Dr. Schaeffer is board certified by the American Board of Endodontics. This is a significant accomplishment achieved by less than 20% of endodontists. The board certification process takes anywhere from 4-10 years to complete and is only available to individuals who have completed an accredited Endodontic residency program. This rigorous process is divided into three parts:
The first part is a written test requiring advanced knowledge in anatomy, biochemistry, embryology, general and oral pathology, microanatomy, immunology, inflammation, microbiology, pharmacology, vascular and neurophysiology, pulpal and periradicular pathophysiology, radiology, oral medicine, biostatistics, clinical endodontics, dental materials related to endodontics, related dental disciplines, and classic and current literature.
The second part is comprised of submitting examples of actual cases of treated patients showing practical knowledge and clinical expertise in all areas of endodontics. These cases are then judged by a panel of experts to determine if the individual displays proficiency in each of the specified categories. The diversity and complexity of the cases must thoroughly document exceptional knowledge, skill, and expertise in the specialty of endodontics.
The third part is an oral exam in front of six directors from the American Board of Endodontics. During this exam questions are asked regarding the full scope of endodontics with emphasis on problem solving, decision making, and abilities to analyze and evaluate clinical cases. The examination requires demonstrating the ability to apply the basic and applied sciences to justify diagnostic and treatment decisions, formulate primary and secondary treatment plans, design clinical studies, assess short- and long-term outcomes of patient care, and alter patient management approaches due to systemic or local pathologic conditions.
Upon completion of all three parts, a certificate and pin are awarded in a special ceremony at the annual meeting of the American Association of Endodontists. This represents the pinnacle of achievement in the endodontic community.