Become a Diplomate

Diplomate Status

Special Care Dentistry Association formed the American Board of Special Care Dentistry (ABSCD) to grant the credential of Diplomate in Special Care Dentistry. The purpose of this credential is to recognize outstanding individuals in the field of special care dentistry.


The Diplomate Application and information can be found in The Candidate Handbook for the Certification Exam.

Important ABSCD Credential Dates

Application for ABSCD Written Examination Date: 2/1/2024
Date of ABSCD Written Examination Date: 4/18/2024
Date of ABSCD Oral Examination Date: 4/20/2024
Request for Accommodations (if applicable): 2/16/2024 

If you qualify for the exam, you will take the exam before the SCDA Annual Meeting. You will be notified by the ABSCD Board if your application qualifies.


  • Maintain membership in good standing with SCDA
  • Payment of annual maintenance fee for the current fiscal year
  • Attend 1 SCDA Annual Meeting every 3 years
  • Recertification every 10 years, with verification of 200 education hours in related fields of special care dentistry



According to the by-laws of ABSCD, initial certification is valid for ten years and additional re-certification is required every ten years. In order to be considered for re-certification:

  • Candidates must be current members of SCDA and ABSCD
  • Must have attended at least three SCDA annual meetings during the past ten years
  • Must have obtained at least 200 hours of continuing education in areas of special care dentistry during the past ten years
  • Continue to be actively involved in dental care for individuals with special needs by providing clinical care, teaching or research
  • Complete the application and submit all required supporting documentation to ABSCD
  • Fulfill any other requirements for re-certification as determined by the ABSCD Board of Directors and printed in the bylaws

The Re-certification committee of ABSCD will determine if a candidate qualifies to be re-certified as a Diplomate of ABSCD and has the right to request additional information which may be needed to support a candidate’s application. 

REMINDER: To continue to use your Diplomate designation, your SCDA membership must be active with your dues paid annually.

Please email [email protected] with any questions.