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What You Need to Know About ABO Board Certification


When you’re deciding which orthodontist to choose for your teeth or your child’s teeth, you may come across a candidate who has ABO Board Certification. It sounds professional, right? However, you have no idea what it means and why you should choose an orthodontist that has this particular certification. Dr. Glass, a board certified orthodontist with the ABO, shares what it means and why it’s important. 

What is the ABO?

ABO stands for American Board of Orthodontics. The ABO is the first specialty board in dentistry, and it’s the only one that is recognized by the American Dental Association and the American Association of Orthodontists. The ABO helps certified orthodontists reach their full potential and set a high standard of excellence in the orthodontic field. It benefits the public by increasing the quality of orthodontic care you receive when you choose an ABO certified orthodontist.

How Does an Orthodontist Receive Board Certification?

The certification process requires years of commitment. The process includes:

  • 2-4 years as an undergraduate
  • 3-4 years in a dental school
  • Pass the licensing exams
  • Acceptance into an accredited orthodontic program
  • 2-3 years in an accredited orthodontic residency program
  • Complete the ABO written exam
  • Complete the ABO clinical exam
  • Renew the certification every 10 years

An orthodontist voluntarily completes the requirements to become certified. This indicates a high level of personal dedication to his career. Any orthodontist who goes through the entire certification process has demonstrated that he or she is always reaching higher in industry-related education and has a deep care for the quality of his or her work. Such a person is likely to excel during his entire career. The certification is not a one-time stamp of approval; it’s an indicator of lifelong achievement.

Why Choose an Orthodontist with an ABO Board Certification?

Orthodontic care is a big commitment. You want to make the right decision, but you don’t know enough about orthodontists in general to discern between the good ones and the average ones. That’s where the ABO Board Certification comes in handy. An orthodontist who has completed the certification process already has years of experience in the dental industry. More importantly, you know this person has passed examinations proving his or her professional knowledge and ability. Furthermore, since the certification is voluntary, you can be sure this orthodontist is passionate about staying at the top of his education. A board certified orthodontist will know the latest advancements in the field and be able to offer you high-quality care based on the newest technology.

Find the Right Orthodontist for You

Still wondering who to trust with your orthodontic work? We encourage you to take your time as you research different candidates. Follow these suggestions to make a wise choice:

  • Use the ABO Orthodontist Locator to find a local board certified orthodontist. 
  • Look at the orthodontist’s website.
  • Especially look at patient reviews of the orthodontist.
  • Have a consultation with the orthodontist.
  • Ask questions about his or her training and background.
  • Find out specific answers to questions that will directly affect you, such as questions about treatment costs, insurance coverage options, the scope of the treatment plan, and office hours.
  • Ask for patient references.

An orthodontist who truly cares about his or her patients will ensure that you are well-informed about your treatment plan and the options available to you. If you leave the consultation feeling confused, uneasy, or unsure about what happens next, then take some time to think it over. Talk it over with a family member or spouse. Contact the patient references to hear about their experience. If you still don’t feel comfortable with the orthodontist, then it’s time to find a different one. 

A board certified orthodontist is already at a high level of achievement. You can trust the certification because there is a lot of work, time, and passion that stands behind the certificate. When you find the right board certified orthodontist for you, your teeth are in excellent hands.

If you’re ready to start your orthodontic journey with a board certified orthodontist, contact Glass Orthodontics today! Schedule your complimentary consultation with Dr. Glass and see what makes our smiles different! 


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