What Does It Mean to Be a Board-Certified Orthodontist?

When it comes to finding a professional to perform a service, you want to be sure they’re the top experts – and it’s the same way with orthodontic treatment. Dr. Delplanche is a board-certified expert with years of experience in the field of straightening smiles. But if you’re wondering what it means to be a board-certified orthodontist, you’re not alone. We’re here to break down the origins of the American Board of Orthodontics and the steps it takes to become certified so you know just how important it is to choose an accredited orthodontist for your treatment. Let’s get started!

About the American Board of Orthodontics

The ABO was founded in 1929 to support orthodontic excellence in practices across the United States. Since then, this well-rounded board of experts has set the standard for quality and made it possible for orthodontists to prove their mettle in the field. Their mission is to promote orthodontic education, collaboration, and certification so that families (and smiles) everywhere get the benefits of high-quality treatment. 

What Does It Mean to Be Board-Certified?

At its most basic level, board certification is a mark of high honor and distinction for orthodontists who have gone above and beyond to master their field. The ABO’s rigorous board certification exam is designed to test the strengths and weaknesses of an orthodontist; if they have what it takes to pass the written and clinical exams, it is a reflection of their ability to handle any case that comes before them. Additionally, the ABO requires orthodontists to renew their certification every ten years, meaning orthodontists have to maintain their level of proficiency over time to keep their certification. 

For parents wondering how important it is to choose a board-certified orthodontist for their child’s treatment, remember that this stamp of approval is the highest mark of quality an orthodontist can receive. It shows that an orthodontist is backed by more than just good reviews or before and after photos. Board certification equals quality, experience, skill, and technique. 

How Does an Orthodontist Become Board-Certified?

For an orthodontist to become board certified, they must begin a long journey of specialty training, education, and evaluation. The road to board certification starts long before you’d guess, and because of the ten-year renewal requirement, it never really ends! 

Let’s follow Dr. Delplanche through the board certification process. 

#1: Undergrad & Dental School

Every ABO-certified orthodontist started out as a student. Dr. Delplanche attended four years of school at Oregon State University before moving on to Oregon Health & Science University. As early as dental school, Dr. Delplanche was already dedicated to going above and beyond, which is why he studied hard to get two degrees: his Doctor of Medicine in Dentistry and his Master of Science in Orthodontics. 

#2: Orthodontic Residency

After graduation, Dr. Delplanche continued on to attend a CODA-accredited orthodontic residency program for two and a half years. During this time, he learned key skills for orthodontic evaluations and honed his critical thinking ability under pressure. This program provided him with clinical experience that would prove invaluable on his board certification exam in the future. 

#3: ABO Written Exam 

The written exam is where board certification gets real. After 18 months of residency, Dr. Delplanche and the other students in his program finally became eligible to take the board exam. 

This exam tests basic competency in orthodontic tools, skills, and procedures using a simple question-and-answer format with four modules and 240 total questions. Dr. Delplanche passed with flying colors after demonstrating knowledge in these areas: basic & applied biomedical sciences, clinical sciences, and clinical case analysis. 

#4: ABO Clinical Exam

After Dr. Delplanche passed the written exam, he moved on to the scenario-based clinical exam. This test allows the ABO to provide a series of hypothetical clinical scenarios, ask questions about how the orthodontist would approach treatment for this scenario, and score these answers based on a pass/fail basis. The clinical exam may cover patient history, periodontal charting, photographs & X-rays, and more to ensure the orthodontist has mastery over their craft. 

Dr. Delplanche passed this exam and was awarded board certification status, so you can trust that you’re in the right place at Delplanche Orthodontics

#5: Continuing Education

A major part of being board certified is an orthodontist’s commitment to continuous learning over the course of their careers. Because new approaches, innovations, and techniques are always developing in the world of orthodontics, the ABO requires each board-certified doctor to renew their certification and prove they’re attending continuing education events to maintain their status. 

As you can see, being a Board Certified Orthodontist is no simple task, which is why we’d like to congratulate Dr. Delplanche for recently passing the exams required for recertification and on this great achievement. Thank you, Dr. Delplanche, for your commitment to a high standard of care for your patients and practice!

Only the Best at Delplanche Orthodontics

Choosing a board-certified orthodontist to align your or your child’s smile is the best way to ensure you get the long-lasting, beautiful results you desire. With a standard of excellence backed by the American Board of Orthodontics, Dr. Delplanche has the skills and expertise to correct any malocclusion, so you can feel confident in your grin. If you’re ready to get started with orthodontic treatment, call our office in Beaverton or Lake Oswego to book your free consult today!