An orthodontist is a dentist who has completed extensive training after dental school in order to become an expert in moving the teeth and jaws. After completing their ungraduated education, high achieving students are accepted into Commission on Dental Accreditation (CODA) accredited dental schools. Dental school is 4 years long and dental students must pass various written and clinical board examinations to become a dentist. To become an orthodontist, the top dental students, who choose to apply to orthodontic programs, are accepted and then complete an additional 2-3 years of advanced training that is specialized orthodontics.
After completing an orthodontic residency, an orthodontist can choose if they would like to become board-certified. The American Board of Orthodontics (ABO) is the only certifying board in the specialty that is recognized by the American Dental Association. The ABO (founded in 1929) is the oldest specialty board in dentistry. The ABO’s purpose is to elevate the quality of orthodontic care for the public by promoting excellence through certification, education and professional collaboration.
The board certification process includes a challenging written examination followed by a clinical exam in which highly respected examiners require the orthodontist to demonstrate their knowledge, clinical skills and judgment. Every 10 years renewal is required in order to maintain board-certified status.
Becoming a board-certified orthodontist is a long and challenging road, but necessary in order to show are commitment to our patients and the orthodontic profession. You should only trust your care or the care of your child to a board-certified orthodontist who continuous learning, and is devoted to treating patients with the highest standard of care.