The American Board of Orthodontics (ABO) is the only certifying board in the orthodontic specialty that is recognized by the American Dental Association (ADA). Founded in 1929, it is the oldest specialty board in dentistry. The board’s purpose is to elevate the quality of orthodontic care for the public by promoting excellence through certification, education and professional collaboration.
Successful completion of the American Board of Orthodontics (ABO) examination process demonstrates the orthodontist’s highest commitment to excellence in orthodontics to the profession and the general public. It represents a commitment by a licensed specialist that they have the necessary knowledge and skills to treat patients to the highest of standards. Orthodontic specialists consider it a demonstration of dedication to the specialty and the highest level of professional achievement.
The ABO Certification Process
The ABO certification process requirements adjust to the demands of the specialty. Today, the process consists of a thorough Written Examination (240 questions) in all areas of information in which an orthodontist should be knowledgeable. Successful completion of this “board exam” allows the orthodontist to proceed to the Clinical Examination where they present detailed case reports from their practice/residency, demonstrating a history of excellence in patient care. These cases are evaluated by a panel of examiners and later discussed during an oral examination where the applicant is tested on a wide variety of academic and clinical topics. After successful completion of these examinations, the orthodontist has officially achieved Board Certification, for a limited period. The orthodontist must complete Certification Renewal every 10 years to maintain their certification status by demonstrating this continued level of patient care.
Are all orthodontists Board Certified?
No. Orthodontists must be licensed to practice, but board certification is completely voluntary. Only 1 in 3 orthodontists have Board Certification. The American Board of Orthodontics (ABO) certification process signifies a unique achievement—a significant step beyond the two to three years of advanced education required for a dentist to become a specialist in orthodontics. In order to become board certified by the ABO, an individual orthodontist is thoroughly interviewed by a highly respected panel of examiners to demonstrate their orthodontic knowledge, clinical skills and judgment.
Visit the official website of the American Board of Orthodontics for more information about board certification.