What It Means To Be Board Certified

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What does it mean to be “Board-Certified”?

A Board Certified Oral and Maxillofacial Surgeon has graduated from an accredited dental school and is licensed in the state in which he/she practices. In addition, this individual has completed an oral and maxillofacial surgery residency program approved by the American Dental Association’s Commission on Dental Accreditation.

The American Board of Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery is recognized by the American Dental Association as the specialty board for oral and maxillofacial surgery. The Board is responsible for reviewing all applicants for board certification as well as administering the examinations involved in the certification process.

During his/her oral and maxillofacial surgery residency, a board certified Oral and Maxillofacial Surgeon received graduate training in other disciplines such as general surgery,otolaryagology,plastic surgery, medicine, anesthesia and pathology. Oral and Maxillofacial Surgeons are trained to treat patients in the hospital, outpatient facilities, surgery centers and in private offices.


In order to become board certified, an individual must complete an intensive application and examination process. Applicants for board certification in oral and maxillofacial surgery must provide verified written evidence of their educational and training qualifications. In addition, these individuals must provide evidence of their experience in all aspects of oral and maxillofacial surgery.

This Includes:

  • Medical Assessment & Management Of Surgical Patients
  • Anesthesia
  • Dentoalveolar Implants
  • Facial Trauma and Reconstruction
  • Orthognathic Surgery (Corrective Jaw Surgery)
  • Obstructive Sleep Apnea Surgery
  • Cleft Lip & Palate and Craniofacial Syndromes
  • Continued Competence

Finally, a board certified Oral and Maxillofacial Surgeon was required to pass both a thorough written qualifying examination and a rigorous oral certifying examination to be certified as a Diplomate of the American Board of Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery. Diplomates are encouraged to maintain current competence by ongoing continuing education.

Diplomates are recertified in current competency every ten years by a comprehensive written examination.

Continuing professional education is an important tool keeping Oral and Maxillofacial Surgeons current on new developments in the field. This is accomplished through national meetings, seminars, lectures, special courses, panels, symposia, and self study. The Board Certified Oral and Maxillofacial Surgeon has demonstrated a commitment to continued professional development. The American Board of Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery encourages its Diplomates to continue their professional development through educational experiences.

Non-Certified Oral and Maxillofacial Surgeons

Maybe more or less competent. They may not be board- certified because they have not made application for their certification credential, because they have been turned down for membership, or because they have lost the credential for failing to continue meeting the minimum requirements.