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.