BCSO Patient Transfer Policy

The CAO has standardized a Patient Transfer Form and a Transfer of Patient Kit to facilitate the transferring of patient information regarding diagnosis, treatment plans, professional fees, etc. These forms can be obtained from the CAO administration office:

c/o CAO secretary (currently Ms. Diane Gaunt)
2175 Sheppard Ave. East, Suite # 310
Willowdale, Ontario, M2J 1W8
Fax: (416) 491-1670

Transfer of Patient in Treatment

Transfer of patients can be a smooth and professional part of orthodontic treatment providing there is a definite protocol. A well-informed patient or parent, a good mechanism for transfer of information between transferring orthodontist and accepting orthodontist and a positive attitude goes a long way to a transfer that is efficient and satisfactory to all parties. It is the responsibility of the transferring orthodontist to arrange for the continuation of orthodontic treatment, and that responsibility does not end until such transfer is complete.

Below are samples of “patient release forms” for those members who wish to use them. It is suggested that any records released to a patient or guardian should be signed for.

AAO transfer forms are available to AAO members off the AAO website atwww.aaomembers.org. They are under “Practice Resources/Office Management/Practice Management Forms/Select and Download Forms/ Transfer/Patient in Active Treatment and Transfer/Patient in Retention and also Request for Release of Patient Records).

Transferring Orthodontist

  1. Once the patient has requested to be transferred, the referring orthodontist should provide the patient with the name, address and telephone number of an orthodontist in a convenient location. Choose someone who uses the same appliance or has had similar training if possible.If the patient is unsure as to their exact new address, a choice of offices could be given, for example: by means of a photocopy of the appropriate part of the orthodontic directory highlighted to indicate the possible offices.

    If the patient or transferring orthodontist is not able to choose a specific office to transfer the patient to, the original transfer form and records should remain at the office of the referring orthodontist until a request is received from the new office. A copy of the transfer form could go with the patient to aid the new orthodontist at the first visit.
  2. Suggest the patient contact the new orthodontic office as soon as possible (even before their move) to set up a convenient appointment. Some offices maybe booked well in advance.
  3. Prior to the patient's final visit, complete the patient transfer form and calculate any financial transactions to be done. The proportion of the fee retained should not be based on the number of months that the patient has been under treatment, but rather the proportion of the treatment completed to date. It is important to complete all the information on the transfer form that pertains to that patient so the accepting orthodontist can confidently give a treatment plan and fee as quickly as possible. A copy of the transfer form could go with the patient to aid the new orthodontist at the first visit.
  4. Ensure the appliance is in good order prior to transfer.
  5. Advise the patient;
  • of any instructions regarding their appliance should there be a delay in transfer
  • of the progress of treatment so far and if their cooperation has been adequate
  • that the new orthodontist will treat the case in the manner he sees fit, and he may wish to take further orthodontic records to formulate his treatment plan (there may be a charge associated with these records)
  • various appliance changes may be necessary
  • fees and treatment times may vary considerably
  • to contact your office should the transfer not be completed, and that you will be available to the accepting orthodontist for consultation.
  • Do not attempt to estimate the length of time the accepting orthodontist will require to complete the case.
  • A written letter to the patient with the above information and the accepting orthodontist's name, address and phone number would be beneficial.
  1. Upon request from the accepting orthodontist, send at once the following items, properly packed;
  • preliminary orthodontic study models
  • any progress models (ideally a set taken at time of transfer)
  • preliminary panoramic radiograph or intra-oral radiographs
  • preliminary cephalometric radiograph
  • preliminary intra- and extra-oral photographs
  • a fully completed transfer form, listing all records sent with form and those sent under separate cover
  • any further records, notations or information that would be beneficial.

Note: Legally you do not have to transfer or provide to the patient the original records. However the information must be available, therefore duplicate records are suggested.

It has been suggested that when the accepting practitioner is not a certified specialist in orthodontics that you have the patient/responsible party sign a statement that they realize the new practitioner is not a specialist in orthodontics to avoid any misunderstanding.

Accepting Orthodontist

  1. If the patient is not going to receive treatment at your office, please make every effort to cooperate with the transferring orthodontist in securing the services of a competent orthodontist in the most convenient location.
  2. If you accept the patient in your practice, request all records and transfer form immediately after the patient’s initial visit. In the case where the patient brings their records to the new office, send some sort of verification to the transferring orthodontist to acknowledge the patient has transferred and is receiving care.
  3. After studying the transfer data, discuss the case with the patient at the earliest convenience. Previous treatment should not be discredited. If major financial changes are necessary, present them in a way that does not adversely reflect on the transferring orthodontist. Criticism of previous treatment should be avoided. Most patients think well of treatment received and resent criticism of the transferring orthodontist.
  4. A letter to the transferring orthodontist to confirm continuation of treatment is a courtesy.
  5. Resume the patient’s treatment as quickly as possible and provide the same care and consideration given to all patients.
  6. Transfer records are recommended. The completeness of the records taken may depend on; where the patient is in the overall treatment plan, the success of the treatment to date and the complexity of the overall treatment. Transfer records establish a permanent record of the occlusion at the time of transfer, allow an assessment of treatment to date and facilitate establishment of the treatment required to complete the case.
  7. One formula for financial calculations of fee division includes the following breakdown of the average 24 month treatment plan
  8. 28 % Initial fees
  9. 2% per month for the monthly fees
  10. 24% Band removal and retention

Transfer of Patients in Retention

Transfer of patients in retention is a simpler task, but it must be stressed to the patient that there is still the need for orthodontic supervision. A transfer form (the CAO form or the AAO transfer in retention form* should be completed and the patient referred to a new orthodontist. A copy of the transfer form could go with the patient to aid the new orthodontist at the first visit. Records and transfer form should not be forwarded until requested by the accepting orthodontist. –

*AAO transfer forms are available to AAO members off the AAO website at www.aaomembers.org. They are under “Practice Resources/Office Management/Practice Management Forms/Select and Download Forms/ Transfer/Patient in Active Treatment and Transfer/Patient in Retention and also Request for Release of Patient Records

The patient should be warned that retention fees may be customary at the new office and a portion of the treatment fee refunded if necessary.

CDA Guidelines for referring patients to dental specialists

This information is provided only as a guideline to assist dentists and orthodontists in the referral process. It suggests times and areas where communication may be enhanced. It should be utilized in compliance with the knowledge of any associated regulations of the BC Dental Association.

Communication between the Referring Dental and the Orthodontist

  1. The patient (parent or guardian if appropriate) should be informed of the nature of the problem necessitating referral.
  2. Referral to a specific orthodontist is recommended. This decision should take into account any patient preference.
  3. The patient should be informed that all relevant information will be sent to the specialist in advance of the consultation appointment.
  4. The patient should be given information which will assist in introduction to the specialist, such as pre consultation instructions (where indicated), educational material and directions to the specialist’s office.

Communication between the Referring Dentist and Specialist

  1. The referring dentist should convey, in advance, all information which will assist the orthodontist in providing a complete consultation service to the patient. This would include:
  2. name, age, address, and telephone number of patient
  3. reason for referral
  4. any medical history which may require antibiotic coverage in advance of the consultation or other precautions to allow oral examination
  5. pertinent records such as radiographs, models, and any contributing previous medical and/or dental history
  6. assessment of the patient’s level of awareness, interest or concern regarding oral health and projected treatment.

