Application Process

 Diplomate Application Submission Guidelines
A "complete application" is defined as a fully completed and typed application form, all supporting documentation as requested in the application, and the application fee. (An application submission checklist is available to assist you in making sure your application is complete.) APPLICATIONS POSTMARKED AFTER THE DEADLINE (Tuesday June 30, 2020) WILL NOT BE ACCEPTED.

ABCP will send acknowledgement of receipt of your application to you by email with 5-10 business days of its receipt at the ABCP Executive Office. If such notification is not received, please contact the ABCP office immediately.

It is the responsibility of the applicant to ensure that the ABCP receives all application and supporting materials on or before the stated deadline.

 Incomplete Applications

An application postmarked or emailed on or before the deadline, but missing one or two components, is considered an incomplete application and you will be contacted by management. Your application will not be reviewed until all sections are accurately completed. Applicants will be notified by email if their applications are not complete.

An applicant whose application is incomplete must ensure all parts of the application, including all prerequisites, have been submitted and are received by the application deadline. ANY APPLICATION THAT REMAINS INCOMPLETE AS OF ONE MONTH PRIOR TO THE EXAM WILL NOT BE ACCEPTED.

 Applicants With Disabilities

The ABCP recognizes that individuals with disabilities may wish to take the examination and will make reasonable accommodations for applicants with verified disabilities. The ABCP supports the intent of the Americans with Disabilities Act. Applicants are reminded, however, that auxiliary aids (and services) can only be offered if they do not fundamentally alter the measurement of skills or knowledge the examination is intended to test (Americans with Disabilities Act, Public Law 101-336).

Applicants who wish to request accommodations due to a disability must advise the ABCP in writing no later than one month prior to the exam. The applicant may be asked to submit appropriate documentation of the disability and a description of previous accommodations provided during other examinations. If the ABCP deems it necessary, an independent medical assessment may be requested at the expense of the ABCP.

 Supporting Documentation

When providing supporting documentation to satisfy prerequisites for ABCP Diplomate status, please determine whether you are able to fully meet all requirements. If you cannot, please do not submit an application.

Applications, including all supporting documentation, will be thoroughly reviewed by the ABCP. The ABCP will send notification of application and supporting documentation acceptance and approval to candidates for Diplomate status at least one month prior to the exam. If such notification has not been received, please contact the ABCP Executive Office immediately.

In addition to a signed and notarized "Diplomate Affidavit" (see page 2 of the "Application for Diplomate Status" linked out on the application), the following supporting documentation must be submitted to the ABCP Executive Office along with your completed application and payment of the Diplomate application and examination fee:

  • Valid License to Practice Dentistry
    Candidates for ABCP Diplomate status must provide a copy of their current dental license with expiration date as part of their application. If your dental license will expire before your examination dates, a renewed copy of your dental license is required and must be submitted to the ABCP by the application deadline.

  • Craniofacial Pain Practice
    Candidates for ABCP Diplomate status must attest to having been involved for the previous two (2) years in the assessment, diagnosis and management of Craniofacial Pain of non-dental or alveolar origin by signature and notarization of the Diplomate affidavit, which is found on page 2 of the application.

  • Assessment, Diagnosis & Treatment of 100 Craniofacial Pain Patients
    Documentation of having personally completed all aspects of assessment, diagnosis and management for one hundred (100) patients whose chief complaints included Craniofacial Pain of non-dental or alveolar origin must accompany your completed application for Diplomate status in the ABCP. Please refer to "Exhibit A."

  • Advanced Study and Training
    Candidates for Diplomate status in the ABCP may satisfy the advanced study and training requirements by providing documentation of the completion of:
  • At least two (2) or more academic years of graduate study in an accredited dental school program which results in a certificate or advanced degree in the assessment, diagnosis and treatment of Craniofacial Pain. (Please submit a copy of your certificate or advanced degree that is labeled "Exhibit B" with your application.); OR,
  • A minimum of five hundred (500) hours of "related" continuing education courses which have been completed within the immediate ten years prior to the date of submission of the written application for Diplomate status. (In lieu of completing and attaching "Exhibit B" to your application, you may highlight pertinent coursework on an AGD transcript, being certain to total the resulting CE hours, and submit it with their application.)


