AACD Accreditation & Fellowship

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AACD Accreditation & Fellowship

AACD Accreditation Frequently Asked Questions


Q. What is Accreditation?
A. Accreditation serves to set the standard for excellence in cosmetic dentistry. Achieving Accredited status from the AACD requires dedication to continuing education, careful adherence to the protocol and a resolve to produce exceptional dentistry.

Q. Why become Accredited?
A. The AACD Accreditation program benefits dental professionals and their patients. The process encourages further education, interaction with like-minded colleagues, and opportunity for professional growth. You will become a better dentist or laboratory technician and patients will benefit from the higher quality of service and treatment provided.

Q. Can I begin the Accreditation process if I do not live in the United States? 
A. Yes! Accreditation is attainable regardless of geographical location. 

Q. How many Accredited members have there been in the history of the Academy?
A. 495 total - 440 dentists / 55 laboratory technicians

Q. Do I need to be an AACD member to become Accredited?
A. No

Q. What needs to be completed in the Accreditation process?
A. 1. Written Examination plus the Accreditation & Criteria Workshops
    2. Clinical Case Examinations    
    3. Oral Examination

Q. When and where can I take the two required workshops?
A. Workshops are always offered at the Annual AACD Scientific Session and are available on the AACD Website at any time. There is also an (optional) Advanced Accreditation Workshop offered at the annual sessions.

Q. What is the cost of the process?  
A. Written Examination $450 member / $650 non-member (USD)
Testing center written exam for AACD member $725.00 (USD) plus applicable testing center fees
Clinical Case Examinations $350 member / $450 non-member per case (USD)
Oral Examination $550 member / $775 non-member (USD)
All fees are non-refundable.
Q. Is there an application that I need to fill out to begin the process?
A. The program begins with the written examination application.
Q. Is there an order I should take the workshops?
A. Accreditation Workshop (recommended first) and the Criteria Workshop (recommended second)
Q. When can I take the written examination?
A. At any Annual AACD Scientific Session and at Scantron/Meazure Testing Centers from August 1 – December 30.

Q. Who is eligible to take the written examination?
A. Dentists (including recent graduates, faculty and residents) and dental laboratory technicians
Q. Is the written examination difficult?
A. The written examination tests an individual’s foundational knowledge of cosmetic dentistry. Dentists and laboratory technicians who are knowledgeable in all phases of cosmetic dentistry are expected to pass.
Q. How is the written examination graded/scored?
A. The philosophy of the criterion referenced testing is based on the concept that dentists and laboratory technicians should be measured against the skill and knowledge represented in each examination question. This is represented as an absolute standard so that all examinees who meet the standard will pass. The decision to pass or fail an individual is based solely on the total subtest scores that are for information purposes only and cannot be averaged to achieve a total examination score.
Q. Are there additional study materials for the written examination?
A. Yes. There are sample examinations available for purchase and a listing of study materials, all found online. The Guide to Accreditation Criteria: Contemporary Concepts in Smile Design; The Guide to Accreditation Photography: Photographic Documentation and Evaluation in Cosmetic Dentistry are valuable resources for anyone pursuing Accreditation.
Q. As an individual in the Accreditation process (someone who has passed the written exam), do I need to attend the Annual AACD Scientific Sessions?
A. Yes. Attending half of the annual scientific sessions since passing the written examination is a protocol requirement.
Q. When can I submit my cases?
A. After passing the written examination, attending the two required workshops and attending half of the Annual AACD Scientific Sessions, since passing the written examination.
Q. When will my case submission be examined?
A. The exact dates are determined by the American Board of Cosmetic Dentistry® (ABCD).
Case submission deadline dates are June 1 and November 1 of each year.
Q. What is the time span of this process?
A. Once you pass the written examination and have attended the two required workshops, you could submit your clinical case(s) immediately after the results of the written examination are received (as long as meeting attendance requirements are met). Once all your clinical cases pass, you will be invited to appear for the oral examination. Everyone progresses at a pace that works best for them.

Q. Protocol states that there is a five-year time limit to complete the Accreditation process. Please explain.
A. There is a five-year time limit to complete the entire Accreditation process. The clinical case portion of the Accreditation process must be completed by the expiration of the candidate’s written examination. The oral examination must be successfully completed by the oral examination session immediately following the expiration of the candidate’s written examination. To be fair to all individuals pursuing Accreditation in the AACD, the ABCD has established a no waiver policy. This means that no waivers or time extensions will be granted within the AACD Accreditation process.

Q. How many Accredited Fellows have there been in the history of the Academy?
A. 92 total in history - 84 dentists / 8 laboratory technicians
Q. Is there a deadline for submitting cases for Fellowship?
A. Case submission dates for Fellowship must be scheduled. An application is required to schedule an exam, which members schedule well in advance.

Q. Once I become an Accredited or Accredited Fellow in the AACD, are there maintenance requirements that I must complete? How do I maintain Accredited or Accredited Fellow status?
A. Accredited and Accredited Fellow Members do indeed have maintenance requirements which must be completed once every three years. Please review the Accreditation and/or Fellowship protocol for specifics.