About ABDS

The ABDS is an independent organization of member dental specialty boards with shared goals and standards related to the certification of dental specialists. The Member Boards consist of specialty examiners who are charged with the evaluation and certification of dental specialty candidates. Evaluation of candidates includes verification that minimum training standards have been met and a successful formal evaluation of a candidate’s knowledge base and clinical decision-making has taken place. Evaluation of knowledge and clinical decision-making must include, at a minimum, written and oral examinations of candidates with valid, reliable, and calibrated testing methods. Successful achievement of these standards is designated through Board Certification by the respective specialty board. Member Boards must have an ongoing process of education and assessment to enhance practice performance.


The mission of the American Board of Dental Specialties (ABDS) is to encourage the further development of the profession of Dentistry through independent recognition of specialty certifying boards, improve the quality of care, and ultimately protect the public. The ABDS is created and predicated on the principle that an organization, independent of any trade association or self-interest group, is required for the objective evaluation and determination of specialty areas in dentistry. Accordingly, the objective of the ABDS is to provide a fair, equitable, and evidence-based process for evaluating and recognizing dental certifying boards, their certification requirements, and their respective areas of practice as specialty areas in Dentistry to allow an impartial mechanism for state regulators to recognize dental specialists.