Credentialing FAQ

Don’t see your question listed? Contact the AAID or call 312-335-1550 (Monday – Friday, 8:30 am – 5 pm CT).ral Questions

General Questions

Q: Why become credentialed?

A: The AAID credential demonstrates to your colleagues and patients alike that you are dedicated to providing the best possible dental implant treatment. AAID stands for excellence in education, scientific development, and patient care. The AAID provides bona fide credentialing in implant dentistry through the Associate Fellow and Fellow membership examinations. The Associate Fellow and Fellow credentials are recognized by numerous state boards. 

Q: What education is valid to apply for the examination?

A: The AAID accepts most ADA CERP and AGD PACE provider courses completed within the past twelve (12) years. The 300 hours must be divided between the sciences related to implant dentistry and clinical implant education. The science component should include internal medicine, anatomy, histology, pathology, pharmacology, bone physiology, immunology, radiology, and dental materials. At least one course should be of a participatory format (e.g., a hands-on course). Education in clinical implantology and related courses must include various implant modalities. Suggested clinical subjects are: root-form, plate-form, subperiosteal, and ramus frame implants; grafts; occlusion; oral and maxillofacial surgery; prosthetics; and periodontics. An implant continuum is NOT required.

Q. Can I speak with someone who recently completed the Associate Fellow examination for insights based on their experience?

A: Contact a Credentialing Coach in your area. The coach’s role is to provide encouragement, support, and advice based on his or her personal experience, not to prepare materials for submission.

Q: Can the patient’s name and other personal information, e.g., telephone number, appear on the health history included in my case report?

A: Yes, the patient’s name and telephone number can appear on the health history. However, the city, state, and, when applicable, the country should not appear in the report. 

Q: Is the "one-year-in-function" requirement calculated from the time that the temporary or permanent prosthesis was placed?

A: The "one-year-in function" requirement is based on the time that the permanent prosthesis was placed.

Q: What is the interpretation of "edentulous posterior maxilla?" 

A: Free-ended – there is nothing distal to the tooth (teeth) replaced by the implant.

Q: Must the Fellow applicant receive actual permission from the five (5) patients listed on the roster in the Fellow exam for the A & C Board to contact them? If so, what type of permission is required, and must it be documented?

A: Applicants should notify all patients about the possibility of their being contacted. Documentation in the application is not required. 

Q: Can an implant-born edentulous case with a locator abutment be used to meet the Fellowship requirements? 

A: The locator attachment would be fine for full and partial prosthesis that are of the removable classification. Further, such cases are considered to be implant-supported and tissue-born and only cases that are fixed, either screw retained or cemented, are implant-born. 

Q: Three complete arch cases on edentulous arches are required for the Fellow examination. However, the fully implant-supported case is the only one for which a minimum number of implants is specified. Is there a minimum number of implants for the other two edentulous arch cases

A: Yes. Each edentulous case must include a minimum of four (4) implants if root-form or plate-form implants are used. Cases in which implants of less than three (3) mm in diameter are used as definitive therapy do not satisfy the requirements of the examination and should not be submitted.

Q: What information do I need to pay the application fee by international wire transfer?

A: AAID wire transfer instructions change annually. Contact the AAID Headquarters by email for the current routing instructions.

Q: How should my name appear on the application?

A: Put your legal name on the application. If your name is different in the AAID membership database, also specify that name on your application. Then use your legal name when you register for the examination. At the testing centers, you will be required to show two forms of identification that include the same name that you put on your application, or you will not be admitted into the testing room.

Q: When do I pay the examination application fee?

A: The $1,085 (USD) application fee must be paid when the application is submitted to the AAID headquarters.

Q: How do I pay the application fee?

A: The $1,085 (USD) application fee can be paid in one of three ways: a check that is drawn on a US bank and payable in US dollars, by credit card (Visa, MasterCard, Discover, or American Express), or via wire transfer. If paying by wire transfer, attach a copy of the bank receipt to the application.

Q: What is the fee to retake the examination?

A: The re-examination fee is $400 (USD).

Q: When can I register (make an appointment) for my examination?

A: Candidates will receive an email from the testing vendor and be able to schedule their exam 24 hours in advance. Please see the testing website for more information on the examination process. 

Q: Must my application process be complete, with all fees paid, before I can schedule a testing appointment?

A: Yes. Your application must have been accepted and all fees paid before you can schedule your exam.

Q: How do I schedule my examination?

A: Candidates will receive an email from the testing vendor and be able to schedule their exam 24 hours in advance. Please see the testing website for more information on the examination process. 

Q: Will I get my scores at the test center when I complete the exam?

A: No. The AAID will mail your test results as soon as possible after the completion of the testing period, typically within six to eight weeks. If you live outside the United States, the results will be sent to you by e-mail.

Q: If I encounter problems related to registration or the testing center, whom do I contact?

A: You can contact Jon Sprague, Director of Credentialing, at AAID Headquarters by phone at (312) 335-1550 or by email at AAID Headquarters is open Monday through Friday 8:30 am - 5 pm CT.

Written/Narrative Report

Q: Are health histories disclosing the patient's name and address to be included in the case reports?

A: The patient’s health history is to be included in the case reports; however, his or her address should be blocked out.

Q: What information should be included in the report with respect to pre- and post-diagnosis?

A: The pre-op diagnosis would include either partial or full edentulism with a description of the ridge or implant site as to bone width, height, and density. The post-op would be what was achieved with the procedure. The implant site should be presented in the context of the entire arch(es) as this will affect the final outcome, i.e., vertical dimension and inter-occlusal space as well as oral habits. 

