Board Certification

What is the American Board of Orthodontics?
The oldest specialty Board in Dentistry is The American Board of Orthodontics (ABO).  It was founded in 1929 and was first established by Dr. Albert Ketcham who felt that the specialty of orthodontics should have a certifying body.  The original objectives of the ABO were stated in the charter of incorporation "to elevate the standards of the practice of orthodontia; to familiarize the public with its aims and ideals; to protect the public against irresponsible and unqualified practitioners."

What are the qualifications to become an an orthodontist?
Any dentist can perform orthodontic work on patients.  However to be called an orthodontist a dentist must complete an American Dental Association accredited graduate program in the specialty of orthodontics.

Who  is a Board Certified Orthodontist?
A dentist who graduates from a specialty program becomes an orthodontic specialist who is eligible to become board certified through the voluntary examination process of The American Board of Orthodontics (ABO). Involvement in the certification process is a demonstration of the orthodontist’s pursuit of continued proficiency and excellence.
The certification process involves a thorough written examination covering all areas of information on which an orthodontist should be knowledgeable. Successful passage allows the orthodontist to present treated cases which will be evaluated by expert examiners of the Board during a Clinical Examination. Certification is now awarded for a time-limited period and the orthodontist must be re-examined on a periodic basis to retain the board certified status.

What is the College of Diplomates?
The College of Diplomates is an organization of approximately 1,800 orthodontists. Membership is open to orthodontists who are Diplomates of the American Board of Orthodontics.  The purpose of the College is to encourage orthodontists to search for continuing professional excellence, encourage their orthodontic colleagues to pursue certification and to educate the public and dental community on the merits of board certification.

Dr. Guess believes board certification is important for the welfare of his patients.  He was awarded his board certification in 1999.  The lecture series is always the third week of July.  He has attended every meeting except in 2002.   He is also a Senior Councilor to the College of Diplomates of the American Board of Orthodontics.    

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