Communication between the Specialist and the Patient

  1. 1.    Prior to consultation, the specialist’s office should provide the patient with the details of the appointment time, date and the location of the office. Information regarding the approximate duration of the consultation visit, consultation fee, and any pre-consultation instructions may be conveyed either routinely or in response to the patient’s request.
  2. After consultation, the specialist should provide the patient with information adequate to make an informed decision, including:
  3. a diagnosis, recommended treatment, and a prognosis. When discussing treatment, the advantages and disadvantages, including costs of both the recommended treatment and alternative approaches, should be clarified.
  4. the ramifications of the proposed treatment. This should cover the need for future treatment, and follow-up maintenance.
  5. the expectation that the patient will return to the referring dentist for ongoing dental care. If follow-up specialist care is anticipated, it should be coordinated with the general dentist in such a way as to avoid duplication of effort.

Communication between the Specialist and the Referring Dentist

  1. The specialist’s office should confirm receipt of a referral made through correspondence and relay the timing of the scheduled consultation appointment to the referring dentist
  2. In the event that the patient fails to keep the consultation appointment, the referring dentist should be informed.
  3. When a consultation is provided on the basis of self-referral by the patient, the patient’s general dentist should, with the patient’s permission, be sent a report in order to keep the patient’s record current.
  4. After consultation, a report from the specialist indicating a diagnosis and proposed treatment plan should be sent to the referring dentist. Any anticipated dental care, prior, during or after the specialist’s treatment should be discussed.
  5. In those situations where the specialist determines the need for dental care outside his/her, specialty, the specialist should confer with the referring dentist to determine whether the patient’s need will be met by the general dentist or by another specialist and, if the latter, which specialist.
  6. Progress reports should be communicated when treatment has been delayed or interrupted or significantly modified.
  7. A final report should be sent at the end of treatment when the patient is returned to the general dentist’s care. This report should include suggestions for maintenance, follow-up or review and recommendations for further treatment. In addition any records supplied by the referring dentist should be returned at this time.
  8. On occasion, at the completion of active treatment the patient may not wish to return to the referring dentist, and request referral to a new general dentist. In this situation, the specialist should inform the patient that professional ethics prevent further referral until the patient has discontinued the existing professional relationship with the original dentist.
  9. A request for a second opinion should be treated as a regular consultation. A report should be submitted as in (4) above to the person requesting the second opinion. A copy of the report should be made available to the “first” specialist, subject to permission of the patient.

Method of Information Transfer

In the majority of situations, it is preferable that communication between referring dentist and specialist, in both directions, be in writing, since it becomes part of the patient’s record. For the same reason it is advisable to record communication with the patient regarding diagnosis, treatment plan, fees and payment schedules in written form for both the patient’s records and those of the general dentist or specialist.

There are occasions, however, when the telephone communication is indicated. Examples include:

  • establishing the time and date of the specialist’s consultation. It is more efficient to do this directly from the referring dentist’s office with the patient present to coordinate his/her schedule with the specialist’s. In addition, the referring dentist knows immediately when the patient will be seen.
  • when emergency care is required. Referral by telephone allows the patient to be seen more quickly.

In both these examples there is a need for the transmission of other information.
In an emergency situation the patient can be given a written report and/or radiographs, etc. to be hand-carried to the specialist.
In a non-emergency situation, the relevant referral information and records can be sent by mail, private courier or facsimile transmission.
In both cases the telephone aspect of the referral is beneficial but incomplete, and further information must be sent to the consulting specialist.

Coordination of Ongoing Care

The concept of shared professional responsibility for the patient’s overall dental health in the short, medium and long term, is an inherent and integral part of the referral process. Success will be dependent upon clear, effective and open communications between dentist, specialist and patient.

CAO Insurance Claim Forms

The Canadian Association of Orthodontists has developed a standard orthodontic claim form for use by Certified Specialists in Orthodontics only. This form is used for all patients with single or dual third party insurance.

Insurance Claim Forms

Options to obtain a supply of these forms

  1. This form can be downloaded from the CAO website in the Members Only section – Orthodontic Insurance/CAO Insurance Guidelines and Form. Click here to access the form.
  2. Some orthodontic computer software companies have the form already entered in and so can print forms on your printer.

MSP: Cleft Lip & Palate & Craniofacial Anomolies


All patients born with cleft lip & palate in British Columbia are screened by the Cleft Palate Team at Children's Hospital and placed on an automatic recall system. The frequency of their visits depends on the severity of their case. If a patient transfers to you from outside of British Columbia with an orofacial cleft or craniofacial syndrome and is not yet registered with the Medical Services Plan of B.C. and you would like their case assessed for coverage (note: we do not review patients to determine eligibility for coverage) or reviewed, they can contact Children’s Hospitals Cleft Palate Team Nurse Clinician/Coordinator (currently Sandra Robertson) at 604 875-2345 Extension 7057. They will then be assessed by the appropriate members of the Cleft Palate Team which includes: an orthodontist, plastic surgeon, ear nose and throat specialist, audiologist, social worker, paediatrician, speech pathologist and clinical nurse.Patients with cleft lip and palate who have registered with the Medical Services Plan of B.C. can receive comprehensive orthodontic treatment under the negotiated BC Dental Association fee schedule. The only stipulation is that patients must have required or will require what is called “plastic surgical repair”.

Patients who suffer from severe craniofacial anomalies are treated under “independent consideration” (IC), and may be eligible for comprehensive orthodontic care (also funded through MSP).

If there are any questions, complaints or suggestions, please contact the current BCSO Cleft Palate Representative. Currently this position is held by:

Dr. Paul Pocock
#600-224 West Esplanade
North Vancouver, V7M 1A4
Tel: 604 983-2132 Fax: 604 988-4071

Cleft Lip & Palate

Procedure for Obtaining Coverage under MSP Orthodontic Program

If you are treating a patient with a cleft lip and /or palate you may request payment for your services under the Orthodontic Program. To receive payment, you must submit the orthodontic treatment plan and estimate of fees on the MSP Eligibility Form (see pages 7-16 & 7-17). Do not submit records unless you plan to bill unusual treatment procedures.

Submit the Eligibility Form to:

Medical Services Plan Orthodontic Program
Box 1600
Victoria, BC, V8W 2X9
Attn: Claims Supervisor (currently Diane Foort)

You will receive an approval letter – MSP Orthodontic Program Authorization form from Health Insurance BC to confirm the treatment fees. To receive payment, you must submit a MSP Claim Card within 90 days of the date of service. Claim Cards are pre-printed with the practitioner name and number and may be requested from:

Medical Services Plan Practitioner Services
Box 2000
Victoria, BC, V8W 2Y4

Billing for the initial fee will indicate to MSP that treatment has commenced and the claim or balance of the claim will automatically be upgraded to the newly negotiated rate annually thereafter. To facilitate payment, it is essential that you complete claim cards as accurately and thoroughly as possible. The following instructions may assist you (see sample claim form below):

  1. MSP identity and dependent numbers. The identity number will be either an eight or a nine digit number and the dependent number is always two digits.
  2. First name and initial, surname, month and year of birth of the patient.
  3. Date of service (month/day/year).
  4. Practitioner name and number, and claim number. This is pre-printed.
  5. Diagnostic code (749 for cleft lip and palate)
  6. Procedure code (see pages 7-4 to 7-14).
  7. Signature of practitioner.

