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Dental Exam CIF

The following is a brief description of the Curriculum Integrated Format (CIF) of the dental examination. For more extensive information please download or request the CIF Dental Candidate Manual.

The CIF format of the ADEX Dental Examination consists of five examinations; the Restorative, the Periodontal, the Prosthodontic, the Endodontic and the Diagnostic Skills Exam (DSE) Examinations. The Prosthodontic and Endodontic Examinations are offered at the candidate’s dental school in September or October during the senior year. If either examination is failed it may be retaken in December. The Restorative and Periodontal Examinations are offered at the candidate’s dental school during February or March during the senior year. If either of these examinations is failed or if the candidate failed the retake of the Prosthodontic and/or Endodontic examinations in December, then the failed examination(s) may be retaken one more time in April or May of the senior year. Candidates must take all outstanding parts during the next scheduled examination series. All parts of the examination must be completed successfully within 18 months of the date any part of the examination (clinical or computer-based) was begun or the scores will become invalid and the candidate must apply for and take the full Traditional Exam Format. A score of 75 or more is required to pass each Examination. Application deadline for the CIF Examination is typically at the end of June. Applications received after the application deadline date will not be accepted.

Dental Exam Traditional Format

The following is a brief description of the Traditional Format of the dental examination. For more extensive information please download or request the Traditional Dental Candidate Manual.

The Traditional Format of the ADEX Dental Examination consists of five examinations; the Restorative, the Periodontal, the Prosthodontic, the Endodontic and the Diagnostic Skills Exam (DSE) Examinations. The Restorative, Periodontal, Prosthodontic, and Endodontic Examinations are offered at multiple sites three times a year. The series are identified as the Spring Series, the Summer Series and the Winter Series. Candidates applying for the first time, must register to take all Examinations of the Examination in Dentistry. Candidates may take the Restorative, Periodontal, Prosthodontic and Endodontic Examinations only once during each Series. If a candidate receives failing scores, the candidate must reapply and retake all failed examinations together at the same site except the DSE. All outstanding or failed examinations must be taken before scheduling a retake of any one examination. The DSE may be taken up to three times during a 12-month period beginning with the application deadline date for the full Examination in Dentistry at any Prometric Testing Center. A score of 75 or more is required to pass each Examination.

Dental Hygiene Exam

The following is a brief description of the ADEX Dental Hygiene Examination. For more extensive information please download or request the Dental Hygiene Candidate Manual.

The Examination in Dental Hygiene consists of two Examinations and each takes place at different times. The Computer Simulated Clinical Examination (CSCE) is a computer based examination, approximately 2 hours in length, and usually takes place on one day by appointment at a Prometric Testing Center. The Patient Treatment Clinical Examination (PTCE) is approximately 4 hours in length, scheduled at a clinical examination site. A score of 75 or more is required to pass each Examination. Both Examinations must be passed to receive NERB Status. NERB Status is recognized by the participating NERB licensing jurisdictions.

Local Anesthesia Examination for Dental Hygienists

The NERB Local Anesthesia Examination may be taken as part of the certification process for dental hygienists to administer local anesthesia. It is the responsibility of each candidate to check with their state dental board to determine if they meet all the qualifications for this certification process. Applicants must provide proof that they have graduated or are in their senior or final year at an accredited Dental Hygiene Program in the U.S. or Canada. Those individuals who are still in school must provide documentation from the school that they are expected to complete all academic requirements and graduate.

Note: This credential typically comes into effect on graduation from school, so the candidate should check with their state dental board to determine how long before graduation the board will accept this examination.

The Local Anesthesia Examination for Dental Hygienists consists of a 50 question multiple-choice computer based examination administered at a Prometric Testing Center. Disciplines and subject matter addressed in this examination include:

1. Anatomy and neurophysiology

2. Pharmacology of anesthetic agents and vasoconstrictors

3. Local anesthetic techniques

4. Topical anesthetics

5. Infection control

6. Prevention, recognition and management of complications

A score of 75% or better is required to pass.

Nitrous Oxide Examination for Dental Hygienists

The NERB Nitrous Oxide Examination may be taken as part of the certification process for dental hygienists to monitor nitrous oxide administration. It is the responsibility of each candidate to check with their state dental board to determine if they meet all the qualifications for this certification process. Applicants must provide proof that they have graduated or in their senior or final year at an accredited Dental Hygiene Program in the U.S. or Canada. Those individuals who are still in school must provide documentation from the school that they are expected to complete all academic requirements and graduate.

Note: This credential typically comes into effect on graduation from school, so the candidate should check with their state dental board to determine how long before graduation the board will accept this examination.

The Nitrous Oxide Examination for Dental Hygienists is a 50 question multiple-choice computer based examination administered at a Prometric Testing Center. Disciplines and subject matter addressed in this examination include:

1. Concepts and management of pain and anxiety

2. Anatomy and physiology of respiration

3. Pharmacology of Nitrous Oxide

4. Medical assessment of the patient prior to using nitrous oxide

5. Administration of nitrous oxide

6. Management of complications and medical emergencies

7. Postoperative care of the patient

A score of 75% or better is required to pass.

Dentists with Degrees from International Dental Schools

Only dentists with DDS or DMD degrees from U.S. or Canadian Dental Schools may take the ADEX Dental regional examinations accepted in more than 40 states. However, several states in the northeastern region of the United States of America (including Illinois, Maryland, Michigan, New York and Ohio) do have mechanisms to license dentists with dental degrees from international dental schools. To determine your eligibility for licensure in a specific licensing jurisdiction, you should directly contact the dental board for that licensing jurisdiction. (The phone numbers and addresses of each NERB Participating Jurisdictions' dental board and are listed elsewhere on this website.)

Specialty Examinations

NERB administers examinations for the state of Illinois and states in the Western Regional Dental Testing Service in seven specialty areas:

1. Endodontics

2. Orthodontics

3. Oral & Maxillofacial Surgery

4. Oral & Maxillofacial Radiology

5. Pediatric Dentistry

6. Periodontics

7. Prosthodontics

The examination is being offered each July at the University of Illinois College of Dentistry in Chicago.
For additional information click here.

Other Exams

Please contact the NERB Central Office for more information if you are interested in any of the following:

Special NERB administered examinations for individual states

JERM examination