American Board of Orthodontics Certification
Dr. Mellas is one of the few board certified orthodontists in the area. Becoming a board certified orthodontist demonstrates Dr. Mellas’s highest commitment to excellence in orthodontics – to both the orthodontic profession and to you as the patient. It represents a commitment by Dr. Mellas that she has the necessary knowledge base and skills to treat patients to the highest of standards and to continue to keep abreast of the latest advances so that she can continue to deliver these latest advances to her patients.
The American Board of Orthodontics (ABO) was founded in 1929. It is the oldest and most prestigious specialty board in dentistry. The ABO’s aim is to “elevate the standards of the practice of orthodontia, to familiarize the public with its aim and ideals, and to protect the public against irresponsible and unqualified practitioners.”
The Board upholds four main objectives supported by its mission:
- To evaluate the knowledge and clinical skills of graduates of accredited orthodontic programs by conducting exams and conferring time-limited certificates
- To re-evaluate clinical knowledge and skills through administration of recertification exams throughout a diplomate’s career
- To support the development of quality graduate, postgraduate and continuing education programs in orthodontics
- To promote and encourage certification expertise throughout the world
What does it mean to be board certified?
A board certified orthodontist, also known as a Diplomate of the American Board of Orthodontics, has been voluntarily examined by a group of qualified academic examiners according to knowledge and clinical skills. Becoming board certified signifies the orthodontist’s pursuit of continued proficiency and excellence in orthodontics.
Becoming Board Certified
In order to become board certified, an orthodontist has to have passed a rigorous set of written and clinical examinations, as well as a comprehensive review of their credentials. Since the establishment of the ABO in 1929, the certification process requirements have continued to adjust to the demands of the specialty. Today, the process involves a thorough Written Examination (240 questions) covering all areas of information which an orthodontist should be knowledgeable. Successful completion of this “board exam” allows the orthodontist to proceed to the Clinical Examination where they present detailed case reports from their practice/residency, demonstrating a history of excellence in patient care. These cases are evaluated by a panel of examiners and later discussed during an oral examination where the applicant is tested on a wide variety of academic and clinical topics. After successful completion of these examinations, the orthodontist has officially achieved Board Certification, for a time-limited period. The orthodontist must go through Certification Renewal every 10 years to maintain their certification status by demonstrating this continued level of patient care. The initial process of becoming board certified can take anywhere from five to ten years. Once certified, the orthodontist must become recertified every ten years in order to maintain board certified status.
Are all orthodontists Board Certified?
No. All orthodontists must be licensed to practice, but at this time only 1 in 3 orthodontists have continued on to complete Board Certification. The American Board of Orthodontics (ABO) certification process signifies a unique achievement—a significant step beyond the two to three years of advanced education required for a dentist to become a specialist in orthodontics. The process requires the orthodontist to demonstrate actual accomplishments in patient care with detailed case reports on the treatment provided for a broad range of patient problems. Board certification is a voluntary achievement that all orthodontists do not choose to pursue. In order to become board certified by the ABO, an individual orthodontist is thoroughly interviewed by a highly respected panel of examiners to demonstrate their orthodontic knowledge, clinical skills and judgment.