Profile Questions (7)

To ensure that your profile is accurate we ask all candidates to personally create profiles and upload relevant documentation.

Please provide us with an email that you check regularly. We do not share your email address with anyone. We suggest that you do not use a school email address as you may lose access to it after you graduate and at times our emails are blocked by school firewalls. We also recommend candidates do not use AOL email addresses, as AOL frequently blocks our email.

Yes. Simply leave them blank, and do not enter anything else. Social Security Numbers and DENTPINs are not required to take the exam. You will also be able to enter a Social Security Number and/or DENTPIN when you have one.

Please do not create a duplicate profile. If you can’t get into your profile, first try the “Reset Password” link on the log-in screen. If that doesn’t work, then contact a team member and we will help you get back into your profile.

A few reasons why your profile hasn’t been verified yet:
  • Have you uploaded a photo? (A photo is mandatory.)
  • If you are still a student, have you put down the correct school and date of graduation?
  • If you have graduated, have you uploaded proof of graduation?
  • If the name on your diploma is different from the name you’re applying under, have you uploaded proof of the name change?

If you can say yes to all of the questions that apply to you and your profile is still not verified, then please contact a team member to inquire about verification.

Normally verification only takes 2-3 business days once all required documentation and photos have been uploaded.

Candidates who are “partially verified” may only take computer based examinations.  If you need to take a clinical examination and your graduation date has passed then you must upload proof of graduation to your profile.

Registration Questions (8)

Clinical exams are given at certain times of the year and there will be times when there are no sites open for registration. Some sites are also open only to current or former students, and those from outside the school will not be able to register for them. Please consult our Dental Exam Calendar and Dental Hygiene Calendar for the latest information.

Some exam sites are open only to current or former students of the school. This is a decision made by the school administration, not by the CDCA. These sites are called “Closed Sites” and are marked with an asterisk (*) on the website schedules.

Please contact contact a team member and we will assist you in finding a site that is acceptable.

If you want to be placed on a waiting list, contact a team member and we will take your name and alert you if a spot opens.

No one is required to have scheduled or taken the computerized exam by the registration deadline. You are not required to take the exams in any particular order. The only requirement is that all portions be passed within 18 months of starting.

Payment Questions (10)

Yes, you will be responsible for paying the retake fee for portions of the exam you need to retake. Click on the following link to review exam fees: CDCA Exam Fees

No, your exam fee covers malpractice insurance only for the examination.

For security reasons, we do not take payments over the phone. Please use the online registration service to complete your payment.

No, just be sure, in all cases, that the cardholder name and billing address are accurate.Only Visa and Mastercard are accepted for payment.

No, our payment system cannot handle such transactions. Payment must be completed in full. We only accept Visa and Mastercard.

The system is set up so payments must be made within 72 hours of registration. We cannot grant extensions. You will need to register again in the future.

No, it is a supplemental exam that must be registered and paid for separately. Only candidates seeking licensure in Florida should register for this exam.

Payment by check must be received by the registration deadline.

Payable to: The Commission on Dental Competency Assessments
Address: 1304 Concourse Drive, Suite 100
Linthicum, Maryland 21090
Note: Add your CDCA candidate # and the exam you are registering for
Attn: Jean Parker/Shirley Nolan

You must include your name and the exam you are paying for in a letter that should go along with the check or money order. If a school is paying for several students, a list of all students names and exams must be included with the payment.

Please contact a team member if you have any questions.

Host schools charge for the use of their facility, or may require a refundable deposit. Site usage fees must be paid to the school before you take the exam. The “Facility Fee and General Information sheet” will provide detailed information about the facility fee and instruments provided by the school. You can download this information from the “calendar” tab on the CDCA main website.

* Please note: Some schools have requested the CDCA to collect the facility fee payment on their behalf. For those schools, the facility fees will be automatically added to the candidate account upon registration. If you have any questions, please Contact Us.

Exam/Re-take Questions (12)

Dental Candidates:
  1. Graduates who received a DDS or DMD degree from an accredited school in the United States or Canada.
  2. Senior students of record attending an accredited school in the U.S. or Canada, if taking the exam within 45 days of graduation. Also candidates entering their senior year of dental school at an accredited dental school who are applying for the CIF Format of the ADEX Dental Examination.
  3. Students enrolled in Advanced Standing Programs at accredited schools in the U.S. or Canada, if taking the exam within 45 days of graduation.
  4. Dentists approved by the Jamaican Dental Council to sit for an examination in Jamaica.
  5.  Dentists who have not been granted a DDS or DMD degree from an accredited U.S. or Canadian school. These individuals may apply and be considered for the “State-Only” Examinations offered by the CDCA pending receipt of the appropriate state authorizations. For further information, please click here: https://www.cdcaexams.org/international-dental-graduates/
Dental Hygiene Candidates:
  1. Graduates of accredited dental hygiene programs in the U.S. or Canada.
  2. Senior students of record attending an accredited dental hygiene program in the U.S. or Canada, if taking the exam within 45 days of graduation.
  3. Dental Hygienists approved by the Jamaican Dental Council to sit for an examination in Jamaica.
  4. Dental Hygienists who have not been granted a DDS or DMD degree from an accredited U.S. or Canadian school. These individuals may apply and be considered for the “State-Only” Dental Hygiene Examinations offered by the CDCA pending receipt of the appropriate state authorizations. Please contact  your state dental board to find out if a foreign-trained dentist will be allowed to take hygiene exams for licensure in their state. For further information, please click here.

