Clinical Examination Process and Protocol

    • An Online application must be completed on the ABO website prior to the Clinical  Examination deadline. See Exam Dates and Fees for details.
    • A copy of your orthodontic degree/certificate must be submitted to the ABO
    • Approximately four months prior to the exam date, confirmed applicants will receive notification that the case submission portal is available. The examinee may begin uploading reports and records at this time.
    • Approximately two months prior to the exam date, the ABO will notify the examinee as to the date and time of his or her clinical exam, including case setup time, hotel and shuttle information.
    • When scheduling a return flight, allow at least 4.5 hours from the start of the oral examination time. For example, if the exam start time is 7:00am, a return flight should be no earlier than 11:30am.
    • Approximately one week prior to the first day of examination, the case report work file (CRWF) for each case and digital records must be received by the ABO.  Examinees are notified of the exact day of this deadline.
    • Registration and Case Setup will occur on the day prior to the scheduled Clinical Examination. A shuttle will bring examinees with cases from the hotel to the exam center at the scheduled time. Case transport containers will be left at the exam center. It is mandatory to ride the shuttle from the assigned hotel to the exam center even if the examinee is not staying at the hotel.
    • Business casual attire is recommended on the day of your case setup.
    • Standard business attire is recommended on the day of your examination.
    • On the examination day, the shuttle will bring examinees from the hotel to the exam center at the scheduled time. Only ABO name badge IDs are allowed in the exam center. The following are strictly prohibited: guests, cell phones, electronic devices, books, briefcases, food, drink, smoking, etc.  Each exam room will have pencils, paper and water available for the examinees.
    • Examinees will be escorted to the exam rooms.  First time certification examinees scheduled for the Board Case Oral Examination (BCOE) will be given 20 minutes to review a board case (presented to you in a grouped montage format) on the computer screen for diagnosis and treatment planning.  (Those that have previously completed the BCOE will wait in the ABO reception area during the BCOE portion of the exam).
    • At the appropriate time, 2-3 Board Examiners (who are unaware of the examinee's identity prior to the examination) will enter the exam room to discuss the BCOE.  
    • After 20 minutes, the BCOE examiners will exit the room and another team of examiners will enter the exam room to discuss the CROE on the examinee's own cases.  This portion of the examination will be approximately 40 minutes.
    • It is the policy of The American Board of Orthodontics to record, photograph, or otherwise document the Clinical Examination. The documentation will be used to monitor the reliability of the examinations, and for other internal Board purposes. The documentation is confidential and will be reviewed only by the directors, consultants and employees of the ABO. It is against Board policy to release records documenting the examinations to anyone, including the examinee. The examinee signs an agreement to the ABO policy on documentation in the Rules of Examination Affidavit.
    • Immediately following the oral exam, examinees will pack up their cases. The shuttle will return examinees, as a group, to the hotel.
    • An email notification of results will be sent within one month after the close of the exam week.
    • Official examination results will be mailed by the ABO within a two month period after the exam.  This will include an ABO lapel pin, educational toolkit information and an ABO certificate for all first time board certified orthodontists.
    • Board certified orthodontists completing certification renewal will receive a certificate / team training tools and patient handouts. If certification renewal is scheduled prior to the certification expiration date, any time remaining will be added to the expiration date of the new certificate. 
    • The Board Certified Orthodontist’s name, public contact information and certificate expiration will appear on the ABO website in the Orthodontist Locator directory within three weeks of receipt of email notification.
    • If examination results show a non-complete initial clinical examination, re-examination on balance of case criteria is required.
    • The examinee has 10 years and two (2) separate occasions to submit case(s) to complete the Initial Certification Exam. If the examinee does not fulfill requirements, the examinee will complete a new registration payment and present six (6) entirely new cases.  
    • Click Here for information about CE Credits issued by the ABO
    • The Certification Renewal Exam is required to be taken every ten years and may be retaken as often as needed as long as the current certificate is unexpired. A fee will be charged for each re-examination.
    • A Lifetime Board Certified Orthodontist may re-examine for the Voluntary Certification Renewal as many times as desired. There will be a nominal fee for each examination.