ABOD_LogoCertification Process

A candidate who desires to pursue board certification may submit an application to the Secretary of the board. The Secretary will transmit the application and related documents to the board's Committee on Candidate Eligibility and Credentials for evaluation. When the application is approved, the candidate becomes board eligible, and is informed of his/her status. 

Board Eligible status begins on the date the application is approved and expires March 1st following the third anniversary of the approval. The candidate has until the expiration date to successfully complete the written examination, and an additional two (2) years (total of 5) to complete all phases of the certification. 

The Board Certification process has three examinations, or phases. Upon successfully completing all phases, the candidate achieves the status of board certified. This status is valid for seven (7) years, and will be maintained for subsequent seven-year period so long as he/she remains in good standing as a member of the American Board of Operative Dentistry, Inc. (ABOD) and the Academy of Operative Dentistry (AOD), as outlined in the ABOD by-laws. ABOD will issue a dated certificate designating the successful attainment of board certification, as well as subsequent recertifications. 

Eligibility Requirements

  1. All candidates must be currently enrolled in or have completed an acceptable*, formal**, postgraduate education program in operative or restorative dentistry. 

  2. Candidates may apply for board eligibility while enrolled in postgraduate operative dentistry programs. All candidates currently enrolled in postgraduate programs must include a letter of good standing from the program director with their applications. 

  3. All candidates must conform to the acceptable moral and ethical standards delineated by the American Dental Association. 

  4. All candidates must be members of the Academy of Operative Dentistry. Academy membership is required for board eligibility and must be maintained throughout all phases of the certification process

* "Acceptable" refers to those formal programs in Operative or Restorative Dentistry offered by educational institutions accredited by the ADA Commission on Dental Accreditation. Programs must be two (2) or more years in duration and lead to a Master's Degree (M.S.) in Operative or Restorative Dentistry. 

** The term "formal" refers to a course or program with a minimum of two (2) full-time academic years or its equivalent. The major emphasis of the academic course or program must be on operative-restorative procedures and supporting disciplines. 


The examination leading to certification will test the candidate's knowledge of operative dentistry and those allied supporting disciplines that make it possible to practice and teach operative dentistry with a high level of proficiency. The examination consists of three phases: written, clinical, and oral. Successful completion of the written phase is a prerequisite to the clinical and oral phases. 

Click Here for ABOD Application for Eligibility

Click Here for Examination Instructions and Procedural Guide

Click Here for Portfolio Exam Requirements