Yearly Archives: 2020

Webinar Highlights 2021 ADEX Dental Hygiene Exams for State Boards

For immediate release, October 30, 2020 | Linthicum Heights, MD

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Dental and Dental Hygiene Board and Executive Board Staff from at least 33 jurisdictions across the United States participated with us virtually to learn about ADEX licensure pathways for the upcoming year.

The ADEX Dental Hygiene Examination consists of two parts, a computerized Objective Structured Clinical Examination (CSCE OSCE) and in-clinic skills evaluation, Patient Treatment Clinical Examination (PTCE) or Manikin Treatment Clinical Examination (MTCE).

The CDCA-produced webinar highlighted the outcomes each exam part, including the MTCE non-patient portion utilizing the ADEX approved typodont, first offered in light of the COVID-19 pandemic.

It also provided information regarding enhancements set for release in the 2021 examination season.

CDCA Board of Directors Vice-Chair Dr. Mark Armstrong, Assistant Director of Examinations Dr. Stuart Blumenthal, and Senior Advisor Pat Connolly-Atkins, RDH explained how modifications to the typodont will increase the fidelity of the non-patient examination. A similar event detailing options for 2021 dental examinations took place in September.

Through highly coordinated efforts with schools, CDCA has been able to deliver patient, non-patient or hybrid examinations where local and state regulations permit.

CDCA representatives are available to support state boards at upcoming meetings on request. Click here to contact us.

Dental State Board Members participate in Nationwide Webinar

For immediate release, September 2, 2020 | Linthicum Heights, MD

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State Dental Board members from across the United States and other participating ADEX jurisdictions took part in a webcast produced by the CDCA detailing pathways to Dental Licensure on September 1st. The hour-long event provided attendees the opportunity to learn about both patient and non-patient based opportunities.

The event provided key metrics surrounding the outcomes of non-patient based dental licensure examinations utilizing the CompeDont™ in the 2020 testing season. The product is used for skills demonstration in both anterior and posterior restorative dentistry competence testing.

The CompeDont™ is the only currently used simulated tooth developed and studied for use in licensure examinations before the COVID-19 pandemic.

View the 2021 Pathways to licensure webinar here

CDCA Board of Directors Chairman Dr. Harvey Weingarten and participating panelists Vice-Chair Dr. Mark Armstrong and Senior Advisor Dr. Guy Shampaine described soon-to-be-released enhanced features that further increase the fidelity of the simulated tooth. To expedite accessibility to this information, a recording is available. A similar event detailing options for 2021 dental hygiene candidates is planned.

The CDCA strives to be a partner to boards looking for assistance in the charting of pathways to licensure and is available to support state boards at upcoming meetings on request.

Feedback, Personal Stories Indicate Appreciation For Non-Patient Examinations

For immediate release, July 31, 2020 | Linthicum Heights, MD

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Dr. Amanda Amaro challenged part of the ADEX Dental Examination before the COVID-19 pandemic, performing the Periodontal Scaling and Class II portions with a patient, then Class III on a CompeDont™.  She is sharing her story in a blog.

“The tooth is so realistic that I actually forgot for a moment it was simulated, and used the spoon excavator with the same amount of force that I would on a natural tooth. Luckily, I quickly caught myself before causing any damage.”

To support candidates in both professions, CDCA teams produced a wide variety of materials including examination manuals, videos offering insight into content, and live chat via Zoom before every exam.

Many candidates feared the experience would be evaluated differently.

“Nothing changes in this manner, except you remove all the aspects that could negatively impact your patient or you,” said Dr. Scarlet Johnson, University of Mississippi graduate, when interviewed by the American Student Dental Association (ASDA) about her experience taking the non-patient examination.

Courtesy, University of Minnesota

“The CDCA worked closely with ADEX to ensure methodologies and evaluation of the CompeDont™ would be a parallel experience,” affirms Dr. Ellis Hall, Director of Examinations for the CDCA. “Gathering feedback from not only candidates but also schools and exam administrators is an important part of understanding the exam as a whole and maintaining a quality process,” he continued.

