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Application Process for Recognition

The application for recognition of a dental specialty and or dental specialty certifying board is based on the ADA’s Requirements for Recognition of Dental Specialties and National Certifying Boards for Dental Specialists. 

Recognition is a voluntary process and a sponsoring organization or certifying board may withdraw its application for recognition at any time prior to the National Commission taking action regarding the recognition status. The recognition application fee must be submitted with the application for recognition. Sponsoring organizations and certifying boards must contact the National Commission office for an application and the current fee schedule.

How to Apply

An application for recognition is completed by the sponsoring organization or certifying board and submitted to the National Commission on Recognition of Dental Specialties and Certifying Boards, along with appropriate documentation and application fee. The first opportunity for the National Commission to consider the recognition status, provided that the application is in order, is usually twelve (12) to eighteen (18) months following the application submission date.

The completed application is reviewed by the director of the National Commission to determine whether all sections of the application have been completed, including appendices and documentation referenced in the application. If the application is determined to be complete by the director, the National Commission will publish a notification informing the public that an application has been received.

If it is determined that the application is complete, the application is submitted to the respective Review Committee for completion of the application review. All documentation in the application is confidential until the Review Committee has determined the application is complete.

Applications that have not been fully completed will be returned to the sponsoring organization or certifying board with notification about suitable modifications.

Public Comment

If the Review Committee concurs that the application is complete, and no further documentation is required to make a determination of recognition, the National Commission will invite public comment on the applicant’s compliance with the Requirements for Recognition for a sixty (60) day period.

The following organizations will be notified in writing of receipt of the application:

Presidents and Executive Directors of:

  • Constituent Dental Societies
  • Recognized Dental Specialty Organizations
  • Recognized Dental Specialty Certifying Boards
  • American Association of Dental Boards
  • American Dental Education Association
  • Academy of General Dentistry
  • State Boards of Dentistry

Additional written notifications will be sent to:

  • Deans, Dental Schools
  • Directors, Advanced Dental Education Programs
  • ADA Officers and Board of Trustees
  • Members, ADA House of Delegates
  • Members and Directors, ADA Councils and Commissions
  • ADA News

Final Recommendation

The Review Committee may request verbal testimony from the application, one the public comment period has closed, to address issues raised during the public comment period. Following a comprehensive review of the application, public comments, and verbal testimony (if requested), the Review Committee will make a recommended action to grant or deny recognition that is reviewed by the National Commission at its next regularly scheduled meeting.

Representatives from the applicant organization(s) are invited to be on call during the meeting of the National Commission considering their application.

The National Commission may take action to:

  • grant recognition
  • postpone action, pending additional information
  • deny recognition

The National Commission’s action regarding recognition status is transmitted to the sponsoring organization or certifying board within thirty (30) days of the National Commission’s meeting.

If the National Commission denies recognition, the sponsoring organization or certifying board is advised of:

  • The reason(s) for the denial(adverse action)
  • The organizations right to an appeal of the adverse action

Time Limitation for Review of Applications: The review of an application for recognition will be terminated if a sponsoring organization or certifying board fails to respond to the National Commission’s requests for information for a period of six (6) months. In this case, the sponsoring organization or certifying board will be notified that the application process has been terminated. If the sponsoring organization or certifying board wishes to begin the process again, a new application and application fee must be submitted.