Helping to Protect Your Financial Future

If you were to be injured or become ill while in school and were unable to practice as an orthodontist, your life would be greatly affected. Could you pay your living expenses, bills and student loans? How would your future change?

Many residents turn to student disability insurance to help plan for the unexpected, as it helps protect your income and repay your loans should you become disabled and unable to begin your career as an orthodontist.

young man wearing a scarf and backpack outdoors, smiling at the camera

Why Student Disability Insurance may be Critical for Residents

You may think you don’t need insurance as an orthodontic resident. Perhaps you:

  • Are healthy and take good care of yourself
  • Are single and will be the only person relying on your future income
  • Have a large emergency fund saved
  • Receive financial support from family members
  • Think disability insurance is just for accidents and that your career is low risk

Despite this line of thinking, there are many reasons for orthodontic residents to consider Student Disability Insurance, including:

  • Your extensive education and highly specialized skills—The average student loan debt at graduation for those under the age of 35 was $313,0001—a number that continues to rise. Though orthodontists typically incur high student loan debt, the median salary for orthodontists is $267,2802. You expect to earn a higher income as an orthodontist for decades, and student disability insurance helps ensure your expectations come to fruition, should you ever experience a disability.
  • The odds of experiencing a disability are higher than you may think—According to the CDC3, 1 out of 4 American workers experience a long-term disability.
  • There are varying disabilities that may prevent you from working as an orthodontist—The Council for Disability Awareness shared the most common reasons for long-term disability claims, a majority of which are illnesses rather than accident-caused disabilities4:
    • Musculoskeletal disorders (28%)
    • Cancer (15%)
    • Injuries such as fractures, sprains and strains of muscles and ligaments (12%)
    • Mental health issues, including depression and anxiety (9%)
    • Circulatory such as heart attack and stroke (8%)
  • Your life could be greatly impacted— If you experienced a disability and were unable to begin your career as an orthodontist, your life would be greatly affected. Could you pay your living expenses, bills and student loans? How would your future change?

Finding Coverage as an Orthodontic Resident

The American Association of Orthodontists is dedicated to helping protect the future of residents like you and your impact on the future of the orthodontic industry.

That’s why the AAO-Endorsed Insurance Program, administered by Lockton Affinity, offers complimentary Group Student Disability Insurance to AAO student members.

This policy offers many benefits, including:

  • Complimentary coverage—With your AAO membership, you receive this important coverage at no cost to you—AAO is picking up the tab.
  • Loan repayment—Should you become totally and permanently disabled while in school under the age of 45, this policy can pay up to $200,000 towards your eligible student loans. (Find more information here).
  • Benefit amount—Receive up to $2,000 per month should you become disabled if a covered illness or injury prevents you from doing the responsibilities of an orthodontic student. This monthly benefit is not offset by benefits received from other disability insurance.
  • Conversion after graduation—Once you begin practicing, you have the option of converting to the AAO Group Disability insurance at the $2,000 monthly benefit amount without medical underwriting, for which you will be required to pay a premium. You can also apply for up to $15,000 of monthly benefits, subject to medical underwriting.

Simply activate coverage to help protect your future or email Lockton Affinity at [email protected] to learn more*.


1 American Association of Orthodontists. “2019 Economics Survey.” American Association of Orthodontists Member Site.
2 “Orthodontists Occupational Employment and Wage Statistics .” U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, 31 Mar. 2022.
3“Disability Impacts All of Us Infographic.” Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 28 Oct. 2022.
4 Integrated Benefits Institute, Health and Productivity Benchmarking 2019 (released September 2020), Long-Term Disability, All Employers. Condition-specific results.


This material is not intended for use with residents of New Mexico with respect to Disability Income Insurance.
*Visit for information, including features, costs, eligibility, renewability, limitations, and exclusions.