How To Work As a Dentist in the USA ? All The Steps Explained with Video, Flowchart & Official Links




For many dentists all over the world, working in the USA a dentist is the ultimate dream. The reason being dentistry in the USA is one of the highest paying jobs and dentists are among the highest tax payers. In fact, if you check the latest list of top 10 richest dentists in the world, then you will see that the majority are from the USA. You can see the latest list of the richest dentists in the world here.

But there is a lot of confusion regarding the process. There is also the case of changing visa regulations.



So, we contacted some of the dentists from all over the world who have tried for NBDE exams & DDS. From their experience and online sources, this post was compiled.

This post will give you the basic information on the procedure of DDS and the cost involved. To practice dentistry in the USA you will need to get admission to DDS course being provided in the various dental colleges in the USA.

To practice dentistry in the USA you will need to get admission to DDS course being provided in the various dental colleges in the USA. But for getting admission into DDS you will need to qualify for it by clearing the NBDE exams which consists of 2 parts – NBDE Part 1 & NBDE Part 2.

Please note that the information provided are based on the information provided by past dentists who have tried for DDS or NBDE Exams. The aim is to make the steps simple for the aspirants. The costs and regulations undergo periodic revision. So, after reading this post you are advised to check out the official website of American Dental Association for the latest changes & updates. 

(this post was last updated on 9th May 2017)



IT IS A LONG DETAILED ARTICLE.

The article has been broken down into separate slides to make it easier for you to understand the process. Throughout the article, relevant official links have been provided for reference.

In the last slide of the article, all the official links have been mentioned again in a sequential manner. Also for your ease, a detailed video has been added in the last slide. So, follow all the slides and do check out all the links in the last slide of the article.

Have a look at all the headings that we will be covering in this article


National Board Dental Examinations

NBDE 1, NBDE 2, DDS, Dentistry in USA



For any foreign dentist (outside the USA) who wants to work in the USA as a dentist, there are definite steps that are needed to be completed. These steps and regulations have been laid down by American Dental Association (ADA). Any foreign dentist who wants to legally practice dentistry in the USA must qualify successfully through all the steps.
When it comes to licensing requirements or application to international or advanced standing programs for foreign-trained dentists in the USA, NBDE is by far considered the common denominator and the first step in this long process. 

As of now, the NBDE exam consists of two parts and it’s administered by the ADA Joint Commission on National Dental Examinations (JCNDE).


Before we go into the details, Let us first have a look at all the steps that a dentist has to complete in order to practice dentistry in the USA.

Before you check the flowchart please note the two points.

  • The American Dental Association (ADA) divides the foreign dental degrees into two categories. Accredited Dental Degree & Non-Accredited Dental Degree.
  • You need to check and decide the nature of your dental degree.
  • Check this official link that states all the dental degrees that are considered as accredited by the ADA/CODA.
  • But for most of the dentists who are from outside USA/Canada (whose dental degrees are not mentioned in the link above will need to qualify NBDE Exams and Licensure Exams to qualify to work as a dentist in the USA.

The Sequence of Events

(For International Trained Dentists Wanting to Work as Dentist in the USA)

AFTER BDS / Dental Degree in Your Country/ Or a Dental Student

(Fulfilling the criteria required to apply for the exams)

GET ECE EVALUATION

( Course by course Recommended )

Prepare for NBDE EXAM 

OBTAIN DENTPIN

[The DENTPIN (DENTAL Personal Identifier Number) is a unique personal identifier for applicants  & students involved with the U.S. dental education system and standardized testing programs]

 APPLY TO ADA FOR NBDE EXAM 1 

SCHEDULE A TIME TABLE TO TAKE THE EXAM

TAKE THE EXAM AT A PROMETRIC EXAM CENTER

SCORE REPORTS

And If you Pass the Exams

APPLY TO UNIVERSITIES FOR ADMISSION FOR DDS and 

Attend the personal interview on call

DDS FOR 2 TO 3 YEARS

After Completing the DDS the apply for NBDE II

LICENSURE EXAM OF STATE WHERE

YOU WANT TO PRACTICE DENTISTRY

PRACTICE AS GENERAL PRACTITIONER IN RESPECTIVE STATE



ECE EVALUATION

The flow chart above gives you the basic steps needed to be followed by a foreign student to get registered as a dentist in the USA.

