top of page

Board Certification

A Seal of Achievement and Commitment

American Board of Orthodontists Board Certified

Dr. Joseph Pittman is a Diplomate of the American Board of Orthodontics (ABO), meaning he has been board-certified by the ABO. Becoming board-certified signifies the orthodontist’s pursuit of continued proficiency and excellence in orthodontics. To become board-certified, an orthodontist must pass a rigorous set of written and clinical examinations and a comprehensive review of his or her credentials. The initial process of becoming board certified can take anywhere from 5-10 years. Once certified, the orthodontist must become recertified every ten years to maintain board-certified status.

Are all orthodontists board-certified?

No. All practicing orthodontists are licensed, but only about 30% of all orthodontists are Board Certified as well. Becoming a Diplomate of the American Board of Orthodontics is a unique achievement. The current certification process requires the candidate to demonstrate meaningful accomplishments in patient care, including detailed case reports on the treatment provided for a wide range of patient issues. Board certification is an honor reserved for the most committed of candidates, as it follows a process by which an individual orthodontist is thoroughly examined by an expert panel in all matters pertaining to orthodontic knowledge and clinical skills.

What is the American Board of Orthodontics?

Currently, this is the only certifying board recognized by the American Dental Association for the specialty of orthodontics. Founded in 1929, the ABO is the oldest 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:

Board Certified Orthodontist near me
  • 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

If it’s not mandatory, why do orthodontists choose to become board certified?

Completing the rigorous process of board certification is a demonstration of excellence to both the general public and dental professionals everywhere. The certification is proof of the orthodontist’s pursuit of continued proficiency and excellence in orthodontics. Moreover, it is a symbol of commitment by a licensed specialist that he/she has the knowledge and skillset to treat patients in accordance with the highest of standards. It proves to patients and the orthodontic community that the specialist is committed to staying abreast of the latest advances in patient care, and that he/she will continue to deliver these advances to all patients.

Can a dentist be board-certified in orthodontics?

An orthodontist is a dentist who has not only completed a graduate program in dentistry to receive their DDS or DMD, but has also gone through a competitive residency at a CODA-accredited orthodontic program for an additional 2-3 years to be trained specifically in orthodontics and dentofacial orthopedics. The ABO board certification process is open only to orthodontists that have received their certificate to practice orthodontics from a CODA-accredited orthodontic program. 

bottom of page