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INBDE: An In-Depth Guide

Date Posted: 01.10.23

Dental licenses are crucial to getting all the documentation required to own and operate a dental practice. The Integrated National Board Dental Examination (INBDE) is the newest iteration of the dental licensure exam.

Understanding matters like INBDE exam dates in 2022 and what these examinations cover will help you prepare for your examinations. The most significant difference in how dentists are examined is that today’s tests focus more on the practical side of serving patients safely and effectively.

Here’s what you need to know about the INBDE exam and which examination it replaced.

INBDE: An In-Depth Guide

What is the INBDE Exam and What Does It Cover?

The INBDE was administered for the first time in August 2020. Naturally, it created significant uncertainty because these wholesale changes impacted the nature of licensing examinations.

The latest incarnation of the licensing process replaced the original National Board Dental Examination (NBDE). It replaced part I and the National Dental Board exam part II.

Today, the examination still covers two parts taken over two days. All examinations are administered via computer.

Here’s a breakdown of how the examination works over the two days:

  • Day One – The first day consists of 360 test items. There are three sets of 100 standalone items and one set of 60 case questions.
  • Day Two – The second day includes 140 test items, with two sets of 70 case questions.

The total testing time is 12 hours and 30 minutes, including breaks, the tutorial, and an additional survey. Dentists looking to obtain their licenses must be prepared to deal with the intensity of these two days.

The new exam integrates basic and dental sciences rather than focusing on pure recall. The examination also seeks to test your decision-making skills and whether you’re adequately prepared for the dentistry profession.

You’ll focus on foundation knowledge and clinical content areas for creating a safe and professional dental clinic.

Examinees are scored on a scale from 49 to 99, with a 75 considered the minimum passing grade. If you fail to pass the exam, you’ll receive a performance report to prepare to retake the examination.

Note that you’ll be unable to complete the original dental boards, part 1 and 2, if you take this exam. However, the NBDE examination has been completely phased out, so there’s no need to alter your studies to fit the old system.

When do dental students take their board examinations? Once you have met the minimum course requirements, as certified by your dental school, you’ll be eligible to take the exam and get licensed.

What is the NBDE Exam and What Does It Cover?

As stated earlier, the NBDE exam is not being administered anymore. The final opportunity to take the NBDE part 1 was October 31, 2020, and the last day to complete the second part of the examination was July 31, 2022.

While you can no longer take this exam, it’s essential to understand what it consisted of and why it was replaced.

The primary reason for these changes was the dental education community’s long campaign for change. They complained that two high-stakes exams pulled students away from their practical education training.

The original NBDE part 1 breakdown lasted 8.5 hours, with 400 questions. Prospective dentists would complete this exam within their first or second dental school year. The second part of the NBDE took place over two days, lasting 12 hours. There were 400 questions relating to discipline and 100 case-based questions. Dental students would complete this exam in their final year.

Most of the concepts and principles remain the same in dentistry. However, the INBDE is designed to avoid arbitrarily isolating concepts that may have no practical use for dentists. The great weakness of the older dental licensing exams was they relied on mechanically memorizing and recalling knowledge.

In other words, INBDE is considered an ideal alternative because it has a practical flavor to it. These dental licensing exams concentrate less on memorizing passages from study books and more on implementing the principles of professional dentistry within a clinical environment.

How to Prepare for Dental Licensing Exams

Passing the licensure examination is a tremendous achievement. These examinations are designed to test your knowledge of the dental world, focusing on patient care and keeping up with advancements within the profession.

Follow these tips to prepare for your licensing examination:

How to prepare for dental licensing exams
  • Allow three to four months of study before your exam day.
  • Focus broadly. The exam is not weighted toward one area or another.
  • Switch up your studies from reading to watching educational videos.
  • Invest in a boot camp if you’re studying for an extra edge.
  • Use ADA practice questions to prepare, as they’re similar to the ones on the test.
  • Get tips from your fellow dentists who have already passed the test.

The test is designed to be challenging, but as long as you pay attention in dental school, most answers will be obvious. Try not to allow your preparations to overwhelm you. Remember, you can always retake the test.

Cloud 9 Software

Once you’ve passed the INBDE, you might consider opening your own practice. If so, Cloud 9 Software is here to help. As the leading practice management software provider for the dental industry, we are experts at streamlining the management of dental business operations.

To learn more about how Cloud 9 Software is revolutionizing the art of practice management in dentistry, request your free demo now.