American Board of General Dentistry
RULES and PROCEDURES
Table of Contents
Section
Topic
I
  Organization, Objectives, and Responsibilities
  Basic Requirements for Board Certification
  The Certificate
  The Seal
  The Logo
   
II BASIC REQUIREMENTS FOR ELIGIBILITY
  Entry Point I
  Entry Point II
  Entry Point III
   
III CRITERIA FOR CONTINUING DENTAL EDUCATION (CDE) ACTIVITIES ACCEPTED FOR ENTRY INTO THE CERTIFICATION PROCESS
  Course Attendance
  Other Acceptable CDE Activities
  Subject Category Requirements
  Required Documentation
   
IV THE WRITTEN EXAMINATION
  Eligibility
  Application
  Examination Dates and Locations
  Special Accommodations
  Content
  Testing Irregularities
  Results of the Written Examination
  Passing the Written Examination
  Failing and Retaking the Written Examination
   
V THE ORAL EXAMINATION
  Eligibility
  Application
  Examination Dates and Location
  Special Accommodations
  Content
  The Case Treatment Planning and Rationale Section
  Standardized Case Diagnosis, Treatment Planning
and Rationale Track
  Case Presentation Track
  The Discipline-Specific Oral Examinations Sections
  Results of the Oral Examination
  Passing the Oral Examination
  Failing and Retaking the Oral Examination
  Time Extension
  "Boardsmanship"
   
VI ANNUAL REGISTRATION
  Board Eligible and Conditional Board Eligible Dentists
  Board Certified Dentists
  Disability Waiver
  Change of Address
   
VII RECERTIFICATION
   
VIII RETIRED STATUS
   
IX REVOCATION OF THE CERTIFICATE
  Reasons for Revocation
  Jurisdiction of the Board
   
X FEES
  Application Fees
  Recent Graduate Fees
  Study Guide
  ABGD Lapel Pin
  Certificate Reprints
   
XI ADDITIONAL INFORMATION
   
  APPENDIX A
  Content Outline of the Written Examination


This Rules and Procedures document was designed to be a guide to aid candidates in their quest for Board Certification. For additional copies, please contact:

American Board of General Dentistry
PO Box 7613
Seminole, FL 33775-7613
Phone:  561-809-5491

Fax:  727-586-3331
admin@abgd.org
support@abgd.org
Visit the ABGD website at
http://www.abgd.org

I. BACKGROUND

Organization, Objectives, and Responsibilities  

The Certifying Board of General Dentistry was incorporated in 1984, under the laws of the State of Illinois , as a not‑for‑profit organization. In 1997, the name was changed to the American Board of General Dentistry (ABGD).  

The ABGD was organized to fulfill the following objectives and responsibilities:  

1.      To evaluate the standards and advance the science and art of general dentistry by encouraging its study and improving its practice;
2.      To examine and determine the qualifications and proficiency of dentists who voluntarily apply to the Board for certification;
3.      To grant and issue certificates in general dentistry to qualified candidates; and
4.      To maintain a registry of all dentists certified and to verify the credentials of those certified upon request.  

Basic Requirements for Board Certification

A candidate seeking Certification by the American Board of General Dentistry must submit all required applications and fees, successfully pass all examinations given by the Board and meet all of the requirements established by the ABGD Board of Directors.  

The Certificate  

The certificate conferred by the American Board of General Dentistry may be used for credentialing purposes only. Certification does not confer legal qualification, privilege, or license to practice general dentistry. The certificate shall not be held out to the public as evidence of superior skill and/or knowledge. The Board does not intend in any way to interfere with or limit the professional activities of any duly licensed general dentist who is not certified by this Board.

Titles to all certificates shall remain the property of the American Board of General Dentistry, but each person to whom a certificate is issued shall be entitled to its possession until it is revoked or voluntarily returned.  

The Seal

The official seal is the exclusive property of the American Board of General Dentistry and its use is limited to the Board for certificates, stationery and official documents.  

The Logo

The American Board of General Dentistry has developed an official logo for public usage by dentists certified by the ABGD.  All Board Certified dentists who wish to use the ABGD logo are required to abide by the official logo guidelines.  Written notification will be sent to any dentist found violating the ABGD logo guidelines.  The ABGD reserves the right to revoke the Board Certification status and certificate of any dentist who continues to violate the ABGD logo guidelines subsequent to written notification.

II. BASIC REQUIREMENTS FOR ELIGIBILITY  

The requirements for eligibility to be examined by the Board are as follows:  

  • Possession of a current license to practice dentistry granted by a dental licensing body with jurisdiction in the United States or Canada or;  

  • Successful completion of a GPR/AEGD program accredited by the Commission on Dental Accreditation or;  

  • Completion of formal training to a DDS or DMD degree from a school accredited by the Commission on Dental Accreditation, which qualifies that individual for the diagnosis, treatment, management and overall coordination of services that meet a patient’s oral health needs and who has not announced a limitation of practice to any of the specialty areas recognized by the American Dental Association.  

Post graduate professional experience and education or training in general dentistry must comply with one of the following Board-established entry points on the route to certification:  

Entry Point I

Successful completion of a two-year postdoctoral general dentistry residency (AEGD or GPR) which is accredited by the Commission on Dental Accreditation (CODA).

Dentists who are within five (5) months of graduation from a CODA-accredited two-year post graduate program in general dentistry and who provide a letter from the Program Director affirming the resident’s continued enrollment in and expected completion of the program may be granted the status of Conditionally Educationally Qualified and will be allowed to sit for the Written Examination.  First year residents are strictly prohibited from applying for or sitting for the Written Examination.

Entry Point II

Successful completion of a one year postdoctoral general dentistry residency (AEGD or GPR) which is accredited by the Commission on Dental Accreditation (CODA) and documented attendance at a minimum of 600 clock hours of continuing dental education (CDE) courses. Successful completion of a second one-year postdoctoral general dentistry residency (AEGD or GPR) or a one year post-grad fellowship will count as 200 clock hours of CDE. See section for CDE criteria for Entry Point II.

Dentists who have completed the formal educational criteria (completion of a CODA-accredited one-year post graduate residency program in general dentistry) but who have not yet met the continuing education requirements may be granted the status of Conditionally Educationally Qualified and will be allowed to sit for the Written Examination.  