Now, let us get into more details. As shown in the flow chart above, NBDE Exams are necessary for any foreign trained dentist to legally complete DDS and practice dentistry in the USA. For appearing in the NBDE exams you also need to create a Dentpin. 

But before you can apply for DENTPIN or appear for the NBDE exams you must get your official Dental Certificates/Transcripts verified by ECE (Educational Credentials Evaluators).

ECE Evaluation

What is ECE – (Official ECE staff statement) For over 36 years ECE has been ensuring that foreign educated people are respected and recognized for their educational achievements.  We welcome you and remain committed to serving refugees, immigrants and US citizens who have been educated in other countries.

You can have a look at the official website of ECE here. (The link will open in new tab & you can continue reading the article) If you want to know what are the basic documents that you need to submit to ECE for evaluation based on your country, then have a look at this official ECE link. At this link, you can enter your country name and get the list of the documents required to be submitted.


Steps in Getting ECE Evaluation done

  • Check out the official ECE Website.
  • Check out the documents required by you to submit here.
  • Contact Educational Credential Evaluators Inc. (ECE) and request a General Report.
  • The ECE evaluation report request will describe what documents are required, the manner in which to submit them to ECE, and the applicable fee.
  • Once you send the documents to ECE, they will assess the documents. After the evaluation, ECE will transfer the official documents to Department Of Testing Services (Joint Commission on National Dental Examinations)
  • Only official reports electronically transmitted from ECE Inc. to the Department of Testing Services will be accepted. Personal copies are not acceptable.
  • If you have already applied for the NBDE Exam, then  The Joint Commission will hold the NBDE examination application, but will not process it before the ECE Evaluation Report is received. The ECE report must be received in the Joint Commission office by the application deadline.


Get Your DENTPIN

Once you complete the ECE process the next step is to register yourself by opening an account and getting a DENTPIN.

DENTPIN

What is DENTPIN – It is a unique personal identifier for professionals and students involved with the U.S. dental education system and standardized testing programs.

Use of DENTPIN – In order to apply to a dental education program or application service, apply to test or request a score report DENTPIN is necessary. The name on your identification card(s) (IDs) must match exactly with the name in your DENTPIN®record.

Points on DENTPIN

  • If you are appearing for the NBDE exams for the first time then you need to register at DENTPIN before you apply for any test.
  • For registering a DENTPIN you can check this official DENTPIN REGISTRATION link.
  • Please register using your legal name as it appears on your government-issued ID (first name, middle name, last name). This is very crucial. There should not be any variations in the name of the candidate.
  • While registering for DENTPIN you are required to provide your personal e-mail id. So you are requested to provide the e-mail id that you monitor regularly.
  • You can use the DENTPIN to apply for both NBDE I & NBDE II.
  • Once you receive your DENTPIN then you are ready to apply for the NBDE Exams.


Applying for NBDE Part 1

Once you have completed the previous 2 steps – You have submitted your documents for ECE evaluation and have registered a DENTPIN, then you can start with applying for the NBDE Exam Part 1.

Apply For NBDE Part I
Point to Note: You can apply for the exam as soon as your receive your DENTPIN number. But the processing of your NBDE Application depends on the processing of your documents by ECE.

The Joint Commission will hold the NBDE examination application, but will not process it before the ECE Evaluation Report is received.
The ECE report must be received in the Joint Commission office by the application deadline.


In the case you have already received your DENTPIN number then you can start with the NBDE application process at the following official link.

A very crucial point to remember: Before you apply please make sure that The name on your IDs must match exactly with the name in your DENTPIN® record. If the name in your DENTPIN® record and the name on your IDs do not match exactly, you will be denied admission to testing and forfeit your testing appointment and application fee. You will be required to submit a new application and fee.


What to do after applying for NBDE Part 1?

  • After completing the above 2 steps you have to wait for the approval of your application. The assessment of your application will be carried out by Department of Testing Services of ADA.
  • The Department of Testing Services will forward your eligibility information to Prometric after your application has been approved, and you will receive an email with testing appointment scheduling instructions.
  • Now you are eligible to schedule a testing appointment and take NBDE Part I. You have only 6 months to apply and schedule a test with Prometric after your application has been approved by Department of Testing.
  • If you cross this 6-month window then you will need to submit a new application and separate fee to take the examination.


