What is a Diplomate?

Diplomate, American Board of Craniofacial Pain (DABCP)

Earning "Diplomate" status in the American Board of Craniofacial Pain (ABCP) is an important professional achievement that signifies to patients plus dental, medical and other healthcare professionals that the dentist has met the highest standards of care as set forth by the ABCP. In addition, dentists who are ABCP board-certified abide by the ABCP Code of Ethics and continuously refresh their knowledge and skills by participating in the ABCP Maintenance of Certification program.

ABCP certification does not denote specialty status nor does it confer or imply any legal qualification, licensure or privilege in professional activities. The ABCP adheres to the American Dental Association Principles of Ethics and Code of Professional conduct and advises all dentists who are ABCP certified to follow the code when advertising their status. It is also recommended that each individual dentist consult their state or local regulatory agency and adhere to their requirements.

Diplomate, American Board of Craniofacial Pain (DABCP): The discipline of Craniofacial Pain includes the assessment, diagnosis, and management of patients with pain disorders in the craniofacial area. This includes the pursuit of knowledge of the underlying pathophysiology and mechanisms of these disorders. Specifically, this includes the assessment and diagnosis, and may include management of temporomandibular joint disorders, headache disorders, complex masticatory and interrelated cervical neuromuscular pain disorders, craniofacial-related sleep disorders, neuropathic craniofacial pain disorders, neurovascular craniofacial pain disorders, chronic regional pain syndrome, craniofacial dyskinesia, dystonias, and related disorders causing persistent pain and dysfunction of the craniofacial structures.

Dentists who are board-certified and have, therefore, earned the right to use the designation "Diplomate, American Board of Craniofacial Pain" in accordance with the ADA Principles of Ethics and Code of Professional Conduct, and their state or local regulatory agency requirements:

  • Hold, at minimum, a dental degree (DDS or DMD) or its equivalent;

  • Possess an active and unrestricted license to practice dentistry;

  • Have successfully completed:

    • At least 2 years of graduate study in an accredited dental school program which resulted in a certificate or advanced degree in the diagnosis and treatment of Craniofacial Pain, or a minimum of 500 hours of Craniofacial Pain related continuing education courses.

    • All aspects of diagnosis and treatment for at least 100 patients whose chief complaints included Craniofacial Pain of non-dental or alveolar origin.

    • Rigorous ABCP written and oral examinations for Diplomate status.

    • Have obtained two letters of recommendation/sponsorship from ABCP Diplomates in good standing.

    • Have agreed to abide by the ABCP Code of Ethics.