Prosthetic Program - Cleft Lip & Palate

All general dentists may not be aware of this program, so the following information is included here.
The Association of Dental Surgeons (now the BC Dental Association) originally negotiated with MSP for the Cleft Lip/Palate Prosthetic Program in 1991. Funding from the program provides prostheses to older children and teens that have undergone some form of congenital cleft repair or other cranial abnormality.

The Association administers $63,500 per year in a funding grant from MSP for the Cleft Lip and Palate Prosthetic Program to assist in serving the needs of patients who have undergone some form of congenital cleft repair. Because funds are limited, it is natural to assume that not all cleft patients will be eligible for the prosthetic phase of treatment; therefore, some form of priority based on the severity of the case has been established.

To assist the committee in prioritizing each case, the following criteria have been established:

  1. The patient must be aged 25 years or younger.
  2. The patient's orthodontic and/or surgical phase of treatment must be completed.
  3. The patient's restorative and periodontal needs must be satisfied.
  4. There must be evidence of an acceptable level of oral health demonstrated before treatment will be considered.
  5. Determination of the cessation of growth is not an exact science. Since there is a wide range of variability between individuals and none of the methods of growth determination are 100% accurate, our committee suggests that the ages of 20 for males and 19 for females would cover most individuals. Of course, there are a small number that may have stopped growing before these ages, and an even smaller number will stop later. It is the committee’s view that if the dentist who is to provide the prosthetic service is satisfied that growth is complete, using any or all of the methods stated below, then the committee would consider an application at a younger age. Growth determination can be provided by the patient's orthodontist, prosthodontist, general dentist or any medical body specializing in growth assessment.
  • Statistic height measurements showing no change over a 12 month period
  • Hand/wrist film interpretation
  • Cephalometric superimposition indicating no cranial growth for 12 months
  1. The patient (guardian) must consent to on-going assessment through follow-up surveys.
  2. Private insurance, if in place, will be expected to be the "first payer."
  3. Payment will be made after the appliance/s is/are in place.
  4. The BCDA's General Practitioners’ Fee Guide will be used as the base line for establishing fee levels. However, reasonable, proper and customary fees will be paid to the extent that funds are available.
  5. Standard dental claim forms will be used to submit predeterminations and claims.
  6. It is understood that the screening committee's decisions regarding the case are final.
  7. It is understood by the referring dentist and the patient (guardian) that damage or loss of an appliance is to be the responsibility of the patient (guardian).

If you have a patient whom you think might qualify as a prosthetic patient in this project, please submit the appropriate application (attached) and records for review by the administrators of the program.

As a precautionary note, it is not wise to raise the hopes or expectations of the patient/guardians too high at this time. As indicated above, we will assist as many cases as possible but inevitably, and unfortunately, some will not be accepted.

IMPORTANT NOTE: It is the responsibility of the patient’s general dentist to obtain and collate associated documentation, x-rays, photographs and models from the supporting dentists/specialists; and to ensure that the attached application is fully completed prior to submission.
Please submit simultaneously the completed application, records and models to:

Cleft Lip & Palate Prosthetic Program
British Columbia Dental Association
#400 - 1765West 8th Avenue
Vancouver, BC, V6J 5C6
PHONE FOR ASSISTANCE: 604 736 7202, Toll free: 1 888 396 9888, Fax: 604 736 7588

Craniofacial Anomalies

Procedure for Obtaining Orthodontic Benefits

Criteria for acceptance are usually a congenital condition with a severe facial abnormality. Cases of facial cancer may be accepted if significant facial surgery and radiation are required. If the case is one of the syndromes listed below, the orthodontist sends a letter outlining the diagnosis, treatment plan and fee to MSP in care of “the Cleft Lip and Palate Program”. Do not send records at that time. When there is uncertainty regarding the patient’s eligibility, please send as well; a consultation report from the medical practitioner and slides demonstrating the significant facial abnormality.

If there is contention regarding patient eligibility, the proposed treatment plan or the fee; a committee composed of two plastic surgeons plus the orthodontist on the Cleft Palate Team (currently Dr. Robin Jackson) will adjudicate the claim. Submission of full records in this case will be necessary.

Billing for craniofacial anomalies is on the same billing cards as cleft lip and palate, however the diagnostic code is 524.


Ministry of Social Development (SD)* & Ministry of Children and Family Development (MC&FD)


MC&FD and MEIA provide orthodontic coverage for some income assistance recipients (those with enhanced medical coverage) and some special needs children. Effective August 1, 2001 children in foster care were eligible for Dental and Orthodontic benefits through MC&FD in Care Dental Program (see page 6-11). Effective September 2002, the program for the children in foster care was placed on hold. The children in treatment are still covered and please check with the Ministry regarding new cases.

The Ministry of Children Medical Benefits Program Children in Care and Family Development Dental Benefits Guide is available at http://www.mcf.gov.bc.ca/foster/pdf/cic_dental_guide.pdf

*The children’s orthodontic program was previously managed by the Ministry of Employment and Income Assistance (MEIA), Ministry of Social Development and Economic Security (MSDES), and prior to that, by the Ministry of Social Services (MSS).

Ministry of Social Development (SD) Health Assistance Branch (HAB) Orthodontic Program


Dental:  There are two categories of dental coverage for recipients of Income Assistance, Emergency Dental and Basic Dental. Emergency coverage has no financial limit but the eligible services are limited.  The Basic coverage has a limit of $1000 over a two year period starting in the odd year, for adults and a 2 year limit of $1400 for children. Please see the online Ministry Dental Fee Guides for coverage specifics.

Orthodontia: For children with SD coverage who may require orthodontic intervention they may be eligible for coverage if the following criteria are met:

“The Ministry will only consider funding orthodontic treatment where there is severe skeletal dysplasia with jaw misalignment on two (2) or more standard deviations.”

In very extreme cases, consideration may be extended to adults with imminent health threatening orthodontic needs if they have Basic dental coverage.

A referral from a dentist is required to start the process and treatment plans will only be considered if submitted by a Certified Specialist in Orthodontics and registered with Pacific Blue Cross.  Please contact HAB at 1-888-221-7711 to request the necessary forms.

Eligibility is determined by the SD’s Orthodontic adjudicator/s and contracted orthodontist. The adjudicator determines if the applicant is eligible to apply for orthodontic treatment and gathers all necessary documentation to present to the contracted orthodontist.

The Ministry’s orthodontist consultant looks for cases with severe skeletal malocclusion – usually resulting in posterior crossbite, class III or anterior crossbite, and significant class II or excess overjet.  The latter two situations can be demonstrated on the lateral cephalometric analysis with measures such as ANB >= 6 degrees for a class II. In order to help an orthodontist know whether a case will qualify they should look for cephalometric analysis measures which fall >= 2 s.d. from the Norms. All of the analysis software has these norms pre-programmed in and most also list the standard deviation.