Entry Point III

Attainment of Mastership with the Academy of General Dentistry.  

Dentists who have been approved to receive their Mastership award from the Academy of General Dentistry (AGD), but who have not yet attended the AGD convocation ceremony, and who provide a copy of their Mastership approval letter from the AGD Council on Dental Education may be granted the status of Conditionally Educationally Qualified and will be allowed to sit for the Written Examination.  

Application  

Dentists must submit a qualifying application, all necessary documentation and an application fee of $300 in order to begin the Board Certification process.  All applications will be reviewed to determine a dentist’s status.


III. CRITERIA FOR CONTINUING DENTAL EDUCATION (CDE) ACTIVITIES ACCEPTED FOR ENTRY INTO THE CERTIFICATION PROCESS

Course Attendance

Credit hour requirements for Entry Point II candidates may be completed after taking the Written Examination. Candidates who opt for this alternative will not become Board Eligible until they have completed the requirements and passed the examination.

  • Courses must be a minimum of one hour in duration.

  • Credit must be earned in specific subject categories, as outlined under “Subject Category Requirements.”

  • Course content must be directly related to the practice of dentistry.

  • Participation course credit is awarded only if the course meets the criteria of a participation course as defined herein.
Other Acceptable CDE Activities

Teaching: Original presentations receive three hours of credit for each hour of teaching. Repeat presentations receive hour-for-hour credit.  Credit will be awarded upon receipt of verification from the sponsoring organization or institution.  Credit for teaching does not apply toward the 200-hour participation requirement. Credit is awarded only for full‑ or part‑time faculty positions at ADA/CDA-accredited institutions or for continuing education presentations sponsored by FAGD/MAGD-approved sponsors.

Publications: Credit is awarded if an applicant authors a published scientific article or textbook, or chapter in a textbook.

Subject Category Requirements

A minimum number of hours must be earned through attendance at courses in each of the 11 dental subject categories as listed on the following page. After these minimums are met, dentists who meet the qualifications for entry via Entry Point II may apply credits earned either in actual course attendance, teaching, or publications. The maximum number of hours that will be accepted by the Board is also listed for each subject category. After subject category minimums are met, dentists may apply credits earned in elective courses.

600 CDE Hours Required
(200 hours must be in participation courses)
Subject Category
Minimum # of
Hours Required
Maximum # of
Hours Accepted
Operative Dentistry
30
120
Periodontics
30
120
Prosthodontics
30
120
Endodontics
30
120
Oral Surgery/Oral Pathology
30
120
Orthodontics/Pediatric Dentistry
30
120
Radiology/Oral Diagnosis/ Oral Medicine
30
120
Esthetics
0
100
Basic Sciences
0
100
Implant Dentistry
0
100
Occlusion
0
100
Special Patient Care
0
100
Teaching/Publications
0
100



Required Documentation


Documentation must be provided for each CDE course attended, for teaching and publications, and for completion of a GPR or AEGD program, as specified here.

  • Course Attendance - any of the following
  • Current AGD course record printouts
  • Course record forms
  • CDE registry records from a state recording service
  • Military records of CDE attendance
  • Letters of verification from CDE sponsors or instructors

Teaching

  • Letter from the applicant’s supervisor in the institution in which the applicant teaches, verifying the dates of the academic appointment, the subject area(s) taught, and the number of hours spent teaching each subject, are required
  • An AGD course record printout that indicates credit received for teaching

Publications

  • A photocopy of the journal article or title page of the textbook is required
  • An AGD printout that indicates credit received for the publication

AEGD/GPR Program

  • A copy of the certificate of completion from an AEGD/GPR program

IV.     THE WRITTEN EXAMINATION

Eligibility

Once a candidate has been designated Educationally Qualified (EQ) or Conditionally Educational Qualified (CEQ) for Certification, the candidate is eligible to sit for the Written Examination.  A candidate must apply for and pass the Written Examination within five years of attaining an EQ or CEQ status.  Candidates who do not pass the Written Examination within the five years must re-establish the EQ or CEQ status for Certification.

Application

A candidate must submit a completed Written Examination application and fee to sit for the Written Examination. Applications for the Written Examination are available on the ABGD website or through the office of the ABGD. Written Examination applications must be submitted to the ABGD staff a minimum of 60 days prior to the test date for all candidates within the continental U. S. and 90 days prior to the test date for all candidates outside the continental U.S.

Examination Dates and Locations


The Written Examination is administered each year during the AGD Annual Meeting. The exams are also administered at designated military facilities and Tampa, FL in March or April and June or July.  For examination dates, visit the exam information page.

Candidates may arrange to sit for their examinations at their military facility.

Those candidates testing at their assigned military facility within the continental U.S. or abroad MUST submit a letter to the ABGD office from the Commanding Officer of their assigned military facility.  The letter MUST contain the following information:

  • Name of the Test Control Officer (TCO) who will administer the examination
  • Shipping address for the examination
  • Contact telephone and fax numbers and e-mail addresses of both the Commanding Officer and TCO
  • A statement confirming that the Commanding Officer or TCO will administer the exam and secure it until it is returned to the American Board of General Dentistry
  • The letter (written on Official Letterhead) must confirm the name of the candidate who will be sitting for the examination
  • The signature of the Commanding Officer and TCO
  • Signed Exam Administrator Agreements from the Commanding Officer and TCO
Copying of exam books or test questions is strictly prohibited and is a violation of policies established by the ABGD.

Those candidates who wish to test at their military facility, who do not submit the Command letter and Exam Administrator Agreements from the Commanding Officer and TCO will NOT be allowed to test.  Commanding Officers and/or TCOs cannot e-mail, fax, or telephone the ABGD for approval to test.

Special Accommodations

The American Board of General Dentistry may grant special accommodations for the Written Examination to a candidate who:

  • submits a letter, a minimum of 60 days before the examination deadline, requesting special accommodations, and
  • provides documentation verifying their condition as well as the specifics of the special accommodations from a qualified professional (i.e. physician, psychologist, counselor) currently treating the candidate.

The ABGD reserves the right to authorize the use of auxiliary aids or modifications in such a way as to maintain the integrity and security of the examination process.

