Why should I become certified by the ABGD?

Board certification by the American Board of General Dentistry signifies the pinnacle of achievement in general dentistry and is an individual credential beyond any other in general dentistry.  Board certification with the ABGD demonstrates your ongoing commitment to excellence.  It requires dedication and perseverance to complete the steps required for certification, but it is a readily attainable goal. 

Board certification represents one’s willingness to be examined by one’s peers who have the same goals and have gone through the same process and who, at the same time, respect those who share the ambition of achieving certification.  This prestigious recognition of extensive knowledge in comprehensive dental care will give clinicians confidence that they are able to provide their patients with the highest level of care possible.

Why should I include board certification with the ABGD as one of my professional goals?

Successful completion of the board process ensures great personal and professional satisfaction through dedication to reaching one’s greatest potential in general dentistry, one that only a select handful in the profession will ever achieve.  It provides the attainment of board certification on par with the dental specialties.

Board certification is an advantage when seeking employment and advancement in academia and hospitals. 

This credential is often desired for hiring general dentist directors of AEGD and GPR residency programs.

In the military, it is important for promotion, pay, and higher-level postings.   

Board certification recognizes great ability, knowledge, pride, and accomplishment in the complex area of general dentistry.  It can open many options for the varying career paths we may eventually take over time in our profession. 

How can I get help becoming Board Certified?

The Board staff and the nine members of the ABGD Board of Directors (the examining board itself) will try to direct you to resources that may be of benefit to you. You may obtain written study aids from the ABGD, in addition you can print the Reference List for the Oral and Written Examinations. Contact the ABGD for more information: assistant@americanboardofgeneraldentistry.org

How will I benefit from Board Certification?

In private practice?

Board certification adds to prestige in the community especially with other colleagues.  The community and colleagues will recognize your commitment to excellence, personal satisfaction, zest for lifelong learning and provide confidence for patient care.  The American Board of General Dentistry has recently set guidelines on the appropriate use of the ABGD credential to the public by way of advertising, listings, or office signage.

In a hospital setting?

Credentials committees in hospitals are increasingly looking for objective evidence of an individual’s training and mastery of their particular discipline before granting privileges.  Board certification by the ABGD provides that evidence for general dentists.  In addition, many hospitals have requirements that elected officers of the medical/dental staff and/or committee chairs must be board certified in order to serve in those positions.

In the military?

The Armed Forces provide for a significant increase in pay for the Board Certified dentist. Board Certification is indispensable to ensure maximum opportunity for advancement and promotion.

In an academic setting?

Dental education is currently facing a crisis with the vast number of open faculty positions in dental schools and other academic settings.  The ABGD credential provides an “open door” to teach.  Board certification is often one of the standards by which clinical faculty are judged.  ABGD board certification provides a mechanism for general dentists to be judged in a similar manner to board certified specialists and aids in promotion and tenure in many academic environments.

If I am an AGD Master?

You have made a significant commitment to lifelong learning.  Your Mastership brought with it the charge to use your experience to teach.  Board certification by the ABGD offers a natural continuum to this process.  It provides you with a motivation to set and fulfill additional career goals that will ultimately improve your abilities as a general dentist.  You will benefit, as will your patients and colleagues.

If I am a resident?

The Commission on Dental Accreditation (CODA) accredits GPR and AEGD residency programs as well as the specialty residency programs.  CODA presently does not have a process to recognize non-specialty certifying boards.  The Academy of General Dentistry recognizes the American Board of General Dentistry as the certifying body for graduates of CODA-accredited post-doctoral programs.

If I am a Program Director?

As a Program Director of a GPR/AEGD residency, others benefit from your having attained board certification by the ABGD.  You owe it to your residents to set the standard and encourage them to commit themselves to following in your footsteps to become board certified.  You will also derive personal benefit by having a credential that puts you on footing that is more equal with the dental specialists, with whom you associate on a daily basis.