Procedure for Obtaining Orthodontic Benefits

A SD client identified by a general dentist as needing orthodontic treatment will be assessed by that general dentist to determine the need. The patient must be treated by a Certified Specialist in Orthodontics.

Orthodontic Care Process

  1. If the general dentist prefers to refer the patient to a specialist, he/she will request the Request for Orthodontic Care Form (HR2835). He/she will tick the box in the middle “SD orthodontia criteria” and send the form to the Health Assistance Branch SD (Attention: Orthodontic Administrator).  It should be noted that the current $200.00 fee for orthodontic records is taken from the patient’s basic coverage.  **Please note** we require the HR2835 to be submitted in order to pay for records.
  2. A HR2836 Orthodontic Assessment form will be send to the orthodontic office.
  3. Once the patient and the form are at the office, orthodontic records may then be taken.
    Please note that models are no longer required to be submitted with the orthodontic records.
    If the record-taking is deferred, please return the form to SD (along with your billing card for an examination. Up to a maximum of $50.00 is payable and processed under fee item 01901 (partial records fee). Call 1-888-221-7711 when ready to take records so eligibility can be confirmed. A short deferral can be handled by phoning SD for an extension on time of validity of the form.
  4. The Certified Specialist then completes the HR2836 Orthodontic Assessment form and mails it to the Ministry of Social Development along with the appropriate supporting records for review by the Ministry's Orthodontic Screening Committee (address below). A billing card for payment of the records fee of $200.00 may also be submitted at this time. The Committee makes one of two decisions:
  • Reject the application, in which case you will receive a letter of denial outlining the decision and the reasons for it and the parent is advised;
  • Approve the application, in which case you will receive a letter outlining the terms of the approval (including maximum payment, initial payment, quarterly payments, etc.) from Pacific Blue Cross
  1. Generally, the usual and customary fee is accepted, (except for the records which are $200). All billings must be submitted on a Ministry “Dentist Direct-Payment Claim” card (see example). All orthodontists should have a supply of these cards. When your supply runs low, please notify PBC Department for Dental Eligibility at 1 800 665-1297 (or in Vancouver 604 419-2780) below and a new supply will be provided.
    Since PBC will not yet have a record of the patient, when submitting for records and all claims prior to a release of an approval , the claim card along with records, and form must go to the address below for pre authorization:

    Orthodontic Program
    Ministry of Social Development
    PO Box 9971 STN PROV GOV’T
    Victoria, BC   V8W 9R5

    Billings for the remainder of the treatment will go to:

    Pacific Blue Cross
    Ministry Dental Program
    PO Box 65339
    Vancouver, BC, V5N 5P3

Cases currently not Requiring Full Treatment

  1. Cases not requiring full treatment at the time of exam may be put on recall. The form should be completed to bill for the exam and the recall schedule should be listed. This informs SD that the patient is expected to have treatment and at that time a new form can be requested directly by a phone call to the HAB adjudicator (1-888-221-7711).
  2. If only a panoramic radiograph is required, this can be billed for, but if full records are taken at a later date, the amount for the panoramic radiograph may be deducted from the records fee.
  3. Permission for appliances, such as crib appliances and space maintainers may only require a panoramic radiograph.
  4. If a two stage treatment is planned, state this on the initial assessment form and then when the patient is ready for the second stage a new assessment form may be requested by phone from the Orthodontic Administer. Either new records or the original records and a written clinical description must be resubmitted.

Cases Transferred in Full Treatment

  1. Cases transferred in full treatment at the time of exam require a letter from the original orthodontist to Victoria to close the file and a letter from the new orthodontist to reopen the file. The fee from SD is not negotiable and the practitioner taking over a case as a transfer must accept the current balance owing as per the Ministry’s file, therefore all adjustments must be settled between the two orthodontists and the patient/responsible party.

Completing a Claim Form

To facilitate payment, it is essential that you complete claim cards as accurately and thoroughly as possible. See sample form and instructions below.

First Nations and Inuit Health Branch (fnihb) clients

Policy of the BSCO/CAO

The policy of the British Columbia Society of Orthodontist (and the CAO) is that the orthodontist deal directly with their patients and not through any third party insurance program (including the FNIHB patients).  The BCSO and CAO do not recommend that you change your arrangements for your patients that are already in treatment if you have already accepted assignment from NIHB (Non-Insured Health Benefits) for them, but you can change your policy for all new patients.

Also there is some coverage for First Nations Children who are in Care under the Ministry of Children and Family Development (Foster Care) if they are not covered by NIHB.


Please note that the protocol for obtaining benefits for FNIHB patients is evolving and frequently changes.

You may want to visit the NIHB website for the latest requirements.

There is a guide available and a claims form kit. The guide is intended to supplement the information contained in the Dental Claims Submission Kit, which explains the process for dental providers to submit claims for payment of services rendered to eligible clients. There continues to be an increasing amount of paperwork involved in getting acceptance and coverage paid for these patients.  If you do accept assignment, orthodontic care through the NIHB Dental Program is limited to eligible registered Indian/Inuit children under 18 years of age. If an adult patient wishes to be considered for orthodontic coverage (please check for the current availability of treatment for adults), they must fund the records and consultation themselves. The records may then be submitted and the case will be considered for possible (or partial) treatment. All travel costs for orthodontic care are usually the responsibility of the patient, parent or guardian.

Information from the NIHB Website

The NIHB Program is a publicly funded program that covers a limited range of orthodontic benefits for First Nations and Inuit clients. Clients must meet the clinical criteria (a severe and functionally handicapping malocclusion) and guidelines established by the NIHB Program for their orthodontic treatment to be covered.

NIHB Criteria for Comprehensive Orthodontic Treatment

A severe and functionally handicapping malocclusion is characterized as:

  • Dento-facial anomalies such as cleft lip and palate, associated with a severe malocclusion. No age restriction.
  • Interceptive treatment associated with a severe malocclusion (under 18 years of age). The objective of this aspect of the program is to resolve discrepancies in the transition from the deciduous to the permanent dentition. Examples of cases that will be funded include the resolution of anterior and posterior crossbites, peri-oral habits, space management and severe proclined anterior teeth which are vulnerable to fracture. Age restriction - under 18 years at the time of the complete case being submitted for assessment.
  • Comprehensive Orthodontic Treatment: The objective of the orthodontic component of the NIHB dental benefits program is to fund the most severe cases that are associated with a functional limitation. Similar to other dental benefits in the NIHB program, treatment directed to resolve cosmetic issues will not be approved for funding. To that end, cases exhibiting crowding regardless of magnitude associated with a functional buccal segment will not be funded. Anterior and posterior crossbite relationships will not be funded for comprehensive treatment without an associated significant functional shift (i.e., > than 2.5 mm.). Cases with an underlying skeletal discrepancy associated with a functional dental pattern will also not be funded. Cases must be submitted before the client reaches the age of 18.