Content

The Board develops its examinations based upon clinical knowledge, skills and procedures delineated by the Board and validated by many dental professionals.

The Written Examination consists of 350 multiple choice test questions.  The exam is divided into two sections.  Each section consists of the following:

Section 1

  • Dental Materials
  • Endodontics
  • Implantology
  • Oral Pathology, Oral Medicine & Oral Diagnosis
  • Oral Surgery
  • Orthodontics
  • Pediatric Dentistry

Section 2

  • Dental Radiology
  • Fixed Prosthodontics / Implantology
  • Periodontics
  • Public Health & Infection Control
  • Removable Prosthodontics: Complete & Partial / Implantology
  • Operative Dentistry

The Written Examination is a one-day exam that is administered in two, three-hour sessions.  Section 1 is administered in the morning session and Section 2 is administered in the afternoon. 

This examination is criterion-referenced. This means that a minimum passing score is determined by the Board, based on what the Board considers to be the minimum knowledge a general dentist must possess to be considered proficient.

There is no penalty for guessing on the examination therefore it is in the candidate’s best interest to answer all the questions within each section of the exam.

Testing Irregularities

The Written Examination is proctored.  The proctor is responsible for protecting the integrity of the examination process and will provide a written report to the Board of any irregularities observed during the examination process.  Examples of irregularities include, but are not limited to, alterations of the test booklets, discrepancies in test materials, unforeseen interruptions in test administration and dishonest behavior by candidate(s).  Such irregularities will constitute grounds for invalidation of the candidate's examination.  The Board maintains full authority for failing candidates on the basis of irregular behavior.

Results of the Written Examination

Candidates will be informed of the results of their performance on the Written Examination within eight to ten weeks following its administration. Examination results are confidential and will not be released to anyone other than the candidate, without written consent of the candidate. Examination results cannot be released over the phone, fax, or by e-mail.

Passing the Written Examination

Candidates who pass the Written Examination will be granted the status of Board Eligible or Conditional Board Eligible upon approval of the Board. Candidates granted a Conditional Board Eligible status will NOT be allowed to sit for the Oral Examination until they have completed the requirements of their Entry Point.

Failing and Retaking the Written Examination

The Written Examination is comprehensive. Therefore, if a candidate fails the examination, they must retake the entire examination, not just those areas on which they did poorly.  A candidate must submit a new Written Examination application and re-examination fee in order to qualify to sit for the exam the following year.  Candidates may not retest within the same calendar year nor sit for the same version of the Written Examination more than once.

Candidates are allowed a maximum of three opportunities to take and pass the Written Examination, regardless of the number of times that Educationally Qualified status is conferred. Permission to take the Written Examination a fourth time may be granted only after the candidate submits a formal request to the Board stating the measures they have taken to improve their probability of passing the examination.

V.      THE ORAL EXAMINATION

Eligibility

After passing the Written Examination and meeting all other eligibility requirements, a candidate is notified of their Board Eligible status by the Board. A candidate who is Board Eligible must pass the Oral Examination within five years after being declared Board Eligible.  A candidate who is eligible to sit for the Oral Examination may not test within the same calendar year in which they passed the Written Examination.

If a candidate is granted a Conditional Board Eligible status, the candidate must complete all of the requirements of their Entry Point before they will be allowed to sit for the Oral Examination.  In addition, a Conditional Board Eligible candidate will not be allowed to sit for the Oral Examination until they have achieved the status of Board Eligible.  Conditional Board Eligible candidates have five years to achieve Board Eligible status and pass the Oral Examination.

Application

The Oral Examination application and fee must be received no later than February 1st of the year in which the examination will be taken. 

Examination Dates and Location

The Oral Examination is administered each spring in Tampa, FL. 

Special Accommodations

The American Board of General Dentistry may grant special accommodations for the Oral Examination to a candidate who:

  • submits a letter, a minimum of 60 days before the examination deadline, requesting special accommodations, and
  • provides documentation verifying their condition as well as the specifics of the special accommodations from a qualified professional (i.e. physician, psychologist, counselor) currently treating the candidate.

The ABGD reserves the right to authorize the use of auxiliary aids or modifications in such a way as to maintain the integrity and security of the examination process.

Content

The Oral Examination consists of two sections:

1)    Case Treatment Planning & Rationale
2)    Discipline-Specific Oral Examinations.

Candidates must pass both sections of the exam in order to complete the Board Certification process.

The Case Treatment Planning & Rationale Section

The Case Treatment Planning & Rationale section of the Oral Examination will consist of a dual track:

  • Standardized case diagnosis, treatment planning and rationale
  • Or presentation and rationale of two original cases.
Candidates must indicate which track they will to pursue when they submit their Oral Examination application. 

Standardized Case Diagnosis, Treatment Planning and Rationale Track

This examination is a four-hour exercise in which all candidates will be presented with a reasonably challenging standardized case from which they will develop a treatment plan and provide the complete rationale to support their treatment planning decision.

The candidate must develop and/or address the following:

1. Diagnosis/Problem list by discipline
2. Medical considerations
3. Treatment plan and rationale by phase:
  • Emergency Phase
  • Systemic Phase  (medical consults, tx modifications)
  • Preparatory Phase(caries/perio disease control, Oper, Endo, OS)
  • Reevaluation Phase (compliance, disease control)
  • Corrective-Restorative Phase
  • Maintenance Phase
Dental laboratory work authorizations must be carefully written and drawn on the lab form so that all pertinent information is present and clearly described. Critical information which cannot be easily identified on a properly prepared lab work authorization will be considered missing. At a minimum, the following RPD components must be included on the written aspect of the dental lab work authorization when indicated: retentive undercut, guideplanes, clasps, rests, reciprocation, major connector, minor connectors, occlusal scheme, denture tooth selection, and shade. Drawings must include acrylic outlines and an appropriate framework design. The only markings allowed on dental casts are survey lines. The drawing of an RPD design will not be accepted on a dental cast. Improper prosthetic design concepts, missing components of design concepts, or components which have not been addressed will be considered unacceptable.

