Oral Examination for Diplomate Status

Candidates for Diplomate status whose applications and supporting documentation have been reviewed and accepted by the ABCP are eligible to sit for the oral examination for Diplomate status. Although successful completion of the written examination is not a prerequisite for the oral examination, candidates for Diplomate status must successfully complete the oral examination no later than five (5) years after passing the written exam.

Dentists who have previously taken the oral examination unsuccessfully may retake the oral examination. After two times of failing the oral examination, candidates for Diplomate status are required to retake, and successfully complete, the written examination again before taking the oral examination again.

Submission of Patient Case Histories

All candidates must submit three (3) patient case histories on forms approved and provided by the ABCP Board for case defense (see Exhibit E, Exhibit F and Exhibit G) with their applications for ABCP Diplomate status. The patient case histories must include one craniofacial pain case plus one internal derangement case. For the third patient case history, the applicant may choose to provide either a craniofacial pain case or an internal derangement case. (Note: Candidates who are reapplying must submit three (3) patient case histories, only one of which may be a previously submitted patient case history.)

Patient case histories must include the diagnosis and treatment to completion of a patient by the candidate, and establish the candidate's ability, proficiency and exceptional skill in a broad spectrum of treatment procedures relevant to the diagnosis and treatment of Craniofacial Pain and temporomandibular disorders of non-dental or alveolar origin to the satisfaction of the ABCP Board.

Each patient case history must include a brief (35 words or less) description of the case, and address the justification of any treatment and contain documentation thereof, which shall include:

  • Radiographs: Of a quality sufficient to derive the information recorded

  • Models

  • Medical History: A thorough review of the patient's past and current medical history

  • Examination: The patient's chief complaint, clinical signs and symptoms, and a description of the general condition of the patient at the inception of treatment

  • Clinical Diagnosis: A pre-treatment clinical diagnosis consistent with the symptoms and clinical tests reported

  • Treatment Plan: A recommended plan of treatment with alternative treatment plans where indicated

  • Clinical Procedures: A presentation of clinical procedures for the case

  • General Documentation (Note: typewritten documentation should be clear and precise. The quality of radiography must be sufficient to derive the information recorded.)

The ABCP Examination Committee will evaluate case histories. Case histories which are found to contain procedural deficiencies or which are otherwise flawed so as to render them inadequate, either during or prior to their circulation for evaluation, will be returned without prejudice to the candidate with instruction for correction and resubmission. Resubmissions must be received on or before the application deadline and accompanied by a non-refundable "late fee" of $300.

Oral Case Defense

The purpose of the Oral Case Defense is to a) determine how well a candidate's knowledge, skills and aptitude are integrated into patient care, and b) evaluate the candidate's competence in this area of clinical sciences as mandated by the Accreditation Standards for Advanced General Dentistry Education Programs in Orofacial Pain of the Commission on Dental Accreditation of the American Dental Association (CODA).

The oral examination of each candidate is conducted by three (3) ABCP Diplomates.

The format is an interactive one, in which one or more of the examiners may pose pertinent and clinically-relevant questions to the candidate at any point during his or her presentation of each of the three (3) required cases.

Although exact times will vary, for planning purposes we recommend that candidates allot approximately 30 minutes for the presentation, review and discussion of each case.