Operational Transition Approved

On May 4, 2024, a quorum of members from the SWSO approved the operational transition plan that marks the next step in the merger. On June 3, 2024, substantially all assets will be transferred to the SAO (now doing business as the Southern Society of Orthodontists) and the SAO management team will take over the daily operations of the organization. These steps pave the way for the two societies to function as one, leverage economies of scale, and provide new avenues to deliver member value.

Merger Update and Notice of Upcoming Membership Vote

Our Path Forward

In March, the SAO and SWSO Boards of Directors both voted to approve a resolution that outlines the path forward to a formally and legally combined entity while ensuring alignment and adherence to the AAO bylaws. On June 3, 2024 we will commence doing business jointly as the SSO.  While June 3rd represents a significant milestone in this process, additional work will be required to finalize the combination of our organizations. The Steering Committee is committed to keeping our Boards of Directors and Members updated along the way.  

General Membership Meeting - May 4, 2024

The SWSO will hold a general assembly meeting for all members during the AAO Annual Session in New Orleans. During this meeting there will be a vote on final actions related to the SAO/SWSO merger.


This meeting will occur on Saturday, May 4, 2024 at 1:45pm in room 201 of the Ernest N. Morial Convention Center, located at 900 Convention Center Blvd, New Orleans, Louisiana 70130.

Revised Bylaws Vote at Annual Business Meeting 

Your Vote Counts! We encourage all members to come to our meeting in Amelia Island so you can attend the Annual Business Meeting of the Southwestern Society. During this meeting there will be a vote on the revised merger bylaws. The SWSO Annual Business meeting will take place on Friday, October 27, 2023 at 1:00 pm.  

Merger Update - July 2023

Dear SWSO Members,

I would like to express my gratitude to each and every one of you for your continued support throughout this merger process. I would also like to recognize and thank SAO President, Dr. Debbie Sema for her warm introduction and for her invaluable support throughout this merger process. Her dedication and leadership have been instrumental in bringing us closer to our goal of finalizing the merger next year. As we approach the midway point of the year, I am thrilled to share some thoughts about the impending merger between the Southwestern Society of Orthodontists (SWSO) and Southern Association of Orthodontists (SAO).

Your SWSO Board of Directors and various committees have been diligently working alongside our SAO counterparts to ensure a smooth and successful merger. We understand the importance of addressing every detail in order to guarantee the success of this union.

In the spirit of collaboration and inclusivity, I encourage all of you to stay informed and engaged in the merger process. Your input and feedback are vital as we navigate through this transformative period. Together, we have the opportunity to shape the future of our specialty and lay the groundwork for a unified orthodontic community!

Wishing you a fantastic summer filled with joy, relaxation, and professional growth!

Warm regards,

Dr. Joe Moon


Southwestern Socity of Orthodontists


Merger Update - January 2023

Happy New Year! Much work has been completed to facilitate the merger of the SWSO and SAO constituents:

Regular updates will be sent to the SWSO and SAO membership to keep you informed along the way. We are grateful for the support of all of our members and volunteers who are leading this journey.

Your Vote Counts! We encourage all members to attend the SWSO business meeting to vote on the revised merger bylaws on Friday, November 4, 2022 at 11:00 am at our Annual Session in Austin, Texas. For meeting information and registration, visit us online at 

Dr. Ken Dillehay and Dr. Gary Inman detail the recent history of the proposed merger to provide context around how this concept came about.  Read More