Clinical Case Award Highlights Section of Orthodontics’ Presence at AAO Annual Session

Group photo, with person at center holding an award
Dr. Tam Duong, at center, is surrounded by Section of Orthodontics faculty and residents after earning first place in the CDABO Case Display Competition.
May 11, 2023

The UCLA School of Dentistry delegation has returned from the 2023 American Association of Orthodontics (AAO) Annual Session in Chicago, a conference highlighted by third-year resident Tam Duong, D.D.S., O. ‘23 earning a prestigious case study award.

Dr. Duong – along with former residents Wenlu Jiang, D.D.S., O. ’21, and Justine Tanjaya O. 14, M.S. ’15, Ph.D. ’19 – won first place in the College of Diplomates of the American Board of Orthodontics (CDABO) Case Display Competition. Their display demonstrated the excellence of completing a complex interdisciplinary treatment of a patient with a unilateral cleft lip and palate. Utilizing a two-phase approach, Dr. Duong – and his predecessors treating this challenging case – corrected the patient's dental malocclusion and greatly improved their oral health, function, and esthetics.

“Receiving this honor is truly a humbling experience, and I am grateful for the opportunity to showcase the impact that orthodontic treatment can have on a patient's life, especially those with craniofacial conditions,” Dr. Duong said. “This case was a collaborative effort, and I would like to express my appreciation for the exceptional team that contributed to its success. I am indebted to my supervising faculty, Dr. Martin Martz, Dr. Haofu Lee, [the late] Dr. John Jones, and Dr. Clarice Law, for their guidance and support throughout the case."

The award was presented Sunday, April 23, at Chicago’s McCormick Place.

“I would also like to extend my appreciation to UCLA Section of Orthodontics’ leadership, Dr. Sunil Kapila and [visiting associate professor] Dr. Ravikumar Anthony, for their unwavering support to residents during the submission process. This case is a testament to the excellence in clinical care provided by the Section and demonstrates why UCLA Orthodontics is considered one of the best craniofacial programs in the country,” Dr. Duong added.

Other academic proceedings during the four-day gathering included Dr. Kapila’s lecture on Idiopathic Condylar Resorption: Current Approaches to Diagnosis and Therapy, and Dr. Norm Nagel, former UCLA School of Dentistry, completing his year-long term as AAO president.

On Saturday, April 22, Dr. Kapila, School of Dentistry Dean Dr. Paul Krebsbach, and the UCLA Orthodontic Alumni hosted a reception for alumni, faculty, students, and residents at the Chicago Marriott Marquis. In addition to receiving an update on the Section of Orthodontics and School-wide initiatives, guests enjoyed hors d'oeuvres and refreshments.

“There was a palpable level of enthusiasm and support from the many alumni who attended our reception,“ said Dr. Kapila, who holds the Dr. Thomas R. Bales Endowed Chair in Orthodontics. “I want to express my gratitude for the continued commitment of UCLA Orthodontics alumni to the Section and program.”