Alternate Pathway: Frequently Asked Questions

Frequently Asked Questions About the Alternate Pathway

Does this mean that the ABP has changed its name?
No, we will remain the American Board of Periodontology and those that have successfully challenged the board and are certified will continue to be referred to as Diplomates of the American Board of Periodontology. 

Does this represent a new specialty?
No, dental implant surgery has been a standard of training and examination for periodontists for many years. It is a part of current periodontal practice. 

Why has the ABP decided to make this revision in language? 
Recently the American Dental Association has changed its Code of Ethics in two significant ways: First, it is now ethical for a dentist to announce his or her qualifications based on their ADA recognized specialty or a qualification recognized by their local jurisdiction. Secondly, the ADA now considers it ethical for a specialist to announce his or her specialty qualification and provide other aspects of dental care. As dental implant surgery training has long been required based on  accreditation standards,  the ABP concluded that it is incumbent on the Board to ensure that the public has a clear understanding that Diplomates are certified by the ABP  in periodontology and  dental implant surgery.  

What date will appear on the certificate?
The certificate will not have the original date of certification. This is not a new certification, but rather certification with revised language.  The current Board, authorizing this change in language is not the same board that issued your original certificate and therefore did not feel that they could simply issue a replacement certificate.  The certificate with the revised language will indicate the 1st of the month in which the new certificate is processed as the date certified (e.g., a Diplomate who submits an application for the new certificate on February 20, 2018, will received a new certificate that reads “Certified: March 1,2018”).

If you wish, you may display both certificates however the revised certification language more accurately describes your training, expertise and re-certification activities. The Board suggests therefore that the Diplomate can announce as follows: “Diplomate of the American Board of Periodontology” “Certified in Periodontology and Dental Implant Surgery.”  

It is important to realize that state regulations may influence this announcement and the ABP urges each Diplomate to check with his or her State Dental Practice Act before making such an announcement. The board is pleased to update this qualification for Diplomates and we wish you continued educational and patient care success.


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