Scheduling the NBDE Part 1 Test via Prometric

What is Prometric – Prometric is a private organization that manages the NBDE Exams on the behalf of American Dental Association. (Not only ADA but many government and private organizations all over the world use Prometric to conduct and manage exams for the applicants from all over the world).

  • You can check the Prometric Page for ADA at this link. In that link, you will get few options related to NBDE.
  • You can check for the official guidelines & documents of NBDE 1 related to Prometric.
  • In the link above you will also get the option to schedule your test. Check this official Prometric link.
  • Eligibility to Test
    You must submit an application to test and receive an eligibility letter with an assigned eligibility number from the American Dental Association (ADA) prior to scheduling your testing appointment with Prometric. You can check this link for the official info.
  • After your application has been approved, the Department of Testing Services will send an email to you with testing appointment scheduling instructions. Concurrently, Prometric will also receive notification of your eligibility for NBDE Part I testing. Prometric will not schedule your appointment before receiving and processing authorization from the Department of Testing Services.
  • You need to get in touch with Prometric or Schedule a test at their official Prometric website. While scheduling you will also need to choose a Test Center.


Test Center for NBDE Exams

The NBDE Part I is administered through Prometric Test Centers in the United States, its territories (Guam, Puerto Rico, and the Virgin Islands) and Canada. Testing appointments are available year-round.

Use this official Prometric link for locating the test center location for giving NBDE Part 1.

In the case of any doubt always consult the Prometric via their official website or by calling their support section/ Call Center/ Candidate Care Hotline.

Please call Prometric when call volume is low. Call volume is higher on Mondays and Tuesdays and hold times are considerably less after Tuesdays. The Call Center is open from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m., Eastern Time, Monday through Friday.

Official Support Website: Contact Page

Contact Numbers: Call Center at 800.688.5804 & Candidate Care hotline at 800.853.6769.


Now You Are Ready To Give NBDE PART 1 Exam

Once you complete all the steps mentioned above, you are ready to appear for your NBDE Exams Part 1.

Just for your benefit to recap again, you can have a look at the flow chart we mentioned at the beginning of the article.


In the next Slide, we will see the details about the NBDE PART 1.

In the last slide, you can see the Video Explaining the NBDE Procedure. Do not forget to see the last slide.

Press NEXT to go to the next slide of this article

In the previous slide, we discussed in detail about all the steps involved in your journey to work as a dentist in the USA. For your recap here is the flowchart of all the steps.

The Sequence of Events

(For International Trained Dentists Wanting to Work as Dentist in the USA)

AFTER BDS / Dental Degree in Your Country/ Or a Dental Student

(Fulfilling the criteria required to apply for the exams)

GET ECE EVALUATION

( Course by course Recommended )

Prepare for NBDE EXAM 

OBTAIN DENTPIN

[The DENTPIN (DENTAL Personal Identifier Number) is a unique personal identifier for applicants  & students involved with the U.S. dental education system and standardized testing programs]

 APPLY TO ADA FOR NBDE EXAM 1 

SCHEDULE A TIME TABLE TO TAKE THE EXAM

TAKE THE EXAM AT A PROMETRIC EXAM CENTER

SCORE REPORTS

And If you Pass the Exams

APPLY TO UNIVERSITIES FOR ADMISSION FOR DDS and 

Attend the personal interview on call

DDS FOR 2 TO 3 YEARS

After Completing the DDS apply for NBDE II

LICENSURE EXAM OF STATE WHERE

YOU WANT TO PRACTICE DENTISTRY

PRACTICE AS GENERAL PRACTITIONER IN RESPECTIVE STATE


In the previous slide we saw till the step where you have applied for the Prometric test center to give your NBDE Part 1 Exam.

In this slide, we will discuss some of the most important points on NBDE Part 1 Exam.

Official links have been provided wherever it is required.

What are NBDE Exams?