4. Development of the treatment plan and rationale should be written so that the treatment plan is on the left side of the paper and the corresponding rationale is on the right.  Each candidate must complete the entire exam and submit all required information in order for the exam to be eligible for grading.  For example, a completed exam includes: problem list by discipline, medical consults if indicated, treatment plan and rationale by phase, charting of treatment rendered, correct design and proper writing of a lab script for removable partial dentures if indicated, and any other requested information discussed at the time of the exam.  Diagnosis and treatment rendered during each “phase” must be written in the order in which it is expected to be completed.

The candidate will be provided with:

  • Chief complaint
  • Medical and dental history
  • Complete dental examination findings
  • Full mouth and panoral radiographs (duplicate films or pictures)
  • Extraoral and intraoral photographic series
  • Perio charting
  • Unmounted diagnostic casts
  • Access to articulated casts and original radiographs

The candidate will provide:

  • Pens (blue or black only)
  • Colored pencils (red, blue and brown)
  • Surveyor
  • Instruments to remove pencil marks on cast

Important points to consider:

1. The treatment plan must be well organized and chronologically sequenced so that all problem areas are identified and then properly addressed according to current accepted standards and guidelines.  Diagnosis must also be appropriate and supported by a thorough systematic method of identifying oral disease, occlusal discrepancies, esthetic concerns and the overall ability to provide health, function and comfort for the patient

2. Submitted exams will be considered unacceptable if the diagnosis and/or treatment plan is considered incomplete, not supported by clinical findings or information provided, there are gross errors in content and sequencing, treatment rendered is clearly inappropriate and not supported by the current standard of accepted dental therapeutics.

3. All basic components of accepted design concepts for both fixed and removable prosthesis must be considered and optimally applied. Furthermore, restorative materials must be appropriate to the situation in which employed and the restorations must be physiologically compatible and well integrated with other elements of care. Dental laboratory work authorizations must be carefully written and drawn on the lab form so that all pertinent information is present and clearly described. Critical information which cannot be easily identified on a properly prepared lab work authorization will be considered missing. At a minimum, the following RPD components must be included on the written aspect of the dental lab work authorization when indicated: retentive undercut, guideplanes, clasps, rests, reciprocation, major connector, minor connectors, occlusal scheme, denture tooth selection, and shade. Drawings must include acrylic outlines and an appropriate framework design. The only markings allowed on dental casts are survey lines. The drawing of an RPD design will not be accepted on a dental cast. Improper prosthetic design concepts, missing components of design concepts, or components which have not been addressed will be considered unacceptable.

Any missing item,  general oversight, or failure to address the above mentioned items  may ultimately result in a failing grade.


Case Presentation Track

Each candidate is required to submit three reasonably challenging (moderately complex) cases.  Each case must include a minimum of three specialty categories which cannot be referred out for treatment.  These specialty categories include:

1.    Fixed Partial Dentures, Removable Partial Dentures, or Implants
2.    Periodontics (at least one surgical procedure)
3.    Operative Dentistry (restoration of single teeth to include single unit crowns, inlays or onlays)
4.    Oral Pathology/Oral Medicine
5.    Oral Surgery (extraction of at least three teeth)
6.    Orthodontics
7.    Endodontics

  • One case must include replacement of multiple missing teeth, using fixed partial dentures, removable partial dentures or implants.

  • One case must include surgical periodontal treatment (NOT referred out to another provider and is initiated to control/eliminate the disease process which involves some form of surgery in at least one quadrant, e.g. flap for debridement, osseous grafting, root amputation, surgical treatment of furcations, soft tissue augmentation, etc), and

  • One case must include operative dentistry (multiple teeth in multiple quadrants).

All cases must conform to the following criteria:

1. The majority of care, to include a minimum of three specialty disciplines, must be provided by the candidate acting as the primary clinician.  In the case of specialty referrals, the overall management of patient care remains the sole responsibility of the candidate.  As such, the candidate is accountable for and will be evaluated on the quality of diagnosis, treatment planning and care provided to the patient including any procedures performed by other dentists.

2. All documentation required by the Board, to include forms and other pertinent materials, must be used and submitted with the case.

3. Cases that are submitted must document complete care from diagnosis and treatment planning through completed treatment. All cases submitted must follow the "phase treatment" format:

  • Emergency Phase
  • Systemic Phase
  • Preparatory Phase
  • Reevaluation Phase
  • Corrective-Restorative Phase
  • Maintenance Phase

Diagnosis and treatment rendered during each "phase"must be written in the order in which it is expected to be completed. Development of the treatment plan and rationale should be written so that the treatment plan is on the left side of the paper and the corresponding rationale is on the right.

Incomplete cases will not be approved.  Any missing item, general oversight, or failure to address the above mentioned items  may ultimately result in a failing grade.

Prior to February 1st each year, Please submit 1 flash drive or CD for each case.  Each flash drive or CD must contain the following items for each case submitted to the Board for review and verification. 

Flash drives or CDs will not be returned to the candidate.

Oral Examination ~ Case Presentations

Information to be placed on CD or Flash Drive for Treatment Planning Case Presentation

NOTE: ONLY the Candidate ID # can be included on the CD or Flash drive. The candidates name cannot appear on any of the CD's or flash drives submitted.

File Name: Release of Information and Waivers
Content: Release of Information and Waivers

File Name: Biographic Information
Content: Age, sex. Medical and Dental Histories

File Name: Photographs
Content: Preoperative Clinical Photographs (10)
Postoperative Clinical Photographs (10)
Preoperative and Postoperative Photographs of casts (5), mounted and
unmounted, wax ups and RPD design

File Name: Radiographs
Content: Preoperative FMSXR and panograph
Postoperative FMSXR and panograph

File Name: Periodontal
Content: Periodontal charting (pre and post)

File Name: Problem List
Content: Problem list by tooth and discipline

File Name: Treatment Plan
Content: Treatment Plan and Rationale
Medical consults
Lab Prescriptions



Cases must meet all Board‑established criteria in order to be accepted for presentation.  If a case is judged as "Conditionally Acceptable," candidate will be notified with instructions on corrections and procedures for resubmission

If a case is judged as "Unacceptable," it will be returned to the candidate. The candidate must then submit a new case to the Board.

If all three of the submitted cases are judged as "Acceptable," the Board will identify the two of the cases that the candidate must present and defend during the Oral Examination.