Log into your profile, click on the “Registration” tab, and register and pay for the exams you need to retake. Click here to review exam fees: CDCA Exam Fees

Please contact a team member. Include documentation, such as a doctor’s note, accident report, family member’s death certificate, etc. If not available before the exam takes place, please send documentation as soon as possible after the exam. We will review your documentation and inform you of a final decision. If the documents provided to support your claim are approved, we will carry the fees forward and you will be allowed to take the exam at a later date. Candidates may be required to pay a processing fee or a reduced fee, depending on the circumstances.

Once you take any portion of the exam, either Dental or Dental Hygiene, you have 18 months from that date to pass all portions. If you do not pass all portions within that period, or fail a section three times, you have to take the entire exam over.

If you fail any portion of the ADEX exam three times, you will have to take the entire exam over.

Yes, as long as they meet the patient guidelines.

CIF exams are designed for current fourth-year dental students at that particular school; residents, graduate students, or faculty at those schools, will require authorization from the school. In other cases, graduated dentists should register for Traditional format exams.

CDCA does not locate patients. We suggest that you talk with your school about whether patients of record at your school are used for exams or if you need to seek an outside patient.

At this time there is no nationwide dental or dental hygiene examination. Those wishing to practice dentistry or dental hygiene must adhere to the requirements set forth by the state they wish to practice in. The CDCA cannot override state requirements.

Sharing patients, while not recommended, is permitted. You and the person you are sharing a patient with MUST contact the CDCA or the school coordinator by the registration deadline to request to be placed on opposite schedules. Requests received after the registration deadline will be denied. Once your schedule is confirmed, you must inform the Chief Examiner on the day of your scheduled exam that you are sharing a patient. Each candidate must complete an individual Medical History Form and Patient Consent Form for the patient. The shared patient’s radiographs are evaluated independently for each candidate, so each candidate must have his/her own set of qualifying radiographs in order to attempt the exam. Copying radiographs for use by a second candidate rather than re-taking the radiographs is highly recommended.

Please be advised that depending on total numbers at an exam site there may not be both a morning and afternoon session.

We can carry forward your fee to a future examination, or you may withdraw and if eligible, receive a refund. For either option a $100 processing fee will apply. You have up until 72 hours before the first exam day to contact a team member to request a forward or withdrawal; after that, we cannot process such requests. * Please note: All request for date change are subject to capacity/available space and whether or not the future location you select is willing to accept your registration.

The CDCA does not release old examinations for review and there is no approved review course for either examination. For information on Dental and Dental Hygiene Examinations, please click on the appropriate link.

Exam Scores/Licensure Questions (9)

All score release estimates are listed below. Scores can be viewed in your CDCA online profile. You will receive an email when your scores have been posted.

Dental Hygiene Clinical Scores
  • Scores are released approximately 2-3 business days after the exam.
Dental Perio/Restoratives Scores
  • Scores are released approximately 2-3 business days after the exam.
Dental Endo/Pros Scores
  • CIF Examinations taken in August thru October are released within 3 weeks of the examination.
  • Manikin examinations taken in November and December are released within 3-4 weeks of the examination.
  • Manikin examinations taken any other time of the year are released within a week of the examination.
Computer Based Examination Scores
  • Scores for candidates taking any computer-based examinations will be posted to your online profile within 10 business days of completion.

All scores, including computerized scores, are reported in your profile; you will receive an email when your results are posted. The CDCA cannot give scores out over the phone. Your scores are also reported to all CDCA member jurisdictions via an online database.

The CDCA is required to report all scores we have on file including failures.

We are unable to offer any assistance other than administering exams and reporting your scores. Contact information for our member states can be found on our website https://www.cdcaexams.org/cdca-member-states.

New regulations state that exams are scored on a pass/fail basis only. Numeric scores are no longer issued.

The CDCA is not a licensing body; our role is to administer exams. When your scores are reported to you, they are also reported to all CDCA member state boards via an online database. After scores are reported, candidates should personally apply for their license with their state board.
Please note: If you are a graduate from a non-accredited school outside of US or Canada and took exams based on one State Board authorization, your scores will be reported to that State only.

For information concerning examination content and process, or to file an appeal of a score, please review the manuals here (Dental and Dental Hygiene) and then fill out the Score Certification and Appeal Form on our website here. For any further questions and additional information, please contact a team member.

Computerized Exam Questions (12)

For dentists: the DSE OSCE(ADEX) and the Florida Laws & Rules.

For hygienists: the CSCE (ADEX), the Florida Laws & Rules, Local Anesthesia, and Nitrous Oxide.

