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Board Certification Demonstrates:

  • A Pediatric Dentist has the required specialized knowledge and skills to earn board certification.
  • A Pediatric Dentist has commitment to continuous competency and lifelong learning.
  • A pediatric dentist has dedication to providing quality patient care.
  • An additional credential that may be required for hospital privileges.


Examination Eligibility Requirements:

To be eligible a pediatric dentist must provide evidence of one of the following three:

  • Completion of advanced education in Pediatric Dentistry which is approved by the American Dental Association/Commission on Dental Accreditation or the Commission of Dental Accreditation of Canada (CDAC).
  • Internationally trained Pediatric Dentist (from a non-accredited ADA/CDA or CDAC specialty program) should contact a Program Director of an ADA/CDA or CDAC approved training program in Pediatric Dentistry and request advanced placement or credit by examination leading to certification of completion of the program.
  • Internationally trained Pediatric Dentist (from a non-accredited ADA/CDA or CDAC specialty program) who has been a full-time faculty member in an accredited ADA/CODA or CDAC pediatric dentistry training program for 12 consecutive months during the past 2 years with verification by the Department Chair in Pediatric Dentistry.
  • All Pediatric Dentists must provide evidence of an active license with expiration date, a faculty permit, a faculty limited license, or an international dental license to engage in the practice and/or teaching of pediatric dentistry and a copy of the certification of completion of the training program.

Step by Step

Steps to Certification

Pediatric Dentistry Program

Begin advanced education in Pediatric Dentistry program.

Qualifying Examination

Apply for the Qualifying Examination in final residency year or if all eligibility requirements are met. The QE application is available July 1 – December 15th. The QE exam is administered annually in May at testing centers.

Board Candidacy

Apply for Board Candidacy with proof of dental license and completion of pediatric residency program. The deadline to apply for Board Candidacy is November 30th of the year participating in the QE. Click here for more information on Board Candidacy.

Oral Clinical Examination

Candidates that have successfully completed the QE and applied for Board Candidacy, can apply for the Oral Clinical Examination. The OCE application opens annually in January. The OCE is administered annually at a facility specially designed for administration of professional specialty board oral examinations.

Board Certification

Once a Candidate successfully completes all requirements, the Candidate will earn ABPD certification and become an ABPD Diplomate.

A Two-Part Exam

ABPD Certification Examinations

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Part I

Qualifying Examination

The QE is the first examination of the two-part certification process for Diplomate status in the American Board of Pediatric Dentistry. The examination is designed to generate evidence toward validation of the individual's advanced training in pediatric dentistry. The QE must be successfully completed prior to registering for the OCE.

The QE has 200 multiple choice questions. Candidates have 4 hours to complete the examination. The QE is administered annually in May at testing centers.

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Part II

Oral Clinical Examination

The OCE is the last examination of the two-part certification process for Diplomate status in the American Board of Pediatric Dentistry. The purpose of the OCE is to enable the Candidate to demonstrate proficiency in diagnosis, treatment planning, and clinical care.

The examination is composed of two one-hour sessions administered successively by two examiners. Each session consists of clinical vignettes that are presented to the candidate for discussion. The exam is administered annually at a facility specifically designed for administration of professional specialty board oral examinations.

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For more information about ABPD Certification, please download and view our certification guide.

Certification Guide