Frequently Asked Questions

What are the benefits of becoming a credentialed Craniofacial Pain/TMD practitioner?

When are examinations for ABCP Diplomate status offered?

When am I eligible to complete the requirements for Diplomate status?

Can I take the written and oral examinations for ABCP Diplomate status on the same day?

What is the best way to prepare for the credentialing examinations?

How should I go about selecting the three (3) Patient Case Histories that must be included with the application for ABCP Diplomate status?

Are paper copies of radiograph fmx, panoramic films and/or CT scans acceptable?

Are there rules or guidelines concerning how I can advertise my Diplomate status?


What are the benefits of becoming a credentialed Craniofacial Pain/TMD practitioner?

Participation in ABCP certification provides you with an opportunity to demonstrate your knowledge, skills and proficiency in craniofacial pain assessment, diagnosis and management to prospective patients and referral sources through independent testing, which is one of the most universally acknowledged and widely accepted validation methods.

Successful completion of the ABCP board-certification process will provide you with:

  • Documentation of clinical and academic competence in the assessment, diagnosis and management of Craniofacial Pain and its related disorders.

  • Enhanced standing among colleagues in the dental and medical communities, as well as insurance company administrators, as a provider of Craniofacial Pain services.

  • Extraordinary personal satisfaction and achievement, including recognition of your ability and commitment to implementing educational and professional standards for high quality practice.

Fellowship and camaraderie is a hallmark of the ABCP. We encourage you to visit with any of the dentists in our Diplomate Directory to find out more about what it is like to go through the ABCP credentialing process as well as the rewards of being ABCP board-certified.

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When are examinations for ABCP Diplomate status offered?

ABCP written and oral examinations for Diplomate status are offered at least one time per year - that is, the last weekend in July/first weekend in August. The date is scheduled to coincide with the summer symposium sponsored by the American Academy of Craniofacial Pain.

Completed applications (including all required documentation and fees) must be received in the ABCP Executive Office in early November.

Examination dates and application deadlines are routinely announced and updated on this Web site. We invite you to contact us if you require additional information.

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When am I eligible to complete the requirements for Diplomate status?

Applicants may complete the necessary requirements for Diplomate status beginning any time subsequent to graduation from an accredited dental school. However, you will not be granted Diplomate status by the ABCP until the second (2nd) anniversary of your dental school graduation.

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Can I take the written and oral examinations for ABCP Diplomate status on the same day?

Yes. Successful completion of the written examination is not a prerequisite for the oral examination. Candidates for Diplomate status whose applications and supporting documentation have been reviewed and accepted by the ABCP may sit for the written and oral examinations in a single examination period.

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What is the best way to prepare for the credentialing examinations?

Diplomate, American Board of Craniofacial Pain: The ABCP certification process is both comprehensive and rigorous. We have compiled a recommended reading list to assist you in your preparation and provided sample cases plus information about the composition of the written examination to help you plan your study time.

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How should I go about selecting the three (3) Patient Case Histories that must be included with the application for ABCP Diplomate status?

You must submit a craniofacial pain case (see Exhibit E), an internal derangement case (see Exhibit F), plus either a craniofacial pain or an internal derangement case (see Exhibit G). Each patient case history must include justification of any treatment and documentation thereof.

When selecting and preparing your patient case histories, which you will present during the oral examination for Diplomate status, please keep in mind that your goal is to establish your ability, proficiency and skill in the broad spectrum of treatment procedures relevant to assessment, diagnosis and management of Craniofacial Pain and temporomandibular disorders of non-dental origin.

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Are paper copies of radiograph fmx, panoramic films and/or CT scans acceptable?

Yes, however, photo quality paper is preferred. When submitting your materials, please keep in mind that the quality of radiographs, films and scans must be of sufficient quality for the examiners to derive the information recorded.

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Are there rules or guidelines concerning how I can advertise my Diplomate status?

We adhere to the American Dental Association Principles of Ethics and Code of Professional Conduct, and advise all Diplomates to follow this code when advertising their status. We also recommend that each dentist consult his or her state or legal regulatory agency and adhere to their requirements.

Diplomate status does not denote specialty status. Furthermore, it does not confer or imply any legal qualification, licensure, or privilege in professional activities.

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