American Board of Orthodontics Certification
The American Board of Orthodontics (ABO) was founded in 1929. It is the oldest and most prestigious specialty board in dentistry. The ABO’s mission is to elevate standards of care in the specialty of orthodontics, to familiarize the public with its aims and ideals, and to protect the public against irresponsible and unqualified practitioners.
Becoming Board Certified
All orthodontists must be licensed to practice, but at this time only 1 in 3 orthodontists has completed board certification. ABO certification is 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.
Certification requires the orthodontist to demonstrate actual accomplishments in patient care, with detailed case reports on treatment provided for a broad range of orthodontic problems. Board certification is a voluntary achievement that not all orthodontists choose to pursue.
In order to become board certified by the ABO, an individual orthodontist is thoroughly interviewed by a highly respected panel of examiners to demonstrate his or her knowledge, clinical skills, and judgment. He or she also must pass a rigorous set of written and clinical examinations, as well as a comprehensive review of credentials.
The initial process of becoming board certified can take anywhere from five to ten years. Once certified, the orthodontist must become recertified every ten years to maintain board certified status.
What does it mean to be board certified?
A board certified orthodontist, also known as a Diplomate of the American Board of Orthodontics, has been voluntarily examined by his or her peers on the basis of knowledge and clinical skills. Becoming board certified signifies the orthodontist’s pursuit of continued proficiency and excellence in orthodontics.