National Board Dental Examination (NBDE) is the United States national dental examination for students and professionals in dentistry. It is required for licensure in the United States and may also be required when applying for postgraduate studies in dental specialties after completing a dental degree. Foreign-trained dentists also must take the NBDE in order to earn admission into advanced standing programs in US dental schools.

Part I of NBDE covers most aspects of the biomedical sciences while NBDE part II deals mostly with clinical dentistry issues.


NBDE Part I

NBDE Part I  based on Basic Science subjects.

  • Subject areas focus on basic sciences:
    • Anatomic Science
    • Biochemistry/Physiology
    • Microbiology/Pathology
    • Dental Anatomy/Occlusion
  • Structured as a one-day exam: 400 questions to be completed in seven hours with 20% being grouped into test lets with an interdisciplinary focus and clinical application.
  • Performance is scored as pass/fail.


How to find the study materials for NBDE Part 1

If you are worried about how to prepare for the NBDE Exams, then do not worry. The AMERICAN STUDENT DENTAL ASSOCIATION has published authentic reprints of past examinations available for Part I and Part II, in addition to a pilot exam featuring a comprehensive format and multiple-choice items in the traditional Part I discipline.

All you need to do is visit this official ASDA link and purchase your copy of NBDE Reprints & Preparation materials.

Here is the link to the official ASDA shopping cart (You can create an account there and purchase the official study materials and previous years question reprints)

Results of NBDE Part 1 Exam 

NBDE Results

(How is the NBDE Part I examination scored?)

Scoring Pattern in NBDe Exams: Scale scores range from 49 to 99, with a score of 75 representing the minimum passing score (regardless of the particular exam form completed by the candidate). Because the NBDE Part I is a criterion-referenced examination, the minimum passing score is determined by experts through standard-setting activities. 

Results of NBDE Part 1: The NBDE Part I is a pass/fail exam, and the results will be reported only as “pass” for candidates who achieve passing scores. For remediation purposes, candidates who fail the examination will receive numerical scores for each of the major disciplines covered on the examination.

The status of “pass” is reported for candidates who achieve a standard score of 75 or higher. The status of “fail” is reported for candidates who achieve a standard score below 75.

How To Check the Results? National Board Examination results are made available approximately three to four weeks after the examination. To retrieve results online, go to the DENTPIN homepage at ADA.org/DENTPIN and click on the My Account link on the left side of the page. Log in to your account using your DENTPIN username and password. (You would have registered for DENTPIN while applying for the NBDE Exams).

What After The Results?

NBDE Results

As mentioned few lines before – the results of your NBDE Part I Exam will be Pass or Fail.

What to do Next if You Pass the NBDE Part I Exam?

  1. Apply to an accredited dental education program with advanced standing to earn a DDS degree. The application and list of available programs can be found on ADEA’s CAAPID site.
  2. Please note: some dental schools do not use CAPPID to administer their application process. You should contact those schools directly for requirements. Please reference the list of 66 U.S. dental schools for contact information.

What to do Next if You Fail the NBDE Part I Exam?

It is a situation that is not of advantage to dental students. For many foreign dentists, the expenditure of NBDE Exams and other associated costs (when converted to dollars) is substantial. So, failing NBDE Part I and again retaking it will cost both additional money and time. In any case, if the candidate wants to retake the exam then he/she has the following options:

  1. Candidates must wait for a minimum of 90 days between test attempts. There are no exceptions to the 90-day waiting period.
  2. Under the JCNDE’s Five Years/Five Attempts Eligibility Rule, candidates must pass the examination within a) five years of their first attempt or b) five examination attempts, whichever comes first.

Let us assume that you pass the NBDE Part 1 Exam. Congrats !

Join DDS

As shown in the flow chart above, you will now need to apply for a DDS Degree at various Dental Colleges in USA based on your PASS in NBDE Part 1 Exam. 


This marks the completion of one-half your journey to work as a dentist in the USA. For the next 2 to 3 years to will need to study/attend classes in the dental college and successfully qualify/pass the DDS exams.Once you complete the DDS, then the next phase of your journey will start.

The next step is applying for NBDE Part 2 Exam.


 See Next Slide for the details on NBDE Part 2 

In the last slide, you can see the Video Explaining the NBDe Procedure. Do not forget to see the last slide.

