|Application And Exam Registration
Applicant must complete or be a full-time student in an advanced
education program in orthodontics and dentofacial orthopedics which is accredited
by the Commission on Dental Accreditation of the American Dental Association (ADA). The "Advanced Education Student
- Standard #5," as recognized by the Commission of Dental Education, is eligible
to make application upon the completion of their program.
To find an ADA accredited orthodontic program, proceed to
An online application is
submitted to the ABO along with registration for the Written Examination. Also, submit a copy of the graduate orthodontic degree/certificate; or, the Orthodontic Program will provide verification of the applicant's status.
2. Written Examination
This comprehensive exam assesses knowledge of basic
sciences and clinical concepts. Any educationally qualified practicing orthodontist
may take the written exam. An orthodontic student must have completed 18 months of their orthodontic program in order to take the exam.
After successful completion of the written exam, there is no time-limit nor expiration
date for completing the clinical examination. The Written Examination is administered
only in the United States, U.S. Territories and Canada at Pearson VUE test centers. Online registration is first submitted to the ABO, after which
you will receive instructions for reserving your test date with Pearson VUE. See
Exam Dates and Fees for dates and deadlines.
Find Pearson VUE test centers at
If a retake is necessary, complete the online registration and pay the written exam fee; the application fee is charged again if five years have elapsed since the previous application.
>> Register for Written Examination
3. Clinical Examination
Anyone who has successfully completed the written examination is eligible for the
ABO clinical exam. The Initial Certification Examination is permitted within 24
months of graduation from an orthodontic program. If more than 24 months have passed
since graduation, the examinee may register for the Beginning Certification Examination. A time-limited certificate will be issued upon
successful completion of the clinical exam. See Exam
Dates and Fees for dates and deadlines.
By the end of the time-limited certificate, a Diplomate must have taken
the appropriate recertification examination. See Pathways to Recertification.
Register for Clinical Examination
4. Annual Fee
The Council on Dental Education of the American Dental Association requires all
recognized specialty certification boards to remain economically independent. Assessment
of a Diplomate annual fee is therefore necessary to finance the work of the ABO which entirely supports its mission to elevate the level of orthodontic care for the public. No portion of this fee goes to political lobbying. Payment of the annual fee is required to maintain CERTIFIED status. Failure to pay the annual fee
will result in INACTIVE status with loss of your right to claim
certification by the ABO. The annual fee can be paid by credit card through the
Online Services of this website, or by mail or fax upon
receipt of an invoice sent by the ABO.