About Board Certification

Are all orthodontists Board Certified?

No.  All orthodontists must be licensed to practice, but at this time only about half of orthodontists have continued on to become a board certified orthodontist.  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. This in-depth written and oral examination is designed to objectively evaluate an orthodontist’s knowledge, abilities and critical thinking skills to certify orthodontists based on proficiency and clinical excellence. Board certification is a voluntary achievement that all orthodontists do not choose to pursue.  In order to become board certified by the ABO, an individual orthodontist takes a 240-question written examination following the completion of their orthodontic residency.  Later, the orthodontist is interviewed thoroughly by a highly respected panel of examiners to demonstrate their orthodontic knowledge, clinical skills and judgment.

How many certifying boards are recognized by the American Dental Association 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 American Dental Association.   The ABO was founded in 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 promoting excellence through certification, education and professional collaboration.

Why would an orthodontist choose to complete this voluntary certification process? 

Successful completion of the examination process demonstrates the orthodontist’s highest commitment to excellence in orthodontics – to both the orthodontic profession and the general public. It represents a commitment by a licensed specialist 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 advances to patients.  Many orthodontists see it as a demonstration of their dedication to the specialty and as the highest level of personal achievement. Both Dr. Laurie and Dr. Jim are Board Certified Orthodontists.

For further information about The American Board of Orthodontics and Board Certification, click here.