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Drs. Keith Krell and Asgeir Sigurdsson Issue Joint Message Regarding Board Certification

The following is a message from AAE President Dr. Keith V. Krell:

Dr. Asgeir Sigurdsson, President of the American Board of Endodontics and I, would like to notify you of an important change that will streamline the Board certification process and hopefully help to raise the overall number of Board-certified AAE members.

After significant evaluation, the American Board of Endodontics has decided to modify the Case History Portfolio Exam to a standard grouping of five cases treated and documented by each candidate, rather than 10 cases, as previously required. This change is effective immediately, starting with the May 1, 2020, submission cycle. It is the new standard for both current and prospective candidates.

The ABE strives to ensure that Board-certified endodontists demonstrate exceptional knowledge, skill and expertise in their field.  This goal must be balanced with continual assessment of the certification process, to not only maintain their standards, but to remove any unnecessary obstacles to certification.

Over the past decade, the ABE has implemented several changes that have helped increase the overall number of Board-certified endodontists. In 2008, the ABE recognized 35 new Diplomates, while 2018 saw a record breaking 150 additional Diplomates.

While that increase is significant, at 33% of AAE members currently with Diplomate recognition, we still have one of the lowest overall percentages of Board-certified members among the dental specialties. For example, a recent report shows that the American Board of Orthodontics counts 46% of their parent association members as Board-certified, while the American Board of Pediatric Dentistry reflects 75% of AAPD members as Diplomates.

A component of our continued recognition as a dental specialty by the ADA is to “…provide periodically to the National Commission on Recognition of Dental Specialties and Certifying Boards evidence of its examination and certification of a significant number of additional dentists…”.

After careful statistical analysis of several cycles of portfolio submissions, it was determined that reducing portfolio requirements from a ten-case to a five-case exam would not compromise the validity and discriminatory capability of the exam. The abbreviated portfolio should encourage those AAE members that are not Diplomates, as well as the current Candidates, to submit their cases and thereby move to complete their quest for Diplomate status.

This change, as others the ABE has made in the last decade, will help to promote both the stability and growth of our specialty for now and in years to come.  The AAE is pleased to support this endeavor for an improved board certification process, and to enjoy a continued strong relationship between the AAE and ABE.

If you have any questions regarding the new format of the Case History Exam, you can read more about on the ABE website here:  You may also contact ABE Secretary, Dr. Brian Bergeron via email at, or Chief Administrative Officer for the ABE Ivana Bevacqua at