The Walker Orthodontics difference lies in board-certified expertise and a steadfast commitment to excellence.

Dr. Matt is Murrayhill’s only board-certified orthodontist. Exceptional quality care without the exceptional cost. Now, that’s something to smile about!

Are all orthodontists board certified?

No. All orthodontists must be licensed to practice, but at this time only 1 in 3 orthodontists have completed their 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 demonstrated accomplishments in patient care, coupled with detailed case reports on the treatment provided for a broad range of patient problems. Board certification is a voluntary achievement that not all orthodontists decide to pursue. To become board certified by the ABO, an orthodontist is thoroughly interviewed by a highly respected panel of examiners to demonstrate their orthodontic knowledge, clinical skills and judgment.

How many certifying boards are recognized by the American Dental Association in the specialty of orthodontics?

One. The ABO is the only certifying board in the specialty that is recognized by the American Dental Association. Founded in 1929, the ABO is the oldest specialty board in dentistry. The board’s purpose is to elevate the quality of orthodontic care by promoting excellence through certification, education and professional collaboration.

Why would an orthodontist choose to complete this voluntary certification process?

Successful completion of the examination process demonstrates the orthodontist’s unwavering commitment to excellence in orthodontics to both the orthodontic profession and the general public. It represents a licensed specialist’s commitment that they have the necessary knowledge and skills to treat patients to the highest of standards. It exemplifies a practitioner’s commitment to keep abreast of the latest advances in patient care, and consistently deliver these innovations to patients. Many orthodontists see it as a demonstration of their dedication to the specialty and the highest level of personal achievement.

What steps are required to complete the ABO certification process?

Since the establishment of the ABO in 1929, the certification process requirements have evolved dramatically to meet the rapidly changing demands of the speciality. Today the process involves a thorough written examination (240 questions) that covers all areas in which an orthodontist must display extensive expertise. Successful completion of this board exam allows the orthodontist to proceed to the clinical examination. During this exam, the orthodontist is asked to evaluate scenario-specific case reports selected by the ABO and then present their evaluation and recommended diagnosis and treatment plan to demonstrate a rich history of excellence and mastery in patient care. These cases are evaluated by a panel of examiners and 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 officially achieves board certification. The orthodontist must go through certification renewal every 10 years and demonstrate this continued level of patient care to maintain certification. Further information about the American Board of Orthodontics and board certification can be found here.