The pathologic conditions of the oral maxillofacial region are complex with oral and maxillofacial pathologists often being the key component in establishing a diagnosis. In the specialty of oral and maxillofacial pathology, clinical diagnosis of disease, microscopic diagnosis of disease, as well as the management of those diseases is practiced.

The American Academy of Oral Pathology (AAOP) was officially organized in 1946. The charter members recognized the need for a certifying board and accordingly began planning for the American Board of Oral Pathology (ABOP). At the third annual meeting of the AAOP on February 6, 1948, the formation of the ABOP was announced. The Board was incorporated in Washington, D.C. on November 8, 1948.

The first certifying examination was subsequently held in the Fall of 1949 and no members, save the founders, have become diplomates of the Board without examination. The ABOP was approved by the American Dental Association in 1950. The AAOP officially changed the name of the specialty to Oral and Maxillofacial Pathology (AAOMP) in 1995 and subsequently the ABOP became the American Board of Oral and Maxillofacial Pathology (ABOMP).

For more detailed information on the organization of the American Board of Oral and Maxillofacial Pathology, here is a link to our Bylaws.

The seal of The American Board of Oral and Maxillofacial Pathology recognizes its incorporation in Washington, DC, in 1948. The scholastic triangle symbolically connects education, service to patients, and research, and is representative of the major activities in which diplomates are engaged.

Dentistry is a branch of medicine involved in the diagnosis, prevention, and treatment of diseases of the oral cavity as well as the surrounding maxillofacial region. In medicine, pathology is the scientific study of the nature, cause, and outcome of disease. As such, the seal for oral and maxillofacial pathology has various components dealing with both medicine as well as dentistry.

Decorating the triangle are laurel leaves that on the left symbolize the seven founders and on the right symbolize the seven current Directors elected by fellows of the American Academy of Oral and Maxillofacial Pathology. Laurel leaves are associated with victory and were also utilized as a purification agent in cases of suspected poisoning. As seen in our seal they represent our desire to achieve victory over ignorance as well as restore health.

The triangle also corresponds to the Greek letter Delta and represents the D in the word dentistry. The surrounding circular outline of the seal replicates the Greek letter O known as omicron. The letter O is the first letter of the prefix “odont”. This prefix relates to tooth/teeth and is seen in such terms as: odontogenic, odontoma, and odontology. As mentioned previously the triangle is also considered the scholastic triangle and it envelops various components of the seal which include a facial profile, a caduceus, and a microscope.


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