All orthodontic benefits require predetermination prior to the commencement of treatment. The evaluation of a potential orthodontic case includes an assessment of the skeletal pattern, dental pattern, soft tissue drape statically and dynamically. To that end, a significant change in any one variable may change both the diagnosis and the treatment objectives.

Documentation and Information Required for Predetermination

Orthodontic treatment requests submitted to the Orthodontic Review Centre must include:

A. Narrative

  • identify the condition for which the treatment is being requested;
  • explain diagnosis and prognosis;
  • note basic treatment completed to date, including patient's oral hygiene status and motivation;
  • include detailed treatment plan;
  • estimate duration of active and retention phases of treatment and cost(s); and
  • additional relevant supporting information.

B. Complete Diagnostic Records

  • diagnostic orthodontic models (trimmed with occlusal registration);
  • cephalometric radiographs(s) and tracing;
  • photographs, three intra oral, three extra oral; and
  • panoramic radiograph or full mouth series.

One of the following forms is to be completed and submitted with the claim request; a Standard Dental Claim Form, ACDQ Dental Claim and Treatment Plan Form, computer generated form, or NIHB DENT-29 form.

Interceptive Treatment Submission Requirements

As a prevention initiative, coverage may be considered for the provision of interceptive orthodontic treatment (80000 series procedures) in the mixed dentition phase of dental development associated with a severe malocclusion (under 18 years of age).

a) This aspect of the NIHB Program includes treatment to resolve three types of discrepancies:

  1. Habit appliances (i.e., palatal crib and bluegrass appliances);
  2. Interceptive treatment (i.e., anterior and/or posterior cross-bites and space regaining appliances using either removable or fixed appliance mechanics); and
  3. Growth modification appliances (i.e., headgear, Bionator, franfel, Twin Block, and van Beek).

Interceptive request submitted to the Orthodontic Review Centre must include:

  • diagnostic records including working models and a panoramic radiograph;
  • a narrative indicating treatment objective(s), a treatment plan, projected active treatment time and anticipated fee; and
  • an appropriate completed form as listed above.

b) The overall cost for multiple phases of treatment will not exceed the total fee of what would be charged for malocclusion of similar severity treated in one phase.

Procedure for Obtaining Orthodontic Benefits

Please call to see if this is current information as it seems to change regularly

Where an eligible child is developing a malocclusion which results in a significant limitation in function and aesthetics and which requires comprehensive treatment, the general dentist may submit an “Application for Orthodontic Workup” (see page 8-4). This form is available from Ottawa at 1-866-227-0943

The application for Orthodontic Workup will be approved where the oral hygiene has been consistently good; where there has been no new caries for six months and where the records can be justified by the presenting malocclusion (a dental and skeletal malocclusion). If the application is approved, a Letter of Confirmation is sent to the orthodontist. If refused, the form is returned to the general dentist.

If an Application for Orthodontic Workup is turned down by NIHB and the family wishes to proceed with the workup independently, the records and treatment plan may be presented for review by the orthodontic review committee. If treatment is refused, there is an appeal process (see page 8-9) (it is suggested to call NIHB first) or the case could be resubmitted with a compromised treatment plan if one is possible.

The completed orthodontic summary sheet (see page 8-7) or letter on your letterhead with the same information and the records must then be sent to:

Orthodontic Review Centre, Non-Insured Health Benefits
First Nations and Inuit Health Branch, Health Canada
Graham Spry Building
250 Lanark Avenue, 6th Floor
Postal Locator 2006C
Ottawa, ON, K1A 0K9
Tel: 1-866-227-0943
Fax: 1-866-227-0957

Please label all records with the patients name and the orthodontist’s name (including both the upper and lower models) and package the models securely in a box labelled with the patient name.

As of December 2009, if you accept assignment you must enrol with ESI Canada at http://provider.esicanada.ca/dental.html.

The review process determines which cases will be supported.

Fee Schedule

All orthodontic fees will be paid by ESI Canada. Please note that orthodontic records are normally only funded once in a life time. In the case of province to province transfers, partial records may be funded.

If the orthodontist deems that records are not required at this time, the examination fee alone may be claimed.

Conditions to be met for Orthodontic Approval: NIHB Orthodontic Guidelines (June 1999)

  1. The malocclusion is significant and functionally handicapping: providers will submit cases most in need of treatment and identify issues that will be addressed by treatment.
  2. All preliminary dental treatment (periodontal and restorative) had been completed.
  3. The patient is caries-free and has demonstrated consistently good oral hygiene.
  4. This is the appropriate time for the proposed treatment to be provided.
  5. The patient is less than 18 years of age at the time of the case submission for assessment.
  6. The patient and the parent/guardian must attend the treatment conference appointment and provide the consent and demonstrate a commitment to the plan.
  7. If, in the provider's judgment, oral health is being compromised, or if there are noncompliance issues, the provider will discontinue treatment and advise NIHB accordingly.
  8. Records must be accompanied by a completed Orthodontic Summary Sheet.
  9. The overall cost of multiple phases of treatment will not exceed the total fee of what would be charged for a malocclusion of similar severity treated in one phase.

The GST in the Orthodontic Office

When zero-rated goods, such as orthodontic appliances, are sold to consumers Input Tax Credits are available for GST registrants to recover a portion of the GST paid on expenses (inputs). Since no tax is being collected on the sale of orthodontic appliances (zero-rated), a refund is available when applying for your Input Tax Credits. The net result of this procedure will remove the impact of the GST on supplies, instruments and equipment used to produce or provide zero-rated orthodontic appliances (orthodontic devices).

Note: For CDA members there is a new GST manual available on their website. It has comprehensive information for you and your accountant.

GST Information Overview

  1. All orthodontic treatment services rendered to an individual are exempt from GST, i.e., examination, consultations, diagnostic services and treatment services.
  2. All removable orthodontic appliances are unconditionally zero-rated (tax applied at 0%). In addition, all supplies, instruments and equipment used to provide  removable orthodontic appliances are zero-rated. Orthodontic removable appliances include the following:
  • orthopedic appliances
  • removable appliances
  • retaining/maintaining appliances
  • headgear appliances
  • habit appliances.
  1. All fixed orthodontic appliances that involve bands, brackets, arch wires, etc. are conditionally zero-rated. Fixed orthodontic appliances are zero-rated goods when they are finally assembled by the orthodontist. Equipment, instruments and supplies used to provide or construct orthodontic devices are also taxable at 0% and include the following:
  • bands, brackets, tubes, ligatures, attachments, screws, pins, headgears (including straps and neck pads), separators, etc.
  • stones, plasters, acrylics, waxes, etc.
  • study models
  • working models
  • acids, gels, cements, sealants, etc.
  • pliers, cutters, and other instruments used to provide orthodontic appliances.

    This zero-rated status of orthodontic appliances applies to commercial laboratories, dentist/orthodontist in-office laboratories, or individual dentist or orthodontists providing orthodontic appliances.
  1. Services provided by a GST registered dentist or orthodontist, that are not “rendered to an individual” are taxable at 6%. Such services would include:
  • consultation services to a dental insurance company or to the federal government, but not to an individual
  • lecturing service to an educational institution, a company or individuals
  • court appearances as an expert witness
  • legal opinions when requested by a lawyer or the courts, but not when provided to an individual (patient).