The candidate must bring all case presentation materials to the Oral Examination. The candidate will have a maximum of 10 minutes to orally present the comprehensive treatment highlights of each case to the examiners. The presentation must follow the format outlined in the Oral Examination application. The examiners will question the candidate on each case, for 20 minutes, including questions about hypothetical situations suggested by the case history or clinical presentation.  Examiners will evaluate all questions and responses individually and independently.

Important points to consider:

1. Treatment plans must be well organized and chronologically sequenced so that all problem areas are identified and then properly addressed according to current accepted standards and guidelines.  Diagnosis must also be appropriate and supported by a thorough systematic method of identifying oral disease, occlusal discrepancies, esthetic concerns and the overall ability to provide health, function and comfort for the patient.  Medical consults, if indicated, must be written appropriately and accompanied by the corresponding recommendation from the attending physician.

2. The comprehensive treatment plan must follow the example provided on the American Board of General Dentistry web website -- "Sample Standardized Treatment Planning Case."  This includes:  patient history, examination findings, diagnosis/problem list by discipline, treatment objective/overview, six phases of treatment, prognosis, lab scripts (if applicable), medical consult forms, RPD design (if applicable), and periodontal charting.

3. Submitted exams will be considered unacceptable if the diagnosis and/or treatment plan is considered incomplete, not supported by clinical findings or information provided, there are gross errors in content and sequencing, and treatment rendered is clearly inappropriate or not supported by the current standard of accepted dental therapeutics.

4. Candidates may utilize digital photographs and radiographs provided no alterations of the images have been performed with the exception of peripheral cropping. Any alteration will be considered unacceptable. Photographs must exhibit excellent contrast and sharpness and all required views must be present.

5. All pre/post radiographs must be of diagnostic quality possessing excellent contrast and sharpness and properly mounted.  Cone cuts, distortions, and apical "cut-offs" seriously compromise diagnostic quality and are not considered acceptable. Articulated casts must be properly mounted, clean and without blebs, bubbles or other significant imperfections.

6. All basic components of accepted design concepts for both fixed, implant, and removable prosthesis must be considered and optimally applied.  Furthermore, restorative materials must be appropriate to the situation in which employed and the restorations must be physiologically compatible and well integrated with other elements of care.  Dental laboratory work authorizations must be carefully written and drawn on the lab form so that all pertinent information is present and clearly described.  Critical information which cannot be easily identified on a properly prepared lab work authorization will be considered missing.  At a minimum, the following RPD components must be included on the written aspect of the dental lab work authorization when indicated: retentive undercut, guideplanes, clasps, rests, reciprocation, major connector, minor connectors, occlusal scheme, denture tooth selection, and shade.  Drawings must include acrylic outlines and an appropriate framework design.  The only markings allowed on dental casts are survey lines.  The drawing of an RPD design will not be accepted on a dental cast.  Improper prosthetic design concepts, missing components of design concepts, or components which have not been addressed will be considered unacceptable.

7. Candidates must be prepared to defend their diagnosis, prognosis, treatment planning, treatment, and maintenance based upon evidence based dentistry, accepted current literature, classical literature, and the current standard of accepted dental therapeutics.

8. The candidate who demonstrates a superior understanding of the broad scope of comprehensive dentistry and can apply that knowledge in the clinical setting by demonstrating exceptional treatment outcomes will most certainly achieve board recognition.

The Discipline-Specific Oral Examinations Section

This section of the Oral Examination will be administered in eight sessions during a four-hour period.  Each session will last 25 minutes.  The eight sessions will consist of topic groupings as follows:

1. Oral Diagnosis/Oral Medicine/Oral Pathology
2. Oral Surgery/Oral Radiology
3. Orthodontics/Pediatric Dentistry/Public Health Dentistry/Infection Control
4. Endodontics
5. Periodontic
6. Operative Dentistry/Dental Materials
7. Fixed Prosthodontics/Implants
8. Removable Prosthodontics/Implants

Results of the Oral Examination

Results of the Oral Examination will be sent within six weeks of its administration.  Results of the examinations are confidential and will not be released to anyone other than the candidate, without written consent of the candidate.  Examination results cannot be released over the phone, fax, or by e-mail.

Passing the Oral Examination

Candidates who pass the Oral Examination and complete all of the requirements established by the ABGD Board of Directors will be granted the status of Board Certification upon approval of the Board.

Failing and Retaking the Oral Examination

Candidates who fail either section of the Oral Examination may retake it a maximum of two times. If the candidate does not become Board Certified within five years after being declared Board Eligible, the candidate will no longer be Board Eligible.  The candidate must reapply to the Board to re-establish the status of Educationally Qualified for Certification and pass a new Written Examination within a five-year period.

Candidates who take the Oral Examination and pass the Case Treatment Planning & Rationale section, but fail the Discipline-Specific Oral Examinations section of the exam will NOT be required to be retested on the Case Treatment Planning & Rationale section during subsequent attempts to pass the Oral Examination.

Candidates who take the Oral Examination and pass the Discipline-Specific Oral Examinations section, but fail the Case Treatment Planning & Rationale section of the exam will NOT be required to be retested on the Discipline-Specific Oral Examinations section during subsequent attempts to pass the Oral Examination.

Candidates who fail the Case Treatment Planning & Rationale section of the examination may elect to retest in either of the dual track options, but may not resubmit any previously examined cases during subsequent attempts to pass the Oral Examination.

Time Extension

Board Eligible dentists may request, due to extenuating circumstances, a one-year, non-renewable time extension of their eligibility by writing to the ABGD Board of Directors.  All written requests will be reviewed by the Board on an individual basis and written notification will be sent with the Board's final decision.

Boardsmanship

As is always the case, the board examiner wants to know how much you know and will make every reasonable attempt to get that information from you during the course of the exam.  For obvious reasons, each candidate should make every possible attempt to convey a positive impression upon each of the board examiners. In so doing, the candidate maximizes every opportunity for objective evaluation and minimizes the chance that subjective analysis will come into play.  As a rule, people will form a first impression by how you present yourself. This is reflected, in part, by the clothes you are wearing, by your personal demeanor, eye contact or lack thereof, verbal and nonverbal expressions, and the depth of knowledge you possess in the given subject matter.   Needless to say, dress for success.  Recommended attire for the treatment planning portion of the exam is, at a minimum, dress shirt and dress slacks for men and equivalent attire for women.  For the oral section of the board exam, it is recommended that men wear a jacket and tie and the equivalent for women.

