|Application And Exam Registration
The applicant must have completed or be a full-time student/resident 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/Resident
- 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
To begin the certification process, an online application is
submitted to the ABO along with registration for the Written Examination. Also, the applicant who has completed training will submit a copy of the graduate orthodontic degree/certificate; otherwise, the Orthodontic Program will provide verification of the applicant's status.
2. Written Examination
The comprehensive Written Examination assesses the examinee's knowledge of basic
sciences and clinical concepts. Any educationally qualified practicing orthodontist
may take the written exam. An orthodontic student/resident may take the written
exam if they have completed 18 months of their program at the time of 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 of the Written Examination is necessary, complete the online registration. If you have applied within the previous five years, an application fee will not be charged. If you have since graduated from your program, you must submit a copy of your orthodontic degree/certificate to the ABO office.
>> 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
as their certifying examination. A time-limited certificate will be issued upon
successful passage of the clinical exam. See Exam
Dates and Fees for dates and deadlines.
By the end of the time-limited certificate a Diplomate of the ABO must have taken
the type of recertification examination that is appropriate for their stage in the
certification process. 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 many endeavors of
the ABO and is required to maintain certification. Failure to pay the annual fee
will result in reclassification to 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 our website, or by mail or fax upon
receipt of an invoice sent by the ABO.