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About Us

The National Commission on Recognition of Dental Specialties and Certifying Boards in an independent commission of the American Dental Association whose role is to recognize the dental specialty sponsoring organizations and their respective certifying boards based on compliance with the ADA’s Requirements for Recognition of Dental Specialties and National Certifying Boards for Dental Specialists.

Please note that the National Commission does not recognize and/or credential individuals.

Establishment of the National Commission 

In 2016, the ADA Board of Trustees charged the Task Force on Specialty and Specialty Certifying Board Recognition to evaluate the process and criteria by which the specialties and their respective certifying boards are recognized.

The following principles guided the Board and its task force in developing the proposal to revise the oversight and process for specialty and specialty certifying board’s recognition. The process must:

  • be grounded in objective standards that protect the public, nurture the art and science of dentistry, and improve the quality of care;
  • serve to reduce real and/or perceived conflicts of interest and bias;
  • include multiple review steps, including provisions for appeal;
  • operate similar to the other Commissions that are agencies of the ADA;
  • include representation from the ADA (general dentists) and each of the recognized dental specialties;
  • build on the expertise that has been developed by the Council on Dental Education and Licensure and be grounded in the existing ADA Requirements for Recognition; and
  • be financially prudent and not place an undue burden on the ADA or the dental specialty sponsoring organizations.

To accomplish these principles, the establishment of the National Commission on Recognition of Dental Specialties and Certifying Boards was proposed. Establishing an independent commission addresses real and/or perceived conflicts of interest and bias in the decision-making process.  This also conforms to the national standards and public expectations on establishing objective processes for applying standards and making high-stakes decisions. The National Commission held its inaugural meeting on May 9-10, 2018.

Mission, Vision and Values

Our Mission:
The National Commission on Recognition of Dental Specialties and Certifying Boards serves the public and the profession by providing transparent and objective review of the recognized specialty organizations, prospective specialty organizations, their respective certifying boards and their adherence to the ADA Requirements for Recognition of Dental Specialties and National Certifying Boards for Dental Specialists.

Our Vision:
The National Commission on Recognition of Dental Specialties and Certifying Boards is held to be the standard for excellence and professionalism in the recognition of the dental specialties and dental specialty certifying boards.

Our Values:
Objectivity
Integrity
Transparency
Consistency
Professionalism

Contact Us

Mailing Address:

National Commission on Recognition of Dental Specialties and Certifying Boards
American Dental Association
211 E. Chicago Avenue
Chicago, IL 60611
Phone: 800-621-8099 ext: 2697

Staff Contact:
Catherine Baumann, director, 312-440-2697
nationalcommission@ada.org