and developments in 3D printing, artificial intelligence (AI), and customized appliances. Yes, AI has been utilized in the orthodontic field for some time now. For more than 15 years Dr. Yan has been using SureSmile Technology. This system uses AI algorithms to analyze patient data, including 3D scans of the teeth and jaws to generate a customized virtual treatment plan. The AI technology portion of this system helps in the automation and optimization of treatment planning, allowing Dr. Yan to achieve precise and efficient tooth movement. This treatment plan is then systematically used by robotic systems to craft customized archwires, improving the overall accuracy and efficiency by which we ensure your beautiful Forever Smile. For patients, this means we can more accurately predict your finished results and reduce treatment time by as much as 34 percent!

Another major innovation in discussion, or of particular interest to Dr. Yan was a presentation on Dental Autotransplantation as treatment for children with missing teeth. The program reviewed the current options for treatment along with case reports that illustrate successful treatment outcomes.

“This was a particularly interesting presentation as it influences the delivery of care for patients who suffer from social insecurities without a complete smile,” said Dr. Yan. “Autotransplantation is an alternative treatment option to metal implants, specifically in children. This novel method of endodontic therapy involves transplanting a partial root development for a missing tooth, followed by teeth alignment once the tooth has grown into place. It’s fascinating!”

According to one study in children younger than 13, autotransplants had lower annual failure rates when compared to implants and conventional prostheses. You see, implants require long periods of space maintenance and then placement of an implant later. Whereas autotransplantation allows for continuous skeletal growth and preservation of the tissues that support the teeth. So in theory, autotransplantation can result in significant savings in time and cost in younger, still developing patients. Plus, this treatment option still allows for orthodontic treatment of the remaining teeth.

Fascinating indeed! With educational sessions, keynote addresses and amazing technologies shared by exhibitors and peers, AAO 2023 Chicago was more than just another day at the office. It’s another way our Forever Smiles family strives to connect, grow, and learn to better help our patients.

Terheyden, H., Wüsthoff, F. Occlusal rehabilitation in patients with congenitally missing teeth—dental implants, conventional prosthetics, tooth autotransplants, and preservation of deciduous teeth—a systematic review. Int J Implant Dent 1, 30 (2015).

Nimcenko T, Omerca G, Varinauskas V, Bramanti E, Signorino F, Cicciù M. Tooth auto-transplantation as an alternative treatment option: A literature review. Dent Res J 2013;10:1-6.