Do you need to be certified by a professional organization to become an orthodontist or maintain your orthodontist certification? The answer is no. All orthodontists must be licensed in the specialty, but American board certification is a voluntary achievement that not all orthodontists choose to pursue. To become an American Board of Orthodontic (ABO) certified orthodontist, a panel of highly respected examiners thoroughly evaluates each individual orthodontist to demonstrate their orthodontic knowledge, clinical skills, and good judgment. The fairest, most reliable and valid evaluation methodology is used to objectively assess clinical fitness.
The ABO certification process represents a unique achievement, a significant step beyond the two to three years of advanced education necessary for a dentist to become an orthodontic specialist. The renewal of the certification provides an opportunity for board-certified orthodontists to continue training, stay up to date on the latest technologies, and reevaluate their approach and critical case evaluation. Examinees in the certification process who have 3 or more cases “on file” have two options for completing the board certification process. You can always verify that your orthodontist is board-certified using the ABO orthodontist locator. Renewing the certification is a fundamental component of the process, demonstrating an ongoing mastery of orthodontics and a commitment to lifelong learning. In addition, all orthodontists now have the ability to go through the certification process regardless of their practice environment and where they are in their career.