Blog Archives

CDCA-WREB, CITA Announce Combination

For immediate release, July 18, 2022

Dental health professionals seeking initial state licensure and the far-reaching licensure portability of ADEX examinations can to look to one national testing agency for their needs.  CDCA-WREB and The Council of Interstate Testing Agencies (CITA), the two agencies currently authorized to administer assessments developed by the American Board of Dental Examiners (ADEX), announce their intent to combine on August 1, 2022. The new organization will operate as CDCA-WREB-CITA.

A CDCA-WREB-CITA combination simplifies the pathways for dental and dental hygiene licensure candidates, schools, and state licensure boards.  CDCA-WREB-CITA will continue to provide licensing jurisdictions a robust results database for all current ADEX and legacy examinations while adding new and simplified features. 

CDCA-WREB-CITA is proud to administer the ADEX examinations. ADEX examinations are accepted in 49 states, the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico, and Jamaica. Similar to the NCLEX™ examinations in nursing and the USMLE™ assessments for physicians, ADEX’s examinations protect the dental public. ADEX develops uniform competency assessments that reflect current dental and dental hygiene practices. In doing so, ADEX relies on the expertise of its membership, which consists of representatives from most of the state dental boards in the U.S.

“It is now time to… pick up a new banner, based on trust, and common purpose, a combined purpose of protecting the public.”

Dr. Conrad McVea, CITA President

CDCA-WREB Chairman Dr. Harvey Weingarten said, “Members of the Boards of both organizations enthusiastically and unanimously support this combination, which further strengthens the framework of a nationally recognized and administered psychomotor performance licensure examination for the oral health professions.”

In January, the CDCA-WREB General Assembly voted unanimously to combine with the CITA organization. Dr. Conrad McVea, CITA President, addressed members of the General Assembly, saying, “it is now time to… pick up a new banner, based on trust, and common purpose, a combined purpose of protecting the public. I am proud to be part of this historic day.”

“Our combined organization further elevates the end-to-end services for schools, students, licensing jurisdictions, and examiners as we can meet their needs efficiently within one infrastructure,” explained Alex Vandiver, CDCA-WREB Chief Executive Officer. Already co-administrators of ADEX examinations, CDCA-WREB and CITA share a history of working together in the development of ADEX examiner training and administration quality benchmarks.

“We are grateful to all our examiners who prepare themselves to deliver examinations in a fair, standardized, and professional manner. This year brings exciting opportunities for continued cooperation and collaboration among examiners and colleagues from across the country,” CDCA-WREB Director of Examinations Dr. Benjamin Wall added.

The news comes nearly a year after The Commission on Dental Competency Assessments (CDCA) and The Western Regional Examining Board (WREB) merged to form the largest independent, third-party assessment organization. The existing board of CDCA-WREB and CITA’s executive committee will come together to provide governance oversight to the combined entity. “We look forward to working with our new colleagues in service of our shared mission and the oral health professions,” said Dr. Rob Lauf, CDCA-WREB Board member, and former WREB President.

In addition to the ADEX licensure examinations for dentists and dental hygienists, CDCA-WREB-CITA will offer proprietary assessments that demonstrate entry-level competency in Dental Therapy and other expanded function oral health services. The organization will also provide Local Anesthesia, Sedation, Restorative and jurisdiction-specific Laws and Rules examinations. Information regarding all available examinations can be found by clicking here.

Direct inquiries to Alex Vandiver at or Amy Matthews at

Webinar Highlights Outcomes in Simulated Licensure Examinations

For immediate release, August 19, 2021 | Linthicum Heights, MD

Direct inquiries to

Representatives of 34 state dental boards attended the CDCA-WREB hosted webinar detailing two years of independently evaluated data comparing patient and non-patient-based examinations delivered by The Commission on Dental Competency Assessments and the Western Regional Examining Board.

Dental and Dental Hygiene leaders for both examinations detailed the similarities in candidate performance when comparing outcomes of patient-based exams and simulated patient examinations in the 2020 and 2021seasons. The results offered further support for unified national examination administration with complementary psychomotor clinical and OSCE didactic components. The now joined agencies will deliver the ADEX and WREB examinations through 2022 while preparing to transition to ADEX only in 2023 and beyond. 

Key details of the ADEX simulated patient examinations were also shared, including refinements based on field experience to the CompeDont™ tooth, used in the restorative portion of the ADEX examinations in dentistry and the ADEX-approved dental hygiene typodont. 

Click the video to watch the entire webinar. To request additional information for your board, click here.

Webinar Highlights 2021 ADEX Dental Hygiene Exams for State Boards

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

Direct inquiries to

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

Direct inquiries to

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

Direct inquiries to

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

Direct inquiries to

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