Skip to Content


Content of ABP Examinations

The content of the ABP examination reflects the broad scope and scientific basis for prosthodontics.

Determination of and examination to the broad scope and scientific basis of prosthodontics is the responsibility of the ABP Board of Directors. The certification examination reflects, but is not limited to, the Commission of Dental Accreditation (CODA) Standards for Advanced Specialty Education Programs in Prosthodontics. 

Comprehensive Patient Care

Candidates must perform all clinical prosthodontic and restorative procedures for all Section B patient treatments.

Candidates are responsible for comprehensive patient care, and will be evaluated on the quality of diagnosis, treatment planning, alternative treatment considerations, and treatment provided to the patient, including justification of all care provided and/or not provided by other dentists.

Candidates must be prepared to justify treatment rendered and techniques/materials used, as well as rationale for not managing pre-existing conditions and restorations if such is the case. Patient treatments will serve as the primary focus of the oral examination; however, questioning may include principles and concepts related to the broad scope of prosthodontics.

A dentist helps a man in chair with mirror

A close up of dental tools

Ferrule, Dental Caries, and Existing Restorations 

The strategic presence of sound coronal tooth structure is necessary to establish adequate preparation resistance and retention form. For all indirect coronal restorations, retention and resistance form of tooth preparations must be appropriately provided primarily by sound tooth structure supplemented by correctly designed core restorations. Therefore: 

  • Reliance on dentin bonding as the sole means of core retention is unacceptable.  
  • Reliance on dentin bonding as the sole means of coronal restoration retention, in the absence of sound preparation retention and resistance form, is unacceptable. 
  • Adequate circumferential ferrule (minimum of 1.5 mm beyond the core restoration) must be demonstrated photographically. 
  • For existing restorations and caries, the candidate must: remove all carious lesions; replace all existing fixed prosthodontic foundation restorations; and be prepared to justify the foundation restoration and design used, as well as the physical and chemical properties of the associated materials. 

Dental Casts and Articulation

  • Magnetic mounting plates are the required method for securing casts to articulators for all patient presentations. 
  • All articulated diagnostic, working, and definitive casts must be accompanied by the articulator used during patient treatment. 
  • All physical dies and working casts (printed, milled, or cast) associated with the fabrication of fixed prosthodontics restorations must be available during the examination and properly mounted in a physical (not virtual) articulator. 

Portrait of female nurse using tablet at hospital

Digital Prosthodontics 

Digital technologies may be used during the treatment of patients presented for Section B examinations. Candidates must be prepared to provide evidence-based support for any patient treatment methods used, digital or otherwise. The following guidelines must be considered when digital technologies are used during the treatment of patients presented for Section B examination. All required documentation for the Section B examinations remains the same, regardless of the incorporation of digital processes. 

  • It is appropriate that the candidate consider application of digital technology during patient management when such technology: (1) augments otherwise available diagnostic information and diagnostic assessment, and/or (2) when it improves therapeutic logistics and/or quality of care. Depending on patient needs, this may include, but not be limited to, procedures associated with diagnosis, virtual planning, implant placement, interim restoration, definitive prosthodontic care, and maintenance. 
  • Intraoral or laboratory digital surface scan technology must be selected and applied in a manner consistent with optimal fabrication of clinically acceptable interim and definitive prostheses. 
  • When digital surface scans are used to render definitive information for examination, diagnosis, treatment planning, and/or direct patient care, Section B documentation requirements must be satisfied with diagnostic quality physical casts (printed, milled, or poured) appropriately mounted in a physical (not virtual) articulator. 
  • Physical (not virtual) articulation using a programmed physical (not virtual) articulator is the standard for assessing definitive occlusal relationships for all ABP examinations. Articulation presented on the physical casts must visually correspond to all required clinical images presented during the examination. 
  • Semi-adjustable or highly-adjustable articulators may be used to demonstrate required articulation as indicated for the patient situation. 
  • Digital complete denture protocols may be used for the Section B, Part 4 examination; however, physical (not virtual) casts must be presented to satisfy all applicable requirements of the Section B, Part 4 examination. Physical (not virtual) trial dentures must be present in all required clinical and laboratory images and articulations.