Workers' Compensation Board


The BC Dental Association has an Employment Guide for Dental Offices and in 1996 has released an addendum to this booklet. These guides are available by contacting either Lisa or Rebecca at the College.

Workers Compensation Board

Since all employees of dental offices (including yourself if your practice is incorporated) must be covered by WCB, you will need to:

  1. register your business with the WCB before workers are hired or work is contracted out (call 604 224-6182 or Toll Free in B.C. 1 888 922-2668 to register)
  2. submit payroll returns and regular assessment payments (you will be billed annually unless your payroll amount is very large) when due
  3. submit an Employer's Report if a work injury or industrial illness occurs, or is alleged to have occurred
  4. comply with the WCB Industrial Health and Safety Regulations and investigate all injuries
  5. comply with WCB First Aid Regulations

Orthodontic Module

There are several orthodontic module training programs in BC, including UBC, CDI College (in Vancouver) and Okanagan College (in Kelowna).

For the list of duties covered by the orthodontic module, please refer to the College of Dental Surgeons of BC's A Guide to CDA Services.

UBC Orthodontic Module for Certified Dental Assistants and Registered Dental Hygienists

The UBC Orthodontic Module is offered once annually, usually at the end of May or in early June, and involves a minimum of 46 hours of instruction (combined didactic and clinical) over an 8 day period. All participants must attend the lecture sessions which take place during the first 3 days of the Module.
Upon the successful completion of the Module, Certified Dental Assistant participants are eligible to have their licences upgraded to perform specific orthodontic duties, in addition to those duties that they are already licensed to perform. These orthodontic duties are clearly outlined in Part 8 of the Bylaws of the College of Dental Surgeons of British Columbia (CDSBC) as part of the Health Professions Act. An excerpt from the bylaws of 2009, with areas of particular interest highlighted and some clarified, is included at the end of this section of the manual. However, for the most current information, go to the CDSBC website.
The rules and regulations regarding Registered Dental Hygienists are determined by the College of Dental Hygienists of British Columbia. However, a dentist cannot legally delegate to a hygienist any duty specified as part of the Orthodontic Module in the Bylaws of the CDSBC unless she/he has successfully completed an Orthodontic Module approved by the CDSBC.


  • Active license to practice in British Columbia
  • 1 year experience


  • Members of the BC Society of Orthodontists
  • Certified Dental Assistants with Orthodontic Module
  • Registered Dental Hygienists with Orthodontic Module


  • Faculty of Dentistry at the University of British Columbia

For More Information:

  • Call UBC Continuing Dental Education at 604-822-2627
  • Website for UBC Continuing Dental Education http://www.dentistry.ubc.ca/Education/CDE/calendar.asp
  • Dr Paul Witt, Chairman of the BSCO Orthodontic Module Committee pawinc@telus.net or 604-946-9771

Okanagan College

The course has been developed and adapted from the Alberta orthodontic module and is presented twice a year if enrollment warrants. The course uses the CDSBC /Health Professions Act as a guideline.


  • Elaine Maxwell is Clinical Instructor for the Orthodontic Module.


  • Okanagan College, Kelowna

For More Information:

  • Contacts: Catherine Baranow is Department Head for the Dental Assisting Department
  • For further information please contact Dr. Cliff Moore at moo50moo@hotmail.com
  • Visit the program website

CDI College (Vancouver) Expanded Function In Orthodontics

Course Purpose:

This course is designed to provide knowledge and training to reach a satisfactory level of competency to individual participants in clinical orthodontics. Emphasis is placed on clinical procedures, obtaining diagnostic records and patient care.  Safety in dental environment is an integral part of this course.

Course Goals:

Upon satisfactory completion of this course, the participants will be able to achieve competency on the following:

Theoretical knowledge as it applies to expanded function in orthodontics:

  1. State the objectives of orthodontic treatment.
  2. List the indications and contra indications for orthodontic treatment.
  3. Use orthodontic terms; classify malocclusions.
  4. Explain the etiology of malocclusion
  5. Describe the stages of orthodontic treatment and procedure for treatment
  6. Describe basic orthodontic diagnostic procedures and recording
  7. Explain the principle of tooth movement and anchorage
  8. Explain the need for a retention phase in orthodontics and describe methods of retention
  9. Describe categories of orthodontic appliances and their application in treatment
  10. Discuss oral hygiene requirements of an orthodontic patient and the care of appliances during all phases of orthodontic treatment
  11. Discuss emergency treatment for orthodontic patients
  12. Discuss infection control in Orthodontics

II. Clinical Skills approved in the practice of orthodontics:

  1. Prepare the operatory and patient
  2. Follow infection control protocols
  3. Identify instruments and materials required for orthodontic procedures
  4. Taking impressions for the fabrication of orthodontic appliances
  5. Fitting space maintainers prior to assessment by a dentist or orthodontist
  6. Fitting headgear prior to assessment by the dentist;
  7. Instructing in the placement and care of removable orthodontic appliances;
  8. Placing and removing orthodontic separators;
  9. Fitting orthodontic bands prior to assessment by a dentist;
  10. Preparing teeth for direct bonding of attachments;
  11. Tie-in arch wires that a dentist has fitted;
  12. Removal orthodontic arch wire;
  13. Removal of excess cement or bonding material by means of hand instruments or ultrasonic hand instruments following banding/bonding and debanding/debonding procedures;
  14. Removal of orthodontic bands and bonded attachments by means of hand instruments;
  15. Applying wax or other material to offending components or removing offending components;


Student must meet the following prerequisites:

  • Proof of current practicing license as a Certified Dental Assistant with the College of Dental Surgeons of B.C. or current practicing license as a Registered Dental Hygienist with the College of Dental Hygienists of BC.
  • It is advisable that candidate is working or has been working for at least a year in a dental office.


This is a 50-hour course offered on weekends.

For More Information:

Death & Disability Agreement


The British Columbia Society of Orthodontists encourages all orthodontists to establish a mechanism to protect their practice and to maintain patient care in the event of death or disability.

The British Columbia Society of Orthodontists Death and Disability Agreement is a standardized document that has been created for the exclusive usage of the BSCO membership.  It is recommended that this agreement be used by relatively small groups of members in a specific geographic region and/or other grouping (e.g. study clubs).  The agreement should be modified as necessary to better suit the specific needs and desires of the members involved.

The orthodontists engaging in this Death and Disability Agreement realize that any one of them may unexpectedly become disabled or deceased, resulting in an extreme disruption in the continuity and quality of care for his/her patients.  This would also inevitably result in a significant decrease in the potential selling value of the orthodontist's practice if the situation warranted the sale of the practice.

The BSCO Death and Disability Agreement is a purely voluntary agreement, designed to be truly mutually beneficial to the orthodontists involved.  It is a written agreement between two or more orthodontists that relies upon the honour of the members for its fulfillment, and in order for it to be mutually beneficial.  It is not a legally binding contract, but should be considered a strong written agreement amongst a group of BSCO members to provide essential support in the event of death or disability of one of our members.

