Blog Archives

Webinar Highlights 2021 ADEX Dental Hygiene Exams for State Boards

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

Direct inquiries to sbeeler@cdcaexams.org

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 sbeeler@cdcaexams.org

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.


ADEX Approves Non-Patient Clinical Examination Option for Dental Hygiene

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

Direct inquiries to sbeeler@cdcaexams.org

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 sbeeler@cdcaexams.org.


State Boards Participate in CDCA Town Hall Webinar

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

Direct inquiries to sbeeler@cdcaexams.org

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 Accepted by California for Dental Licensure

For Immediate Release:

November 19, 2019

Direct Inquiries to Contact Us


View entire ADEX press release

The CDCA has long supported efforts by The American Board of Dental Examiners to become an approved pathway for initial dental licensure candidates in California.

Map of ADEX Dental acceptance

We are pleased to share the news that California will now allow candidates who pass the ADEX examination in dentistry to move forward with initial licensure. The announcement comes after a Standards Compliance and Certification Review of the ADEX Dental examination conducted by the Office of Professional Examination Services.

ADEX  issued a statement announcing the decision. The entire release is available via the link above.


CDCA Advances OSCE Technology

For Immediate Release: February 27, 2018 | Linthicum Heights, MD

Direct inquiries to Contact Us

The Commission on Dental Competency Assessments (CDCA) is introducing high-fidelity (alternative) item types to the ADEX Dental Skills Examination (DSE) OSCE. The purpose of introducing these new kinds of questions to further enhance the measurement of diagnosis, treatment planning, and other dental knowledge, clinical judgment, skills of licensure candidates. The CDCA anticipates psychometrically validated AITs will appear beside previously evaluated examination questions beginning in early 2020.

The CDCA’s DSE OSCE is the first and continuously maintained, independent, third-party OSCE in dentistry, first computerized from its paper form in 2001. An OSCE is an Objective Structured Clinical Examination, the DSE OSCE is the didactic computerized portion of the five-element American Board of Dental Examiners (ADEX) dental licensure examination. Pilot questions have been a part of every examination given and are integral to the test development process. A thorough evaluation of piloted items leads to valid, reliable and fair examinations for all candidates.

The five parts of the ADEX Dental Examination
The two parts of the ADEX Dental Hygiene Examination

The CDCA’s DSE OSCE is the first and continuously maintained, independent, third-party OSCE in dentistry, first computerized from its paper form in 2001. An OSCE is an Objective Structured Clinical Examination, the DSE OSCE is the didactic computerized portion of the five-element American Board of Dental Examiners (ADEX) dental licensure examination. Pilot questions have been a part of every examination given and are integral to the test development process. A thorough evaluation of piloted items leads to valid, reliable and fair examinations for all candidates.

Items in the ADEX DSE OSCE will now include multiple-choice (single response); multiple choice (multiple response), extended match, drop down, fill in the blank, hot spot and drag and drop questions. CDCA subject matter experts and psychometricians have evaluated AITs, and believe with their inclusion, components of the ADEX blueprint will be presented in a context that adds increased fidelity with respect to the live practice of dentistry. The ADEX Dental Hygiene CSCE examination will undergo similar development. AITs facilitate a more thorough evaluation of a licensure candidate’s knowledge, through a demonstration of cognitive reasoning and applied judgments to case scenarios, rather than just identification of a correct choice. They offer the ability to require multiple answers to complex questions and assign scaled points and penalties for less than ideal, but not incorrect, responses.

Founded in 1969, and formerly known as the North East Regional Board of Dental Examiners, the CDCA is committed to serving boards of dentistry by designing and administering assessments that are based on sound principles of testing and measurement. A founding principle, the CDCA remains committed to a national uniform examination process dedicated to the protection of the public.

For more information about AITs, to see examples, and to learn about how the CDCA is working to incorporate them, click here.