Analysis of more than 1,000 candidate survey responses is underway. Anonymous feedback allows for candid comments.

  • “Much better than having to search for an ideal patient.  The CompeDont™ tooth challenges your understanding of how carious lesions should feel/look like.”
  • “This year, 2020, due to COVID-19, we had the new comp typodont. During my exam, all the CFE’s, no exception, were very helpful and understanding with the candidates. I am very grateful to CDCA to help us to go through this adverse situation.”
  • “The successful design and implementation of a mannikin tooth for a root canal or a crown prep or a restoration…that exquisitely mimics real human teeth was a wonderful achievement. (I have been working on real human teeth for 46 years and the utilization of “new tech” for my boards at 65 years old was very utilitarian and eliminates a horribly unpredictable factor: human patients, and human variations.”
  • “I was really impressed with the simulated dentin and simulated caries on these teeth. The “drop in” I feel on access of a natural tooth with caries was mimicked well.”

Students and faculty at Touro College of Dental Medicine reported similar experiences when they were interviewed for a university story, now posted on their website.

“The Class of 2020 has shown remarkable resilience, hard work, and dedication throughout their journey as the pioneering class of TCDM, and this accomplishment is overwhelmingly fantastic,” said Bert Goldfinger, D.D.S., Director of Pre-Clinical Education and Associate Professor of Dental Medicine, who organized the CDCA exams.

“I want to thank the CDCA for their quick action in offering the CompeDont tooth format. As a career-changer (former high school teacher), I can appreciate the logistical challenge that proctoring this new examination format presented. I have been impressed with everyone at the CDCA, from the candidate services specialists to the examiners. These interactions have confirmed my career choice; I already feel supported by my future colleagues,” Dr. Amaro wrote to CDCA. 

The CDCA continues to work with states’ Boards of Dentistry seeking to utilize non-patient based examinations into the future.

Follow the links throughout this story to read the media cited.

ADEX Approves Non-Patient Clinical Examination Option for Dental Hygiene

For immediate release, May 21, 2020 | Linthicum Heights, MD

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Exam Provides Psychomotor Performance Evaluation

The Commission on  Dental Competency Assessments (CDCA) will soon be able to offer dental hygiene licensure candidates a new option to demonstrate readiness for practice. The American Board of Dental Examiners (ADEX) approved the use of a typodont for clinical examinations last week after reviewing an analysis and feasibility study. Read the ADEX announcement here.

The ADEX Dental Hygiene Committee approved the manikin-based option for use in the Patient Clinical Treatment Exam (PTCE) is a response to the COVID-19 crisis should states wish to require a psychomotor demonstration of skills in the absence of patients. The ADEX Examination for Dental Hygiene licensure is made up of two parts, the PTCE and the Computer Simulated Clinical Examination OSCE (CSCE OSCE). Examinations using the approved typodont will be available in early July through CDCA.

Earlier this spring the ADEX Dental Examination Committee approved use of the CompeDont™, a psychometrically validated simulated tooth, for use in the Restorative Examination for dentistry.

At least 11 states already permit the use of a manikin for dental hygiene examinations and/or accept the CSCE OSCE only for licensure. States seeking support in making these decisions are encouraged to contact the CDCA as representatives will be made available to participate in conference calls and meetings.  The typodont is also approved for use in Periodontal Scaling assessments for dental licensure candidates.

The Commission on Dental Competency Assessments, founded in 1969, is the largest nonprofit, third-party administrator of dental and dental hygiene assessments in the US. To reach a CDCA representative, contact Stephanie Beeler, Multimedia, Communications, and Strategic Projects Leader at

State Boards Participate in CDCA Town Hall Webinar

For immediate release, April 15, 2020 | Linthicum Heights, MD

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Nearly 200 State Dental Board members from 49 jurisdictions took part in a first of its kind webinar offered by the Commission on Dental Competency Assessments Tuesday. The hour-long event provided states with a clear picture of the benefits of the ADEX for dental and dental hygiene licensure.

