May 2019 Volume LIV Number 3


How do I prepare?

March 2013 Volume XLVIX Number 2

 In October 2012, 425 pediatric dentists became certified by the American Board of Pediatric Dentistry, increasing the percentage of board certified pediatric dentists to more than 64%. If you are already board certified, consider ways you can help one or more of our 1400-plus candidates for certification achieve Diplomate status.

If you are a candidate scheduled to take the Oral Clinical Examination (OCE) in October, consider your colleagues a great resource in your preparation. While the specifics of the examination can be found on the ABPD website, discussing cases with your peers is a great way to develop clear, concise responses to questions on clinical management.

Each oral examination is comprised of clinical vignettes (ie, scenarios) from each of the following eight (8) domains:

  • Comprehensive Care
  •  Hospital Dentistry
  •  Behavior Guidance
  • Management of the Developing Occlusion
  • Oral Pathology
  • Prevention
  • Special Health Care Needs
  • Trauma


To help you navigate the Oral Clinical Examination process, Frequently Asked Questions and tips for preparing and taking the examination can be found at Look under Examinations, then go to OCE.

The Oral Clinical Examination is not as daunting as you might fear; preparation is key. Consider this advice from someone who took an oral examination:

"...Try reading aloud…. take a mock oral exam with a mentor. You cannot spend enough time verbalizing your thoughts. Then talk to anyone who will listen: patients, spouse, kids. Get a good nights sleep before your Exam. RELAX and enjoy the moment."

The Oral Clinical Examination can be challenging. But with proper preparation, a positive attitude, and a confident approach, you will be ready for the challenge. The ABPD wishes you success on your Oral Clinical Examination and we look forward to your becoming a Diplomate.

For comments or questions on this article, contact J. C. Shirley at