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About Board Certification

Is Every Orthodontist Board Certified?

The simple answer to this question is no. While all orthodontists have to be licensed in order to practice, only a third of orthodontists currently progress to become Board Certified. This ABO (American Board of Orthodontics) certification is a key achievement and represents a major step past the initial 2-3 years of high-level education which are necessary for dentists to become orthodontist specialists.

To become Board Certified, an orthodontist must demonstrate their accomplishments in caring for patients, making details reports on treatment provided in a wide range of cases. They must also be interviewed by highly respected examiners to show their clinic judgment and skills and orthodontic knowledge. Since it is voluntary to become Board Certified, many orthodontists choose not to pursue this achievement.

Are There Multiple Certifying Boards Recognized For Specialist Orthodontics By The American Dental Association?

No, the ABO (American Board of Orthodontics) is the single certifying board for the orthodontics specialism. Original established back in 1929, the ABO is dentistry’s oldest specialty certifying board, and its aim is to improve orthodontic care quality through the promotion of excellence through professional collaboration, education and certification.

Why Do Orthodontists Choose To Become Board Certified?

When an orthodontist successfully completes the ABO examination process, they are demonstrating the very highest level of commitment to orthodontics excellence. They are also showing they have the essential skills and knowledge to treat their patients to the best possible standard.

Board Certification shows that a practitioner is committed to staying on top of the most up-to-date patient care advances and to delivering those new treatments to patients. For those orthodontists who have taken the step of becoming Board Certified, they are demonstrating how dedicated they are to their specialty and showing the highest possible personal achievement level within their specialism.

How Is The Board Certification Process Completed?

Ever since the ABO was first established in the 1920s, the process requirements for board certification have been adjusted to meet the specialty’s demands. Today, the certification process requires the orthodontist to successfully pass a 240 question written examination which covers all the key areas of orthodontics knowledge. Once the board exam has been successfully completed, the orthodontist can then progress to taking their Clinical Examination.

In this, they will present highly detailed reports from patient cases in their actual practice to show their excellent patient care. The examination panel will evaluate each case, and these cases will then be discussed in the oral examination where each applicant is questioned on a range of clinical and academic topics. It is only when the orthodontist finally successfully completes all these examinations that they become Board Certified. They must then repeat the process every ten years in order to renew their certification.

You can learn more about Board Certification and the ABO by clicking here.

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