Q: For cases that include a removable prosthesis, a post-completion photograph of the superstructure is required. Where should the superstructure be when the photo is made?

A: The superstructure should be in the mouth for this photograph. A photo on the model is not necessary.

Q: For cases that include a removable prosthesis, two additional photographs are required: (1) a post-completion photograph of the superstructure and (2) a photograph of the implants without the prosthesis in place. When should the photographs have been made?

A: The Board’s preference is a photo that shows the implants before the superstructure was attached. However, if you did not take a photo of the case at that time and the bar is cemented or screw-retained, take a photo without the prosthesis in place. 

Q: If a removable prosthesis is placed on a subperiosteal implant, are two extra photographs required?

A: No. One photo showing the superstructure without the denture in place will suffice.


Q: Is a photograph of a radiograph acceptable?

A: Yes. Since the Board accepts digital radiographs, a photograph of a radiograph is acceptable.

Q: Is a radiograph made within twelve (12) months of the examination date required for each of the seven (7) cases documented with radiographs?

A: No. The radiographs submitted must show that the case has been in function for at least one year by the beginning of the examination period. 

Q: Can I submit original radiographs in my case reports? It is not possible for me to get the radiographs duplicated in my area. 

A: Original radiographs should not be submitted in your case reports since they are a part of your patient's permanent record. As noted in the Guidelines for Case Reports for Associate Fellow Membership, "The submitted reports become the property of the American Academy of Implant Dentistry and will not be returned." An inexpensive x-ray duplicator could probably be purchased where you buy dental supplies. With a duplicator, you would use duplicating film that would be processed in the same way you regularly process radiographs, either with a processor or by hand. Or you could place each radiograph on a view box, shoot a digital picture, and then print the pictures on transparency film or photo paper.

Q: Can post-surgical periapical radiographs be submitted instead of an immediate post-surgical panograph for cases that include multiple implants?

A: If the periapical radiographs were made before the abutments were seated, they may be included in lieu of the panograph. Also include a panograph with the abutments in place. Note in your report why you did not submit the post-surgical panograph as specified.

Q: Should the denture be in place for the post-prosthetic radiograph?

A: No. For a removable overdenture, the post-prosthetic radiograph should show the bar, Locator,® or superstructure without the denture in place. As noted in the "Photographs" section of the case report guidelines, for cases that include a removable prosthesis, the following three (3) photographs are required in addition to the eight (8) photographs required for all cases:1. An occlusal view of the superstructure without the removable prosthesis in place.2. A frontal view of the superstructure without the removable prosthesis in place.3. A view of the intaglio (tissue side) surface of the removable prosthesis.The goal of these photographs is to show the tissue response to the removable prosthesis as well as the occlusion.

Q: Can the post-prosthetic and complete case x-ray be the same film as long as it is taken within twelve (12) months of the exam?

A: Yes, the post-prosthetic and completed case x-ray can be the same film as long as it is taken within twelve months of the exam and the case has been in function for one (1) year. However, two (2) copies of the film should be provided: one labeled ‘post-prosthetic’ and the other labeled ‘completed case.’

Q: For one of my cases, I have a CT-scan but do not have a presurgical panograph or a full-mouth radiographic series. What should I submit?

A: Submit the 3-D rendering and a cross section of each of the implants.

About Oral Examinations 

Q: Must I be present for the entire examination period?

A: All candidates are given appointments that are within the examination period. Candidates are scheduled in groups of five (5). Each Associate Fellow candidate must present for no more than 2 ½ hours, and each Fellow candidate must be present for no more than 3 hours.

Q: May I request that my examination be scheduled on a specific day? 

A: Yes, a specific day within the examination period can be requested at the time of application\, though the reason for the request must be specified. The Board will endeavor to honor the request but cannot guarantee that the candidate’s examination will be scheduled on the day requested.

Q: Will my oral/case examination focus solely on my case reports?

A: No. Candidates demonstrate their knowledge of implant dentistry through five (5) standardized cases as well as the reports that they submit to satisfy the case requirements for the examination. A team of two (2) examiners is assigned to each station. For each of the five (5) standardized cases, the candidates review a written description, a panograph, and a photograph and then respond to questions related to treatment of the case. After a candidate completes the five (5) stations, a team of two (2) examiners conducts the case examination that is based on the cases submitted by the candidate. This examination follows a case presentation and discussion format. Before meeting with the candidate, this team of examiners will have evaluated the case reports that the candidate submitted to determine the degree to which the case reports meet the Guidelines for Case Report Preparation.

Q: How are the oral/case examinations evaluated? 

A: Each candidate receives a total of 92 ratings with input from ten (10) different examiners, each of whom rates the candidate independently. These ratings are organized into ten (10) areas: diagnosis, treatment planning, clinical judgment – surgical, clinical judgment – prosthetic; treatment, outcome, radiographs, photographs, medical history, and narrative report. For the Fellow examination, these ten (10) areas of ratings are distributed among the various aspects of the examination as follows:

  • Each of the five (5) standardized cases: diagnosis, treatment planning, clinical judgment; surgical and clinical judgment: prosthetics
  • Three (3) written case reports: radiographs, photographs, medical history, and narrative report
  • Seven (7) cases documented with radiographs: radiographs
  • Defense of the three (3) written case reports: diagnosis, treatment plan, treatment, outcome
  • Defense of the seven (7) cases documented with radiographs: outcome