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Our Story

Founded in 1929 as the first specialty board in dentistry, The American Board of Orthodontics (ABO) is partnered with the American Association of Orthodontists and is recognized by the National Commission on Recognition of Dental Specialties and Certifying Boards as the national certifying board for Orthodontics and Dentofacial Orthopedics.

The ABO sets the standard for the highest level of patient care and promotes excellence in orthodontics for all of its certified orthodontists.  As a specialty board, we serve to protect the orthodontic specialty and encourage orthodontists to achieve certification, demonstrating their commitment to lifelong learning and excellent care. 

As advocates for the orthodontic specialty, The American Board of Orthodontics is a resource for orthodontists, orthodontic residents, as well as anyone looking for the best in orthodontic care. 

  1. ABO was founded as the first specialty board in dentistry by seven founding board members
  2. Dr. Albert H. Ketcham passed away and the Albert H. Ketcham Award was created in his memory
  3. Name changed from American Board of Orthodontia to The American Board of Orthodontics ABO original seal
  4. • Certification Requirement - 15 cases and a written thesis
    • Council on Dental Education of the ADA recognized the ABO as the official certifying agency in orthodontics
  5. ABO's 25th Anniversary
  6. Written Examination was implemented
  7. Last year seven (7) Directors served. All future boards consist of eight (8) Directors and one (1) past president
  8. Written Examination was permitted immediately after graduation
  9. Discontinued 3000 word thesis requirement for Clinical Exam
  10. ABO's 50th Anniversary
  11. Reduced Clinical Exam case requirement from 15 to 10
  12. Elimination of “C” records
  13. • Began issuing time-limited certificates requiring Certification Renewal Examination every 10 years
    • Cast-Radiographic Evaluation Form announced
  14. • Discrepancy Index Form announced
    ABO's 75th Anniversary Remembrance
  15. • Case Management Form announced
    • Written Exam given at Testing Centers throughout the U.S. and Canada
    • Reduced Clinical Exam case requirement from 10 to 6
  16. Implemented concept of certification following residency by allowing presentation of 6 supervised cases treated in residency
  17. • Dallas testing center used to accommodate increase in examinees
    • Began accepting electronic records
  18. Began allowing “Banking” of cases
  19. New Examination Center opened in St. Louis for ABO Clinical Examinations
  20. Recent Graduates and Clinical Orthodontic Practitioners follow same 6 case pathway with renewal every 10 years
  21. • Clinical Examination "Banking Process" accepted for both Recent Graduates and Clinical Orthodontic Practitioners
    • New Branding resulted in adoption of new logo and seal ABO Seal
  22. Craniofacial Clinical Examination was implemented

Division of Constituencies

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