While searching for a new dentist, you may have encountered the term “board certified” during your research. But what exactly does this mean? Is it just another fancy title that dentists use to attract patients? Board certification is a highly esteemed accomplishment requiring years of hard work and dedication. In this blog post, we’ll explore what board certification means for dentists and why it should matter to you as a patient. We’ll break down the process of becoming board certified, what it entails, and the benefits it can offer dentists and their patients. So buckle up, and get ready to dive into the world of dental board certification!
What Does Board Certified Mean for Dentists?
Board certification is a process by which a dentist undergoes additional training and education in a specific area of dentistry beyond what is required for a general dental license. It is a voluntary certification obtained through the American Board of Dental Specialties (ABDS). It indicates that a dentist has achieved a certain level of expertise and proficiency in their field.
To become board certified, a dentist must meet a rigorous set of criteria, including completing additional education and training, passing a written exam, and demonstrating clinical proficiency in their field. The process can take several years to complete, and dentists must maintain their certification through continuing education and periodic re-examination. But, the skills required to complete this process and become a successful dentist are extensive, and you can learn more about what skills are needed to be a dentist here.
Basics Why Should Your Dentist Have a Board Certification
So, why should patients care about a dentist’s board certification? For starters, it adds assurance that the dentist has a high knowledge and expertise in their specialty area. Board certification can also indicate that a dentist is committed to staying up-to-date with the latest techniques and advancements in their field, which can ultimately lead to better patient outcomes.
Additionally, many insurance companies and healthcare networks require dentists to be board certified to participate in their networks. This can make it easier for patients to find qualified providers covered by their insurance.
However, it’s important to note that board certification does not guarantee quality care. Patients should still do their due diligence in researching potential dentists, reading reviews, and asking for referrals before deciding. But, by seeking out a board-certified dentist, patients can have added peace of mind knowing they are working with a qualified and dedicated professional. One of the ways to differentiate dentists is by their specializations, for instance, understanding the difference between a periodontist and a dentist.
Board Certified Dentist Today: What Percentage of Dentists are Board Certified?
The percentage of dentists who are board certified varies depending on the specialty area. According to the American Board of Dental Specialties (ABDS), as of 2021, the following percentages of dentists in each specialty area are board certified:
- Endodontics: 40%
- Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery: 56%
- Orthodontics and Dentofacial Orthopedics: 39%
- Pediatric Dentistry: 48%
- Periodontics: 45%
- Prosthodontics: 30%
It’s important to note that not all dental specialties have a board certification program through the ABDS. For example, general and cosmetic dentistry does not have a board certification program. However, dentists in these areas may pursue advanced training and certifications through other organizations, like becoming a DDS.
Overall, while the percentage of board-certified dentists varies by specialty, it’s clear that a significant number of dentists have gone through the rigorous process of becoming board certified to demonstrate their expertise and commitment to their specialty area.
Board Certified Pediatric Dentist
A board-certified pediatric dentist is a dentist who has completed additional education and training in the field of pediatric dentistry and has passed a rigorous examination process through the American Board of Pediatric Dentistry (ABPD).
To become board certified in pediatric dentistry, a dentist must complete a two-year residency program after dental school. The residency program includes extensive clinical experience in treating infants, children, and adolescents with various dental needs, including those with special needs.
After completing the residency program, the dentist must pass a written and oral examination administered by the ABPD. The examination covers oral health in children, growth and development, behavior management, and pediatric dental procedures.
Once a dentist becomes board certified in pediatric dentistry, they must maintain their certification through continuing education and periodic re-examination. This ensures that they stay up-to-date with the latest research and techniques in pediatric dentistry.
Choosing a board-certified pediatric dentist can give parents peace of mind knowing that their child is receiving care from a highly qualified and dedicated professional who has demonstrated a high level of expertise in treating children’s dental needs. Pediatric dentists can help ensure that children develop good oral health habits early on, leading to a lifetime of healthy teeth and gums.
Is it Bad if a Dentist is Not Board Certified?
Not necessarily. While board certification is a highly respected achievement demonstrating a dentist’s dedication and expertise in their field, it is not required to practice dentistry. Many highly qualified and skilled dentists are not board certified for various reasons, such as choosing not to specialize in a particular area or pursuing other professional goals.
However, board certification can assure patients that the dentist has undergone additional education and training in a specific area of dentistry beyond what is required for a general dental license. It can also indicate a commitment to staying up-to-date with their field’s latest advancements and techniques, ultimately leading to better patient outcomes.
If you are considering a dentist not board certified, it’s important to do your due diligence in researching their qualifications and experience. Read reviews from other patients, ask for referrals from trusted sources, and ask the dentist about their education and training. By researching and asking questions, you can feel confident that you are making an informed decision about your dental care.
What is a Non-Board Certified Dentist?
A non-board-certified dentist is a dentist who has not obtained certification from a dental specialty board. Board certification is a voluntary process that dentists can undergo to demonstrate their expertise and proficiency in a particular area of dentistry.
To become board certified, a dentist must complete additional education and training beyond their dental degree and pass a rigorous examination to demonstrate their knowledge and skill in their chosen specialty. The American Board of Dental Specialties (ABDS) is the main organization that grants board certification in the United States.
While board certification is not required to practice dentistry, it is an important credential that can give patients confidence in their dentist’s abilities. However, it’s worth noting that many skilled and competent dentists choose not to pursue board certification and that a lack of certification does not necessarily indicate a lack of expertise. Ultimately, patients must research their dentist’s qualifications and experience before choosing a provider.
How Do You Know if a Dentist is Board Certified?
If you are looking for a board-certified dentist, there are several ways to determine if a dentist has achieved this certification:
- Check the American Board of Dental Specialties (ABDS) website: The ABDS is the organization that oversees board certification for dentists in various specialty areas. You can visit their website and use their search tool to find board-certified dentists in a specific specialty.
- Check the dentist’s website or office: Many dentists will include information about their board certification on their website or in their office. Look for indications such as logos or language that indicate they are board certified.
- Ask the dentist directly: If you are unsure about a dentist’s board certification status, you can always ask them directly. They should be able to provide you with information about their education, training, and certification.
It’s important to note that not all dental specialties have a board certification program through the ABDS. For example, General and cosmetic dentistry do not have board certification programs. However, dentists in these areas may pursue advanced training and certifications through other organizations.
How to Find a Board-Certified Dentist Near Me?
To find a board-certified dentist near you, you can follow these steps:
- Visit the website of the American Board of Dental Specialties (ABDS) at https://www.abgd.org/.
- Click on the “Find a Diplomate” tab on the top menu.
- Choose the specialty you are interested in from the drop-down menu. The ABDS offers certifications in nine specialties: Dental Anesthesiology, Dental Public Health, Endodontics, Oral and Maxillofacial Pathology, Oral and Maxillofacial Radiology, Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery, Orthodontics and Dentofacial Orthopedics, Pediatric Dentistry, and Periodontics.
- Enter your city or ZIP code in the search bar.
- Click on the “Search” button.
- The website will display a list of board-certified dentists in your area. You can click on each dentist’s name to view their contact information and learn more about their practice.
Additionally, you can ask for recommendations from your primary care physician, friends, or family members who have had positive experiences with a dentist in your area. You can also check online reviews and ratings of dentists in your area on websites such as Google, Yelp, or Healthgrades.
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We hope you enjoyed today’s What Does Board Certified Mean for Dentists. Have a great day ahead!