Here are some suggestions for taking the written and oral section of the board exam:

  • Look and act professional.  Upon entrance to each discipline-specific room for the oral exam, respectfully shake the hand of your board examiner, display a warm, personal demeanor and sit erect in the chair.  In so doing, the candidate establishes a professional appearance and attitude in preparation for the exam.
  • Make appropriate eye contact with the examiner, and avoid sarcastic comments or arrogant facial expressions.
  • Know your subject matter as if you were the expert in the field, and be able to convey that information in a clear and concise manner.  The candidate who possesses a firm grasp of such knowledge generally displays a high level of confidence, poise and professionalism during the examination process.
  • Listen carefully to the questions presented and make sure you understand exactly what is being asked.  If uncertain, ask the examiner to clarify the question.  Never interrupt the examiner and always wait until the examiner finishes the question before you start to answer.
  • It is recommended that the candidate be direct and to the point.  Answer the question and then stop.  Do not offer more information than is necessary as that will only detract from the time you have to answer all of the questions possible.
  • If you do not know the answer to a particular question, ask to pass on that question and request to go back to it if time permits.
  • At the end of each discipline specific testing period, rise and shake your examiner’s hand. It is completely appropriate to say something pleasant, maintain good eye contact, and smile as you leave.  As others have stated, “the key is to exit on a positive note.”
  • Do NOT ask for an evaluation of your performance.

Remember, it's all about answering as many questions correctly to maximize your cumulative points. Study hard, practice often with a friend, present to the examiner with a positive attitude, and you should do well. Best wishes for a successful outcome!

VI.    ANNUAL REGISTRATION

The ABGD annual registration fee schedule is structured in the following manner:

  • First notices are emailed to the Board Eligible (BE), Conditionally Board Eligible (CBE) and the Board Certified (BC) dentists by September 1st. If payment is received by the ABGD office by December 31st, the annual registration fee will be $50 for Board Eligible and Conditionally Board Eligible dentists. The annual registration fee for Board Certified dentists will be $125. All registration payments will be due by December 31st annually.

  • Annual Dues paid after January 1st, will be $175 for BC and $65 for all BE, CBE. Dentists will have until August 31 to pay their annual registration fee.

  • As of September 1st of the subsequent annual registration period, those BE, CBE and BC dentists who are in arrears for the previous year's registration fee will have their status revoked.

  • Those dentists who wish to have their status reinstated with the ABGD must submit a letter for consideration to the Board of Directors, and in addition, a $100 reinstatement fee, and all past due annual registration, recertification fees, and CE hours.

  • The ABGD Board of Directors will review each reinstatement request.  All decisions by the ABGD Board are final.

Board Eligible and Conditional Board Eligible Dentists

In order to maintain Board Eligible or Conditional Board Eligible status, the candidate must remit an annual registration fee each year, for a maximum of five years that the candidate does not take and/or pass the Oral Examination.  Annual registration notices will be emailed September 1 each calendar year and follow the schedule listed under the next section.

Board Certified Dentists

The Board requires an annual registration fee from each individual designated as Board Certified.  Annual registration notices will be sent each calendar year on the following schedule:

1st Notice…………September 1 via email
2nd Notice…………December 1 via emial
3rd and Final Notice………...June 1 via email and US Mail

Disability Waiver

Board Eligible (BE) or Board Certified (BC) dentists may be request a disability waiver to defer payment of their annual registration fee:

A.  if the BE or BC dentist submits a letter from a physician or insurance company that verifies their condition; and

B. for a period not to exceed three years from the time the BE or BC dentist’s request is approved by the ABGD.

All waiver requests will be reviewed by the Board on an individual basis and written notification will be sent with the Board's final decision.

Change of Address

It is the responsibility of all Conditional Board Eligible, Board Eligible and Board Certified dentists to notify the ABGD of any changes of address in a timely manner.

VII. RECERTIFICATION


Except for those granted retired status, dentists who have been certified by the Board must be recertified every five years. Certified dentists must accumulate 125 hours of continuing education in clinical science, basic science or regulatory matters related to dentistry over this five‑year period.

Failure to meet recertification requirements will cause the Board Certified dentist’s name to be removed from the registration roster and forfeiture of the certificate.

In addition to the annual registration fee, a recertification fee is assessed to cover the expense of reviewing qualifications. Board Certified dentists will receive a reminder one-year prior to their required recertification. Recertification notices will be mailed out September 1 each calendar year.

VIII. RETIRED STATUS

The ABGD defines"Retired Status" as a certified member in good standing, no longer earning income from the profession of dentistry, including, but not limited to, service as a member of the faculty of a dental school, lecturer, researcher, dental administrator, consultant, or as a practitioner of any activity for which a license to practice dentistry is required.  A Certified dentist must submit written notification to the ABGD requesting a Retired status and verifying that they no longer receive compensation from the practice of dentistry.  When approved for retired status, they will be exempt from annual dues and academic recertification requirements.  Maintenance of retired status (in good standing) entitles the individual to all the privileges of a certified member.

Changing Status from Retired to Active


            The retired member must submit:
                        1.  A letter for consideration to the ABGD
                        2.  A $100 Reinstatement fee
                        3.  Documentation of continuing education (125 hrs/5 years)
                        4.  Recertification Fee of $75.
                        4.  Annual registration fee for each year, beginning from the date of retirement

IX.  REVOCATION OF THE CERTIFICATE

Reasons for Revocation

The Board has the authority to revoke any certificate issued by the American Board of General Dentistry if the dentist holding the certificate:

  • has their license to practice dentistry revoked;

  • is found guilty of any offense that may cause their dental license to be revoked;

  • makes a misstatement of fact in any application to the Board;

  • fails to limit the use of the certificate, as established in Chapter VII, Section 2 of the Bylaws, and as determined by the Board;

  • fails to pay the annual registration fee prior to or on the deadline established by the Board for receipt of this fee;

  • fails to meet the recertification requirements of the Board.
Upon revocation of a certificate by the Board, the holder shall return their certificate to the American Board staff and their name shall be removed from the annual registration roster of Board Certified general dentists.

