To keep their license valid, orthodontists must typically complete continuing education courses. The number of hours of continuing education required varies by state, but usually falls between 20 and 40 hours per year. Moreover, all orthodontists can now go through the certification process regardless of their practice environment and career stage. Renewing the certification provides orthodontists with the chance to stay up to date on the latest technologies, and to reevaluate their approach and critical case evaluation. In addition to ABO certification, some orthodontists may opt to obtain additional certifications or credentials in specialized areas of orthodontics, such as surgical orthodontics or orthodontic sleep medicine.
Some may even choose to specialize in a particular area of orthodontics and get advanced training and certification in that field. The American Board of Orthodontics (ABO) is the primary organization that certifies orthodontists in the United States.