This agreement has been drafted by the British Columbia Society of Orthodontists, but is not governed or regulated by the BSCO executive or committee members.  It is intended for the usage and mutual benefit of the BSCO membership, and should be reviewed carefully by those signing the document.

For more information please contact the chair of the Death and Disability Committee (Will Chow - 604.575.8018, dr.chow@panoramaorthodontics.com) or a member of the BCSO executive.

Advertising in Orthodontics

There are concerns about the increasing amount of advertising appearing in the orthodontic community. If you are planning to undertake any sort of advertising, please check out the current regulation in the College of Dental Surgeons By-Laws section 12 in order to ensure that your material complies.

As well as complying with current regulations there is also the issue of professionalism. Maintaining the respect of the public and colleagues are key goals for any practice. What may be normal and acceptable in some states or provinces may be not be in your area of BC.  If in doubt- contact one of the BCSO executive or colleagues in your area.

Bylaws of the College of Dental Surgeons of British Columbia (April 3, 2009)

Part 12 – Promotional Activities

12.01 Interpretation

In this Part, “promotional activity” means the dissemination of information or the distribution of products and materials by any method and in any form by, or on behalf, of a dentist or certified dental assistant, that may reasonably be regarded as having as a direct or indirect purpose either or both of

a. the enhancement of the reputation, or the profitability of the practice, of a dentist or certified dental assistant, or

b. the enhancement of the profitability of a commercial venture related to dentistry with which a dentist or certified dental assistant is identified or from which the  dentist or certified dental assistant derives a benefit, and, for greater clarity, includes the use of a trade name or trademark by a dentist or certified dental assistant, or any public appearance, public statement, or other means by which dental services are promoted.

12.02 Limitations on promotional activity  

Dentists and certified dental assistants must not authorize or engage in promotional activity that

  1. is false,
  2. contains material inaccuracies,
  3. is reasonably capable of confusing, deceiving or misleading a member of the public,
  4. exploits or takes advantage of
  • the physical or emotional states, or
  • the lack of knowledge of dental subject matters of members of the public,
  1. contains claims or assertions which cannot be verified by a member of the public acting as a reasonable consumer of dental health care services,
  2. uses comparative statements that include reference to fees, services, products or facilities, or
  3. tends to undermine the professionalism, ethics, integrity or dignity of the dental profession or otherwise brings the dental profession into disrepute.

A general dentist or certified specialist must not state or indicate in promotional activity that their practice is limited to a particular area or areas of dentistry unless

  1. they in fact limit their practice to that area or areas, and
  2. they also include a statement in that promotional activity indicating
  • whether they are a general dentist or a certified specialist, and
  • if they are a certified specialist, the applicable specialty in which they are certified.

12.03 Display of dentist’s name  

  1. A dentist must display the dentist’s name on a conspicuously placed sign at any dental office in which the dentist ordinarily carries on the practice of dentistry.
  2. A dentist’s name must appear prominently in, or in conjunction with, any written or printed material that constitutes promotional activity undertaken by or on behalf of the dentist.

12.04 Trade names

A dentist or dentists must not, in connection with the practice of dentistry, use any trade name or designation or any distinguishing name for any premises in which the dentist or dentists carry on the practice of dentistry or in other promotional activity, other than

a. the name or names of the dentist or dentists,

b. the name of a dental corporation which has been approved by the registrar under section 11.03(2), or

c. a trade name which does not contravene section 12.02.

12.05 References to qualifications

A dentist may, when referring to qualifications in promotional activity, refer only to

  1. academic and professional degrees, diplomas and credentials earned by examination through
  • a listed general dentistry program, listed specialty program, or other general dentistry program or specialty program that has been accredited by the Commission on Dental Accreditation of Canada or the Commission on Dental Accreditation of the American Dental Association, or
  • a general dentistry program or specialty program at a postsecondary institution outside of Canada and the United States that is verifiable to the satisfaction of the registrar,
  1. the Royal College of Dentists of Canada fellowships or memberships,
  2. certification from a Specialty Board approved by the House of Delegates of the American Dental Association, or
  3. other qualifications approved by the board, or which the dentist is authorized to use under these bylaws.

Dentists must not refer, in promotional activity or in any other communications with the public, to qualifications or memberships in dental associations or organizations granted without examination.

Infection Prevention & Control in the Dental Office

An updated, comprehensive manual on infection prevention in the dental office is now freely available on the members’ side of the CDA website, as a membership benefit.

The document, titled Infection Prevention and Control in the Dental Office: An Opportunity to Improve Safety and Compliance, incorporates CDA’s previous Infection Control Workbook and all relevant CDA position statements. This exhaustive guide covers topics that include personnel health, sterilization and disinfection of patient care items and environmental infection control.

Download/Order Infection Control Manual

  • To download a PDF version of the manual, visit the Clinical Information section of the members’ side of the CDA website
  • A hard copy version of the manual is available to CDA members for $20 and to non-members for $100. To order a hard copy version, click here.

Canadian Association of Orthodontists


The vast majority of Canadian orthodontists are currently members of the Canadian Association of Orthodontists (CAO) and all Canadian orthodontists are invited and encouraged to join the CAO to keep our national organization strong. Please check the website for information or applications. For further information contact the CAO Administrator, (currently Ms. Diane Gaunt) at cao@taylorenterprises.com.


The CAO is an active and growing organization which provides many services including:

  • A Membership Manual containing valuable information for your practice, including orthodontic third party insurance guidelines, HST guidelines, CAO transfer forms, release of information forms, etc.
  • Two issues of the Bulletin a year (the CAO journal) and Presidential News Faxes as required.
  • Copies of Association publications
  • Special members’ registration rates to the CAO Annual Scientific Meeting. The next meetings will be held fall 2012 in Ottawa and 2013 in Banff.
  • Membership Directory, online, http://www.cao-aco.org/FINDANORTHODONTIST/PreDefault.asp listing all CAO members.
  • Access to the Members’ Only section of the CAO web site which is updated regularly.
  • Support of the CAO Office HELPLINE (mediations helpline) in the event that your patients contact the CAO with orthodontic concerns.


The CAO Board of Directors includes representatives from all provinces. The board meets semi-annually at the CAO Scientific Meeting and at the “Ad Interim” meeting in the spring and as well there are several conference calls a year.

The Canadian Foundation for the Advancement of Orthodontics (CFAO)

The CFAO was established in 1981 to honour the founding president of the CAO, Dr. Reyburn R. (Mac) McIntyre. The purpose of the CFAO is to provide funds for the Annual Lectureship to be presented at the Annual Scientific Session of the CAO. Additional funds are used to support orthodontic research and education in Canada.

All orthodontists are encouraged to contribute to the CFAO and currently if $500.00 is pledged you will become a “McIntyre Fellow”. The $500.00 cost may be divided in half and paid over two years if desired.

Dental Specialist Society of British Columbia


As a member of the BCSO you are automatically a member of the Dental Specialists Society of B.C. The membership dues to the DSS are paid annually by the Secretary Treasurer of the BCSO out of your BCSO dues.


