Blog Archives

Webinar Highlights Outcomes in Simulated Licensure Examinations

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

Direct inquiries to sbeeler@cdcaexams.org

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 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.


Feedback, Personal Stories Indicate Appreciation For Non-Patient Examinations

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

Direct inquiries to sbeeler@cdcaexams.org

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.”

dentaldish.com

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.

dental.touro.edu

“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.


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 Approves CompeDont(TM) Non-Patient Based Exam Alternative

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

Direct inquiries to Contact Us

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.


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.


Hurricane Displaced Dentists Take Special ADEX Examination

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

Direct inquiries to Contact Us

Fall 2017 saw the most intense hurricane season recorded in Atlantic history. Both hurricane Maria and hurricane Irma caused billions of dollars in damage and left many island occupants without electricity or access to food and water.
 
“The hurricane truly made me appreciate how quickly things can change,” said one dentist forced to leave his practice in Puerto Rico after 24 years.
 
The destruction caused by the hurricanes had dramatic effects on so many, including practicing dentists in Puerto Rico and the US Virgin Islands who were in turn displaced to Florida to try to re-start their lives. To assist these individuals, the Commission on Dental Competency Assessments (CDCA), Florida Department of Health, Florida Board of Dentistry, Florida Dental Association and Miami Dade College decided to join forces late last year to expedite a special administration of the ADEX dental licensure exam on February 11-12, 2018 at Miami Dade College.

Florida Department of Health received several inquiries and we quickly identified the special needs of the affected individuals. We then reached out to the CDCA to see what could be done.” said TJ Tejera, DMD, MD, Chair, Florida Board of Dentistry.

“Our CDCA leadership was eager to find a way to assist these dentists and new Florida residents, consistent with our mission. We knew time was of the essence and went to work right away to put together an exam with minimal participant cost.” said Alex Vandiver, CEO.

The two-day exam was administered by a team of CDCA examiners. Dr. Dave Perkins, CDCA Chairman, shared a little bit about his experience at the exam:

“Our CDCA leadership was eager to find a way to assist these dentists and new Florida residents, consistent with our mission. We knew time was of the essence and went to work right away to put together an exam with minimal participant cost.” said Alex Vandiver, CEO.
 
The two-day exam was administered by a team of CDCA examiners. Dr. Dave Perkins, CDCA Chairman, shared a little bit about his experience at the exam:
 
“As the Chief for this exam, it was heartbreaking to hear the stories of dentists that have been practicing 20 or 30 years. They’ve had their worlds turned upside down and it was an honor to help them get back to doing what they love. We would not be fulfilling our mission if we did not help out.”
 
Besides Florida, successfully completing the ADEX exam requirement offers these dentists the ability to apply for a license in 46 other accepting jurisdictions.
 
“After Hurricanes Maria and Irma, my office was severely affected due to the lack of electric power and water. I was with no power for about 3 months and a big number of patients moved to different states including Florida, California, Texas and Chicago,” shared one exam candidate, but many had similar stories.

When surveyed on their plans after achieving Florida licensure, exam participants responded they will continue to practice and serve their new communities.
 
“After I achieve my FL dental license, I am planning to join a practice where I can start doing what I love the most…really good dentistry,” shared one of the dentists.
 


ADEX Patient-Centered Examinations available via CDCA

For Immediate Release: July 1, 2015 | Linthicum Heights, MD

Direct inquiries to Contact Us

The ADEX Patient-Centered CIF (CDCA’s “Buffalo Model”)

On June 11-12, 2015, the CDCA held its Annual Steering Committee Meeting & Educators Conference in Linthicum, MD. Educators and state dental board representatives from throughout the United States and the Commonwealth of Jamaica heard about the recently piloted ADEX Patient Centered CIF examination (CDCA’s “Buffalo Model”), which serves as a modification of the traditional dental licensure exam format shifting the focus of the exam from the candidate to the patient.

During the Educators Conference Dr. Michael Glick, Dean, and Dr. Joe Gambacorta, Assistant Dean of Clinical Affairs, from the University at Buffalo School of Dental Medicine, both presented on how the Patient Centered CIF was implemented and received at the University at Buffalo. You will find links to both of their video presentations below as well as the panel discussion that followed featuring: Dean Glick, Assistant Dean Gambacorta, Dr. Guy Shampaine, ADEX CEO, and Dr. Dave Perkins, CDCA Chair.

Planning for this pilot exam began in November of 2014 between the New York State Dental Association (NYSDA), the University at Buffalo (UB) and the CDCA. The pilot exam was developed to address concerns about patient testing in examinations. The resulting Patient-Centered CIF exam was approved by ADEX last year and piloted five times at the University at Buffalo between January and May 2015. While the new exam included the same content, scoring, and criteria of all other ADEX examinations, the Patient-Centered CIF also had several key exam administration modifications.

Exam Administration Modifications

Faculty & Curriculum integration.1 During the pilot exams, the CDCA calibrated with faculty on identifying correct and appropriate lesions specifically for the exams. Faculty then approved lesions on patients prior to the exams. On exam days all treatment occurred on patients of record. If the candidate treatment was incomplete, all patients received treatment to completion after the exam and under faculty supervision.

Patient eligibility and procurement.2 Candidates did not have to search for patients for this exam. Treatment was only rendered on patients of record as part of an appropriately sequenced treatment plan.

Multiple exam dates available and retakes offered at all exams.3 To prevent delay of appropriate and timely treatment on patients, multiple exam dates were scheduled with the University at Buffalo. Furthermore, candidates with no-show patients had additional opportunities to take the exam without an additional cost. Candidates that did not pass the examination were also able to challenge the exam at a later date for a retake fee.

Exam part of normal clinic day. Since the exam was integrated into a normal clinic day, there was minimal disruption to the candidates’ academic schedule.

Candidate Feedback

The Patient-Centered CIF pilot exam also received positive feedback from dental candidates.

  • The presence of faculty helped establish examiner validity and confidence for students.
  • No need to search for “ideal” lesions.
  • Flexible scheduling reduced the stress of “all or nothing weekend exam”.
  • No extracted teeth to mount and radiographs to take.
  • It felt like a regular day at school.

If you are interested in learning more about the ADEX Patient-Centered CIF examination (CDCA’s “Buffalo Model”), please contact a CDCA team member.

Additional Notes

The integrity of the exam was never compromised since examiners and faculty were kept separate during the examination.

2 Schools always have the option to allow outside patients.

3 Multiple exam dates are offered at the option of the school and will be tailored accordingly.