Jurisdiction of the Board

The Board has sole jurisdiction to determine whether evidence presented is sufficient to revoke a certificate or to reinstate any revoked certificate, and whether reinstatement requires re-examination.

X. FEES

Fees paid to the American Board of General Dentistry are not refundable.  The fees listed below must be paid in U.S. funds and are subject to change without notice.

APPLICATION FEES
Qualifying Application $300
Written Examination Application $350
Oral Examination Application $475
RE-EXAMINATION FEES
Written Examination $300
Oral Examination $400
ANNUAL REGISTRATION FEE
Conditional Board Eligible and Board Eligible General Dentists $50/$65
Board Certified General Dentists $125/$175
RECERTIFICATION FEE
Recertification (Due every FIVE years in addition to the Annual Registration Fee) $75


Recent Graduate Fees

The American Board defines "Recent Graduates" as those candidates who have graduated from dental school within the past three years. Recent graduates will be permitted to pay reduced fees as outlined below.

Recent graduate candidates will be permitted to retake the Written Examination, within ONE year of the original sitting, for an additional fee of $175.  After the one-year period, candidates will be charged the standard $300 fee for all subsequent Written Examination retakes.

RECENT GRADUATES FEES
Qualifying Application $150
Written Examination Application $175
Re-Examination $175


Study Guide

The American Board of General Dentistry, Written Exam Study Guide contains 100 sample questions that reflect the content make-up of the exam.  An answer key and an answer sheet are included so that candidates can simulate testing and score their own results.

AMERICAN BOARD WRITTEN EXAM STUDY GUIDE FEE
ABGD Study Guide $45

For assistance to those preparing for the ABGD Oral Examination.   The ABGD Oral Examination Treatment Planning Study Guide is now available.  To order, please send a check for $45 or contact the ABGD office directly with your credit card information.  Expect 10-14 business days for delivery.

ORAL EXAMINATION TREATMENT PLANNING STUDY GUIDE
Oral Examination Treatment Planning Study Guide $45


ABGD Lapel Pin - Available Only to Board Certified General Dentists

The ABGD lapel pin is gold toned and purple and has been designed as an exact replica of the official ABGD seal.  To order a lapel pin, contact the ABGD staff. Expect 7-10 business days for delivery.

AMERICAN BOARD LAPEL PIN FEE
ABGD Lapel Pin $25


Certificate Reprints

Board Certified dentists who need to replace or want a duplicate of their official ABGD certificate must pay a fee in order to have their certificate reprinted.  To order a replacement certificate or to request a duplicate copy, contact the ABGD staff.

CERTIFICATE REPRINT FEE
Reprint Certificate $125



XI.  ADDITIONAL INFORMATION

Inquiries regarding this document or any matter pertaining to the American Board of General Dentistry may be forwarded to:

American Board of General Dentistry
490 N. Indian Rocks Road
Belleair Bluffs, FL 33770
Phone: 561-809-5491
Fax: 727-586-3331

Email: admin@ABGD.org
Website: www.ABGD.org





XII. APPENDIX A

CONTENT OUTLINE OF THE WRITTEN EXAMINATION


The content outline covers the following major dental disciplines.  The numbers in parentheses indicate the number of examination questions from that discipline.
Endodontics (35 Questions) 

  • Basic background 
    - Pathological response of pulpal and periodontal tissues 
    - Healing and repair responses of endodontic and periodontal tissues 
  • Diagnosis 
    - Patient history 
    - Clinical examination 
    - Diagnostic aids 
  • Treatment planning 
    - Treatment alternatives and respective prognoses 
    - Treatment rationale 
    - Anesthesia/analgesia selection 
    - Armamentaria/instrumentation selection 
    - Dental materials selection‑intracanal medicaments 
  • Clinical procedures and treatment 
    - Non‑surgical 
    - Surgical 
    - Post-treatment procedures

Oral Pathology/Oral Medicine/Oral Diagnosis (40 Questions)
Oral Pathology (18 Questions)

  • Developmental Defects
  • Abnormalities of Teeth
  • Allergies and Immunological Diseases
  • Epithelial Pathology
  • Salivary Gland Pathology
  • Soft Tissue Tumors
  • Bone Pathology
  • Odontogenic Cysts and Tumors
  • Dermatologic Diseases

Oral Medicine (17 Questions)

  • Hypertension
  • Diabetes
  • Pregnancy
  • Bisphosphonates
  • Bacterial Endocarditis
  • Joint Prophylaxis
  • Coagulopathies
  • INR
  • Renal Diseases
  • Cirrhosis

Oral diagnosis/TMD (5 Questions)

  • Basic background 
    - Normal histology and morphology 
    - Abnormal histology and morphology 
  • Diagnosis 
    - Patient history 
    - Clinical examination 
    - Diagnostic aids 
    - Diagnostic conclusions 
  • Treatment Planning 
    - Treatment alternatives and accompanying prognoses 
    - Treatment rationale 

Oral Surgery/Dental Radiology (35 Questions)
Oral Surgery (27 Questions) 

  • Basic background 
    - Healing and repair characteristics of oral and extraoral structures 
    - Anatomy 
  • Diagnosis 
    - History 
    - Clinical examination 
    - Diagnostic aids 
  • Treatment planning 
    - Treatment alternatives and accompanying prognoses 
    - Treatment rationale 
    - Selection of anesthesia/sedation 
    - Selection of armamentaria/instrumentation 
  • Clinical procedures and treatment 
    - Non‑surgical 
    - Surgical 
    - Post‑surgical
  • Implants

- Basic background
- Types of Implants
- Anatomy
- Implants vs. teeth
- Diagnosis
-  Diagnostic records
-Treatment planning
Dental Radiology (8 Questions) 

  • Basic background
  • Effect of varying factors on radiographic density 
  • Environmental/personal health considerations 
  • Materials and equipment 
  • Processing techniques 
  • Intraoral and extraoral imaging 
  • Interpretation of radiographs 
  • Abnormalities and localized defects 
  • Normal tissue, anatomic landmarks and artifacts 
  • Manifestations of systemic disease 
  • Congenital/developmental/hereditary abnormalities 
  • Digital radiography
  • Cone Beam CT 