The Dental Specialists Society is an organization which represents and responds to concerns which affect the recognized Dental Specialties in B.C. It acts, as a body where interspecialty issues can be discussed, as a unified representative voice for the dental specialties on issues arising from specialist-generalist relationships, and as a clearing house for requests for specialty services throughout the Province of B.C.

There is an annual general meeting which consists of a morning scientific presentation followed by a lunch/business meeting. The morning scientific session is then used as a continuing dental education course in the UBC Continuing Education Program.

Current projects under consideration by the Dental Specialists Society at the moment include collective yellow page listings for the dental specialists and examination of the issues of fee guides for the dental specialties.


The Executive of this Society consists of one member elected by each of the constituent Specialty Societies in B.C. (i.e.: Periodontics, Pedodontics, Orthodontics, etc.). The table officers include a President, Vice-President, Secretary, and Treasurer and are elected from within the dental specialties. The Dental Specialists Society also has a representative who sits on the BC Dental Association’s Council. This latter position is of utmost importance to the specialties in order to both communicate the concerns of the specialists to the College and to act as a conduit to report information being discussed at the Council which directly affects specialists.

For further information on the Dental Specialists Society, please contact our current representative.

Pacific Coast Society of Orthodontist
The American Association of Orthodontists


As a licensed Certified Specialist in Orthodontics in B.C. and a member of the BCSO and Canadian Dental Association (CDA) you are eligible to become a member of the American Association of Orthodontics (AAO). As a member of the AAO, you will be invited to attend the AAO annual meetings, scientific sessions for continuing education and will receive the American Journal of Orthodontics & Dentofacial Orthopedics. As an AAO member you will also have access to the excellent AAO patient education publications, AAO insurance programs, AAO reference and audio-visual library as well as AAO legal resources. But perhaps most importantly you will be supporting your profession. Your colleagues and the AAO need you. The AAO is a member-driven organization and member participation fuels all activities and achievements and develops a regional and national voice for the concerns of your profession.

Application Process

To become an Active or Affiliate member: Please note that the process is under revision and is being centralized at the AAO. Please check the AAO website at aaomembers.org or contact the AAO at 1 800 424-2841 for the latest information. The process was to send the registration form, a money order (contact the PCSO for the current fees), proof of your CDA and BCSO memberships and a copy of your orthodontic certificate to:

Pacific Coast Society of Orthodontists
1323 Columbus Avenue, Suite 301
San Francisco, California 94133
Phone: (415) 441-2410

Your application will be sent to the Pacific Coast Society of Orthodontists (PCSO) Membership Committee for consideration. If approved, your application will be sent to the PCSO Board of Directors for final consideration at their next Board meeting. If approved by the Board, you will become a PCSO and automatically an AAO member. The AAO certificate will be forwarded to you by mail.

Note: It is imperative that Association members complete their Active member application process prior to the expiration of their 3 year membership (or in the 4th year if an extension has been approved). The AAO will drop Associate members who have not become Active or Affiliate members by December of the last year of their Associate membership.

  • To become a Student, Associate, Academic, Service or International Member contact the AAO directly at 1 800-424-2841 or www.AAOmembers.org
  • To become a Retired or Life Member contact the PCSO directly at (415) 441-2410
    If you have any further questions regarding AAO or PCSO membership, please contact the local PCSO membership representative (currently Dr. Bryan Hicks at 604 922-0111), local PCSO new and younger membership representative (currently Dr. Carol Wishart at 604-421-0053)  or call the PCSO directly at (415) 441-2410.

Membership Categories and Benefits


For graduate students in an ADA accredited orthodontic program 2 to 3 years duration depending on the length of the graduate program

Dues: contact the PCSO and AAO for the current dues


  • Free AAO and PCSO meeting registration
  • Complementary subscription to AJO and PCSO Bulletin
  • All AAO, PCSO and component mailings


For the first three years following graduation from an ADA accredited orthodontic program with active ADA (American Dental Association) or CDA membership

3 years duration (a one year extension may be requested in writing but the 4th year dues are the same as for the Active category)

Dues: Contact the PCSO and AAO for the current dues


  • Reduced meeting registration
  • Complementary subscription to AJO and PCSO Bulletin
  • Eligibility for AAO insurance plans
  • Permission to use AAO logo
  • May serve on committees, but may not vote


For those who practice orthodontics exclusively and are active members of the ADA or CDA and have graduated from an ADA or CDA accredited orthodontic program

Dues: contact the PCSO and AAO for the current dues


  • No meeting registration for regional PCSO meetings or AAO annual meetings. There are registration fees for the PCSO annual meeting
  • Complementary subscription to AJO and PCSO Bulletin
  • Eligibility for AAO insurance plans
  • Permission to use AAO logo
  • Eligible to vote and serve on committees


For practicing orthodontists with other disciplines who are active members of the ADA or CDA and have graduated from an ADA or CDA accredited orthodontic program

Dues: Same as Active

Benefits: Same as Active


For practicing members who are at least 65 years of age and have been members for 30 consecutive years

Dues: 1/2 of Active

Benefits: Same as Active


For members no longer practicing full-time or part-time and have been members for 10 consecutive years

Dues: None


  • No registration fees for AAO meetings
  • Reduced registration for PCSO meetings
  • Other benefits as Active except may not vote or hold office


For full-time academics at the level of assistant professor or below in an orthodontic program accredited by the ADA

Dues: Same as Active

Benefits: Same as Active


For members who are military or civilian employees of the US. or Canadian government


For practicing orthodontists or orthodontic instructors from outside the US or Canada


Administered by AAO

For those members who have made outstanding contributions to the advancement of the art and science of orthodontics. honorary members will be nominated by the Board of Trustees or the House of Delegates and be elected by the house of Delegate

World Federation of Orthodontists


The WFO was formed at the 4th International Orthodontic Congress (IOC) in San Francisco by 69 affiliated organizations on May 15, 1995. The WFO now consists of 108 affiliated organizations and approximately 8000 orthodontists who have become WFO fellows. WFO fellows receive the WFO Gazette twice a year and other benefits of membership which include: international orthodontic specialty recognition, reduced attendance fees at orthodontic meetings throughout the world and inclusion in the electronic WFO International Orthodontic Directory which is available on this web site.


The purpose of the WFO is to advance the art and science of orthodontics throughout the world. As stated in the WFO Bylaws, the WFO purpose will be accomplished by fulfilling the following objectives:

  • Encourage high standards in orthodontics throughout the world;
  • Encourage and assist in the formation of national associations and societies of orthodontists when requested;
  • Encourage and assist in the formation of national and regional certifying boards in the field of orthodontics when requested;
  • Promote orthodontic research;
  • Disseminate scientific information;
  • Promote desirable standards of training and certification for orthodontists;
  • Organize the International Orthodontic Congress to be held at least once every five years.

The 7th IOC meeting was in Sydney Australia in February 2010 and was a great success with over 4000 attendees representing 90 WFO affiliated societies and associations. There were more than 300 speakers from around the world.

The 8th IOC will be held September 27-30, 2015 in London, England. Please check out the meeting website at www.wfo2015london.org. Plan to visit London and see the world smile.

For more information on the WFO or to join, please see their website at www.wfo.org