Sedation exams: Minimal sedation, Moderate sedation, Deep sedation, General Anesthesia and Pediatric Sedation.

Candidates register for computerized exams through the “Registration tab” on their online CDCA candidate profiles. After selecting the exam you wish to register for, you must click on the “Prometric (third-party)” on the next page in order to continue registration. Prometric is the only third-party administrator of the CSCE, LA, NO and FLR exams, so it will be your only choice. Do NOT select a state. You will receive an email confirmation within 1 business day with additional instructions for scheduling. Please do not attempt to schedule your exam prior to receiving the authorization email. Click here for additional information.

Once your results are posted to your CDCA account, there is no waiting period. As soon as you get a notification that your scores have been posted to your CDCA account,  you are free to register for a retake at your earliest convenience.

If candidates wish to change their computerized exam date,  time or location they must reschedule or cancel their appointment directly with Prometric 1 calendar day or more before their scheduled date and time. Rescheduling of appointments can be accomplished via www.prometric.com or by calling 800-796-9857; both are available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. CDCA cannot cancel or reschedule your appointment. Candidates that fail to cancel an appointment within at least 1 business day prior to their schedule exam time will have a no-show result and the fees will be forfeited.

There is a $50.00 fee to reschedule or cancel an appointment if the change is made 1 to 5 days before the scheduled test date.
There is a $25 fee to reschedule or cancel an appointment if the change is made 6 to 29 days before the scheduled test date.

If your are rescheduling through the internet, you are encouraged to print out a hard-copy confirming your new appointment or cancellation.

Prometric policies and procedures – please refer to Prometric Information page.

PSI (EFDA) policies and procedures – please refer to the Candidate Information Bulletin.

Eligibilities IDs are good for one use only. To retake a failed computerized exam, you should register and pay for a retake through your profile, and receive a new eligibility ID. For retake fees, please go to fee chart.

Prometric policies and procedures – please refer to Prometric Information page.

Information regarding special accommodations can be found by going to Step 1 – Exam Registration Instructions (DISABILITY PACKET).

Yes. The alternative item types that will appear initially as pilot questions. Before any item appears on any ADEX examination, it is reviewed by a committee of subject matter experts to determine if the question represents current and valid entry-level knowledge. Like multiple-choice items, the alternative items are empirically evaluated during un-scored pilot testing before becoming a part of the operational question bank. Also, like multiple-choice items, the alternative items must satisfy stringent psychometric and statistical criteria before being included as operational (i.e., scored) questions on the examination

Alternative item types are added to the DSE in order to further enhance the traditional multiple choice format. The alternative format helps ADEX more accurately and efficiently assess important areas of entry-level knowledge that are difficult to assess in a traditional multiple-choice format. Alternative item formats will allow examinees to effectively demonstrate important knowledge area competencies in a way different from the standard multiple-choice item format. Often, alternative item formats are more reflective of actual practice. For instance, the ability to make accurate diagnoses from a radiograph is a very important entry level skill. The examinee is not able to recognize or guess the correct answer from a set of provided response options when more than one condition is present and each is scored.

In this item format, you will be presented with an image or a figure. You will then be asked to select a region on the image or figure that corresponds to the prompt in the question stem. To select the region,  click the correct region with the mouse. To change the answer, click on the existing marker and drag it to a different location.  You will not get to highlight an entire area on an image, so be as precise as possible when making your selection. You may move the cursor around and select another part of the image at any time before moving on with a final selection. An example of a hotspot question is shown below. In this example, a correct answer would be selected by clicking the pupil. (Click the image to enlarge)

In an extended match question, you will be asked to click and then match one column of questions to another. Directions are
provided in the question. Question tasks include matching responses to targets or placing responses in a specified order.
The example below is an extended match item. It asks the test taker to match the couples in literature. The test taker is supposed to click on a name in one column and match it with another. (Click the image to enlarge)

This item format is similar to a multiple choice item; however, the multiple response item consists of a
question with more than one correct response. The question will always indicate how many responses
are correct. The examinee is asked to indicate correct responses.
The example below shows a multiple response question. (Click the image to enlarge)


Items in the DSE OSCE will include multiple choice (traditional/single response); multiple choice
(multiple response), extended match, drop down, fill in the blank, hot spot and drag and drop questions.

Misc. Questions (5)

The CDCA is the name of our organization (The Commission on Dental Competency Assessments). ADEX refers to the core Dental and Dental Hygiene exams we administer.

These are formats of the Dental exam; they cover identical material, but are administered differently. Traditional exams have all clinical portions taken over a two-day period, and are open to all qualified candidates. CIF exams have the clinical portions of the exam taken over a period of months, and are open only to current 4th year students at their school (or residents, graduate students, and faculty at those schools who have received authorization from the school).

For information on the CDCA’s Patient Centered CIF Model ADEX Examination, please visit our Dental News page.

The National Board Examinations (NBDE or NBDHE) are not prerequisites for the ADEX/CDCA exams.