Specialty Exams

CDCA administers examinations for several states in six specialty areas:
  • Endodontics
  • Orthodontics
  • Oral & Maxillofacial Surgery
  • Pediatric Dentistry
  • Periodontics
  • Prosthodontics

These examinations are not designed to replace the specialty boards, but to qualify successful applicants to practice and to advertise themselves as specialists in the states participating in this specialty examination process. (Currently, this includes: Idaho, New Mexico, Oklahoma, Oregon, Texas, and Utah.)

These states may require the Specialty Examination administered by the CDCA for specialty licensure. Check with the appropriate state dental board. If the Specialty Exam is required, contact Dr. Ellis Hall at Contact Us for more information.

Generally, other states do not accept this examination for specialty licensure. However, on a case by case basis, some states may request special consideration.

Exam Specifics

The examination will next be offered on July 7 & 8, 2021 near the Baltimore/Washington Airport in Maryland. The deadline to submit an application to sit for these examinations is April 16, 2021.

The examination consists of two parts:

  1. A written multiple-choice examination of 160 to 180 questions
  2. Presentation of a series of cases completed by the candidate demonstrating specific treatment planning and technical skills.

Documented cases, models, and case histories must be sent to Specialty Examination, The Commission on Dental Competency Assessments, 1304 Concourse Drive, Suite 100, Linthicum, MD 21090, and received no later than April 23, 2021.

A score of 75% or better is required in both parts to pass. If you receive a passing score on the written portion of the American Board in your specialty, the written part of the CDCA exam can be waived.

If after reading Form D of your application materials, you have additional “Case Specific” questions, you may direct them to Dr. Ellis Hall, Director of Examinations at Contact Us.

Note: State rules and regulations are constantly changing. To assure the most current licensure requirements, always check with the state dental board in the state where you intend to practice.

Additional information:

Payment deadline: April 16, 2021

Candidates will be notified of their assigned examination time on or about June 4, 2021.

Refunds will not be issued for verbal sections after April 23, 2021.

Refunds will not be issued for written sections after May 21, 2021.