The event featured information about OSCEs currently in use for both professions and the CompeDont™, a simulated natural tooth recently approved for use in restorative dental examinations. To expedite accessibility to this information, the CDCA has posted a recording of the State Board Town Hall webinar online.

View the CDCA State Board Town Hall webinar here

The CDCA strives to be a partner to boards looking for assistance in the charting of pathways to licensure and is available to support state boards at upcoming meetings on request.

ADEX Approves CompeDont(TM) Non-Patient Based Exam Alternative

For Immediate Release: April 3, 2020 | Linthicum Heights, MD

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The American Board of Dental Examiners (ADEX) will allow candidates for dental licensure to choose a non-patient-based restorative examination option to demonstrate readiness for practice. This format utilizes the CompeDont™ DTX, a new manikin tooth technology developed by the CDCA and Acadental, Inc.

The CompeDont™ DTX is a first of its kind manufactured tooth that presents a high-fidelity opportunity for licensure candidates to diagnose and treat Class II and Class III caries. The CompeDont™ is patent pending with product development initiated by the CDCA in 2017 and was first made public last fall as part of pilot testing at 6 dental schools; University of Mississippi Medical Center School of Dentistry, University of Buffalo (SUNY), Indiana University School of Dentistry, University of Detroit Mercy School of Dentistry, Midwestern University College of Dental Medicine – Illinois, and Midwestern University College of Dental Medicine – Arizona.  These schools hosted high stakes pilot examinations using the Class III lesions between September and December 2019.

The CompeDont(TM) is available in anterior and posterior models for use in the ADEX Dental Licensure examination.

When compared to that of ADEX patient-based exams, independent psychometrician analyzed pilot data showed the simulated tooth identified the same critical deficiencies in skill typically revealed by the treatment of natural teeth. “Candidates encountered realistic and variable caries unlike other simulated teeth currently available,”says Dr. Guy Shampaine, CompeDont™ Development Team Leader.

CDCA Director of Examinations Dr. Ellis Hall says it is the CompeDont™’s ability to accurately represent infected, affected and sclerotic dentin that is unique. “Both examiners and students reported that the tooth mimics decay, stickiness and tug-back and can be restored as if it were a natural tooth in this way.”

The dental board representatives to ADEX voted 29-1 to approve the use of the CompeDont™ for both Class II and Class III restorative procedures at a special, virtual meeting on April 2, 2020.The CompeDont™ will be permitted in place of the patient portion of the restorative examinations in the same framework and processes of the existing psychometrically valid examination as soon as possible.

The acceptance of a non-patient-based examination for licensure falls to each jurisdiction.  “The CompeDont™’s new technology provides an option to many state dental boards seeking to address public health concerns in the face of the COVID-19 outbreak without reducing important existing licensure standards,” says Dr. Harvey Weingarten, CDCA Chair.

Based on this immediate ADEX approval, the new non-patient-based administration option will be incorporated into CDCA licensure exams for the Class of 2020 candidates. “We recognize each state will determine independently whether they will accept this new non-patient option for restorative procedures. To help address these differences, the ADEX licensure examination reporting system will clearly identify if a Class II or Class III restoration are manikin or patient-based,” reports Dr. Bill Pappas, ADEX President.

ADEX dental licensure is a five-part examination. It includes a computerized written Objective Structured Clinical Examination (OSCE) measuring clinical judgments and treatment planning decision making, and four clinical portions including an anterior restorative, a posterior restorative, endodontic and prosthodontic sections. An optional periodontal scaling examination is also available. Since 2015, two administrative pathways have existed using the identical ADEX content and criteria, traditional patient-based and Patient-Centered Curriculum Integrated Format (PC-CIF, available at participating schools).

The CDCA partnered with Acadental, Inc. for the development and production of the CompeDont™ DTX. The tooth will be made available for all ADEX examinations but will remain the intellectual, protected property of the CDCA.  Based in the Kansas City metropolitan area, Acadental, Inc. currently holds at least 5 patents and distributes dental educational products worldwide. The Commission on Dental Competency Assessments, founded in 1969, is the largest nonprofit, third-party administrator of dental and dental hygiene assessments in the US.