There is a difference between a Licensed and a Board Certified Orthodontist. All practicing orthodontists are licensed; only about 30% of all licensed orthodontists are Board Certified. Board certification is a unique honor following a process by which an individual orthodontist is thoroughly examined by an expert panel as to orthodontic knowledge and clinical skills.

What is the process by which orthodontists may become board certified?

The process of becoming Board Certified involves passing a thorough Written Examination covering all areas of information on which an orthodontist should be knowledgeable. Following successful completion of the Written Examination, the orthodontist then takes a Scenario-Based Oral Clinical Examination, in the presence of at least a dozen current ABO Board Certified Orthodontists. During the oral examination, the orthodontist is tested on a wide variety of academic and clinical topics. Certification is awarded for a limited time period, after which the orthodontist must retake the Clinical Examination in order to maintain a board-certified status.

If Board Certification is voluntary, why would an orthodontist become board certified?

The passage of the examination process is a demonstration to the dental profession and the general public of the orthodontist’s pursuit of continued proficiency and excellence in orthodontics. 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 advances to patients.