    • "Related courses" shall include courses that concern pain management, neurology, physical medicine,pain and nutrition, osteopathic or chiropractic manipulation, radiology, orthodontics and/or functionalorthopedics, psychology and pain, electromyography, biofeedback, acupuncture, occlusion, basic sciencesas related to pain management and the neuromusculoskeletal system, practice management and painpractice, prosthetics and TMJ dysfunction, diagnosis and treatment of TMJ dysfunction, assessment and management of sleep-disordered breathing, cranialosteopathy, electromodalities (as applied to the head, face and neck), cervical orthopedics and/or cervicalphysical therapy; head and neck anatomy (post-dental school), and imaging.

    • Credit hours for lecture and participation courses will be approved on a similar basis as that of other specialty boards. Courses which do not fall into any category specified herein, but which are nevertheless "related" to the practice of Craniofacial Pain, may be approved by special permission of the Board of Directors for purposes of fulfilling the continuing education requirements. All decisions of the Board of Directors shall be final.
  • Letters of Recommendation
    Two (2) letters of recommendation from current Diplomates of the American Board of Craniofacial Pain, labeled "Exhibit C" and "Exhibit D," must be obtained by each candidate, and submitted with the completed application for ABCP Diplomate status. (Please refer to our Diplomate Directory for assistance in identifying ABCP Diplomates to sponsor you.)

  • Patient Case Histories
    Three (3) patient case histories (see Exhibit E, Exhibit F and Exhibit G) must accompany all applications for ABCP Diplomate status. Said patient histories shall include the assessment, diagnosis and treatment to completion of said patients by the candidate and establish to the satisfaction of the Board the candidate's ability, proficiency, and exceptional skill in a broad spectrum of treatment procedures relevant to the assessment, diagnosis and treatment of Craniofacial Pain and temporomandibular disorders of non-dental origin. Said case histories must provide justification of any treatment and documentation thereof, which shall include: medical history, examination, clinical diagnosis, treatment plan, clinical procedures, plus general documentation. (Note: The quality of any radiography submitted with an application must be sufficient to derive the information recorded.)

    • The ABCP Examination Committee will evaluate case histories. Case histories which are found to contain procedural deficiencies or which are otherwise flawed so as to render them inadequate, either during or prior to their circulation for evaluation, will be returned without prejudice to the candidate with instruction for correction and resubmission.

    • Candidates for ABCP Diplomate status will be required to present a verbal defense of each patient case history submitted with their application. Successful completion of the written examination is not a prerequisite for the oral examination.
 Application Fees

Payment of $1,450 is due at the time of application as follows:

  • $500 non-refundable application fee
  • $950 examination fee

The following fees may also apply:

Appeals Fee:
If you wish to appeal a negative determination (i.e., rejection of prerequisites or failure of the written or oral examinations), you must submit a written explanation of the reason for refuting the determination accompanied by $250 non-refundable appeal fee. (Note: Appeals must be made within 30 days of the date of your notification letter.)

You can pay online during the application fee via credit card, but if you wish to pay by check, please make your check or money order (in US dollars, drawn on a US bank) payable to "ABCP" and send to 380 Ice Center Lane, Ste C, Bozeman, MT 59718.


Applicants who have previously applied to sit for an ABCP certification exam and wish to reapply the following year must submit a new application, including all supporting documentation and fees.

When reapplying, applicants may use:

  • The same letters of recommendations and verification letters submitted previously.
  • Only one of the three case studies from the previous year.

All materials must be resubmitted together with a completed application by the deadline.

 Withdrawals and Refunds


  • If written notification of withdrawal from an accepted candidate is received at the ABCP Executive Office at least one month prior to the exam date, $600 will be refunded.

  • An accepted candidate whose written notification of withdrawal is received by the ABCP Executive Office less than one month prior to the exam is not entitled to a refund, except when the withdrawal is the result of a documented emergency.

The accepted candidate may apply for an emergency late withdrawal refund of $300 by submitting proper documentation of the emergency to the ABCP Executive Office.


In the unlikely event the ABCP Board of Directors determines, at its sole discretion, not to accept an application for examination from a candidate, $600 will be refunded to the candidate.


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