No, not all orthodontists are board-certified. All orthodontists must be licensed to practice; at this time, only 1 in 3 orthodontists have continued to complete Board Certification. The American Board of Orthodontics (ABO) certification process represents a unique achievement—a significant step beyond the two to three years of advanced education required for a dentist to become a specialist. The process requires each orthodontist to demonstrate actual patient care accomplishments with very detailed case reports on the treatment provided for a broad range of patient problems. Board certification is a voluntary achievement that not all orthodontists choose to pursue. To become board certified by the ABO, an individual orthodontist is thoroughly interviewed by a panel of examiners to demonstrate their orthodontic knowledge, skills, and judgment.
How Many Certifying Boards Are Recognized By The ADA In The Specialty Of Orthodontics?
One. The American Board of Orthodontics (ABO) is the only certifying board in the specialty that is recognized by the ADA. The ABO was founded in the year 1929 and is the oldest specialty board in dentistry. The board’s purpose is to elevate the quality of orthodontic care for the public by supporting excellence through certification and education.
Why Would An Orthodontist Choose To Complete This Voluntary Certification Process?
Successful completion of this examination process demonstrates the orthodontist’s utmost commitment to excellence in orthodontics – to both the orthodontic profession and the general public. It represents a licensed specialist’s commitment that he/she has the necessary knowledge base and skills to treat patients to the highest of standards. It exemplifies a practitioner’s commitment to continue to keep abreast of the latest advances in patient care and to continue to deliver these latest techniques to patients. Many orthodontists see it as a demonstration of their dedication to the specialty and the highest achievement level.
What Steps Are Required To Complete The ABO Certification Process?
Since the establishment of the ABO in 1929, the certification process requirements have continued to adjust to the specialty’s demands. Today, the process involves a thorough Written Examination (240 questions) covering all areas of information that an orthodontist should be knowledgeable about. 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 various academic and clinical topics. After successful completion of these examinations, the orthodontist has officially achieved Board Certification for a time-limited period. Every 10 years, the orthodontist must go through Certification Renewal to maintain their certification status.
For further information about The American Board of Orthodontics and Board Certification, click here.