Operative Dentistry (40 Questions) 

  • Background 
    - Cariology 
    - Dental anatomy 
  • Diagnosis 
    - Patient history 
    - Intraoral clinical examination 
    - Diagnostic aids 
  • Treatment planning 
    - Treatment alternatives and accompanying prognoses 
    - Treatment rationale 
  • Clinical esthetics 
    - Treatment of caries and acquired defects 
    - Traumatic injuries 
    - Pulpal considerations 
    - Selection of instrumentation 
    - Selection of dental materials
  • Dental materials

- Dental restorative (filling materials) 
- Bases, liners, and temporary restorative materials
- Bleaching agents
Fixed Prosthodontics (45 Questions) 

  • Basic background 
    - Centric position 
    - Types of occlusal patterns 
    - Potential pathologic occlusion 
  • Diagnosis 
    - Intraoral clinical examination 
    - Diagnostic aids 
  • Treatment planning 
    - Factors in the evaluation and development of treatment alternatives and prognosis 
    - Treatment rationale 
    - Selection of dental materials 
    - Sequencing treatment 
  • Clinical procedures and treatment 
    - Occlusal equilibrium 
    - Restorative procedures for tooth supported fixed partial dentures 
    - Restorative procedures for implant supported fixed partial dentures 
    - Post-insertion procedures
  • Implants

- Basic background
- Types of Implants
- Anatomy
- Implants vs. teeth
- Diagnosis 
- Treatment planning
- Complete or partial edentulous
- Types of restoration

  • Dental Materials

- Dental impression materials 
- Gypsum products 
- Methylmethacrylate and vinylmethacrylate resins 
- Dental cements/luting agents 
- Metals
- Ceramics
Removable Prosthodontics (30 Questions)
Removable Prosthodontics - Complete (10 Questions) 

  • Basic background 
    - Complete dentures 
    - Overdentures 
  • Diagnosis 
    - Patient history 
    - Clinical examination 
    - Diagnostic aids 
  • Treatment planning 
    - Evaluate compiled diagnostic data 
    - Develop a sequenced treatment plan 
    - Present treatment plan to patient for understanding and acceptance 
  • Clinical procedures and treatment 
    - Preconstruction (mouth preparation) 
    - Complete denture construction 
    - Delivering the complete denture 
    - Post‑Insertion care
  • Implants
  • Dental materials

Removable Prosthodontics - Partial (20 Questions) 

  • Basic background 
    - Classification of partially edentulous arches (Kennedy and others) 
    - Removable partial denture design 
  • Diagnosis 
    - Impression techniques 
    - Mounted diagnostic casts 
    - Physical properties and working characteristics of materials used 
  • Treatment planning 
    - Mounted diagnostic casts 
    - RPD design 
    - Hard and soft tissue abnormalities 
  • Clinical procedures and treatment 
    - Pre‑construction (mouth preparation) 
    - Construction 
    - Delivery 
    - Post-insertion care
  • Implants

Orthodontics/Pediatric Dentistry/Public Health (41 Questions)
Orthodontics (14 Questions) 

  • Basic background 
    - Facial growth and development 
    - Etiology of malocclusion 
  • Diagnosis 
    - Patient history 
    - Clinical examination 
    - Diagnostic aids 
    - Classification (skeletal, dental) 
  • Treatment planning 
    - Treatment goals 
    - Treatment sequence 
    - Factors affecting tooth movement 
    - Treatment rationale 
  • Clinical procedures and treatment 
    - Preventive 
    - Interceptive 
    - Corrective (non‑surgical) 
    - Clinical techniques 
    - Laboratory techniques 
    - Retention 
    - Re‑examination and evaluation 
  • Dental materials

Pediatric Dentistry (14 Questions) 

  • Basic background 
    - Development of dentition 
    - Cariology 
  • Diagnosis 
    - Patient history 
    - Examinations 
  • Treatment planning 
    - Treatment goals 
    - Behavior management 
    - Selection of restorative materials 
    - Treatment sequence 
    - Factors influencing treatment 
    - Treatment rationale 
  • Clinical procedures and treatment 
    - Behavior management 
    - Restorative treatment 
    - Traumatic injuries to teeth and soft tissue 
    - Periodontal disease in primary and mixed dentition 
    - Extraction of primary teeth 
  • Dental materials

Public Health Dentistry/Infection Control (13 Questions) 

  • Fluorides 
  • Oral hygiene products and techniques 
  • Mouthguards 
  • Sealants 
  • Diet/nutritional educational materials 
  • Treatment of the dentition to promote oral hygiene    
  • Determination of optimal interval for periodic examination and prophylaxis 
  • Infection control 
  • Sterilization
  • MSDS 
  • Personal protective devices 
  • OSHA regulations and compliance 

Periodontics (34 Questions) 

  • Basic background 
    - Clinical classification of periodontal diseases 
    - Pathological response of gingiva, periodontal ligament and alveolar bone 
    - Wound healing response in periodontal tissues 
    - Etiologic factors of periodontal disease 
  • Diagnosis 
    - Patient history 
    - Clinical examination 
    - Diagnostic aids 
    - Diagnostic conclusions 
  • Treatment planning 
    - Treatment alternatives and accompanying Prognoses 
    - Treatment rationale 
  • Clinical procedures and treatment 
    - Preparatory 
    - Re‑evaluation 
    - Corrective therapy 
    - Maintenance and recall 
  • Implants

- Basic background
- Types of Implants
- Anatomy
- Diagnosis
- Diagnostic imagery
- Bone density
- Implant site determinants
- Site development – soft and hard tissue
- Single or multiple stage surgery
Dental Materials and Implant Questions are part of other sections of the exam
Dental Materials (22 Questions)

Implantology (20 Questions)


(Revised 09/2011)


Note: Up to 100 hours of the 600 hours required of dentists applying via Entry Point II may be earned by teaching or publication. These teaching or publication hours can be applied to the minimum CDE requirements only after the minimum subject category hours required for Entry Point II are met through actual course attendance