 Go to Next Slide for NBDE 2 Details

If you have read the article till now, then you would know that we have reached the step where the candidate has passed the NBDE Exams and subsequently joined DDS.

Once you complete DDS then the next step for you is to apply for NBDE 2. 

In case you are little confused because of the long article, then please have a look at the flowchart below to recap the entire process.

The Sequence of Events

(For International Trained Dentists Wanting to Work as Dentist in the USA)

AFTER BDS / Dental Degree in Your Country/ Or a Dental Student

(Fulfilling the criteria required to apply for the exams)

GET ECE EVALUATION

( Course by course Recommended )

Prepare for NBDE EXAM 

OBTAIN DENTPIN

[The DENTPIN (DENTAL Personal Identifier Number) is a unique personal identifier for applicants  & students involved with the U.S. dental education system and standardized testing programs]

 APPLY TO ADA FOR NBDE EXAM 1 

SCHEDULE A TIME TABLE TO TAKE THE EXAM

TAKE THE EXAM AT A PROMETRIC EXAM CENTER

SCORE REPORTS

And If you Pass the Exams

APPLY TO UNIVERSITIES FOR ADMISSION FOR DDS and 

Attend the personal interview on call

DDS FOR 2 TO 3 YEARS

After Completing the DDS apply for NBDE II & Pass NBDE II

LICENSURE EXAM OF STATE WHERE

YOU WANT TO PRACTICE DENTISTRY

PRACTICE AS GENERAL PRACTITIONER IN RESPECTIVE STATE

Applying for NBDE II

Just like NBDE Part 1 Exam, for NBDE part 2 also you need to fulfill certain criteria.

  • If you have previously taken an examination, you do not need to submit an ECE; however, you must indicate on your application that you have previously taken the examination. It is advisable to call the JCNDE office to confirm that your application has been processed. (for more details on ECE see the slide number 1 of this article)
  • You also need to apply for DENTPIN. But as you have already cleared NBDE Part 1, so you will be having a DENTPIN number and a DENTPIN account.
  • Log in to your DENTPIN account at this official link.
  • Fill up the application form for NBDE Part 2.

Once you complete applying for NBDE Part 2, then you wait for the acknowledgment letter.

 Documents to take care when applying for NBDE Part 2

There are certain points that you must be careful for when applying for NBDE Part 2.

  • Make sure that your name is uniform in all the official documents related to NBDE. The name on your ECE documents and DENTPIN id must be the same. If there are any irregularities in the names then your application can be rejected or you might not be allowed to give the exam. If you find there have been some errors in your names then contact the authorities for the necessary correction.
  • If the name on your NBDE Part II application and your IDs do not match exactly, you will be denied permission to test. As a result, you will forfeit your testing appointment and application fee. You will be required to submit a new application.
  • If you submitted a satisfactory ECE report for the NBDE Part I, you do not need to resubmit another ECE report for the NBDE Part II.

 

The NBDE Part II is administered by Prometric Inc. at Prometric test centers in the United States, its territories (including Guam, Puerto Rico and the Virgin Islands), and in Canada.

After your application has been processed, you will receive an email with testing appointment scheduling instructions from Department of Testing (ADA)

Department of Testing (ADA) will also inform the Prometric regarding the eligibility approval of your application.

The Prometric contact center will NOT schedule a candidate before receiving authorization from the Department of Testing Services.

Once your credentials have been approved by Department of Testing and forwarded to Prometric then you are eligible to book a test center by visiting the official ADA Prometric site. Check the link here.

Now you’re ready for your NBDE Part 2 Exam. 

NBDE II Details

(Focused more on clinical aspect of Dentistry)

  • Subject areas focus on clinical dentistry:
    • Operative Dentistry
    • Pharmacology
    • Prosthodontics
    • Oral Surgery/Pain Control
    • Orthodontics/Pediatric Dentistry
    • Endodontics
    • Periodontics
    • Oral Pathology/Radiology
    • Patient Management
  • Test items in these nine areas are intermixed throughout the examination.
  • All items on the Part II examination are in the multiple-choice format. The examination has both independent discipline-based items (80%) and case-based items (20%).
  • A case consists of a group of items associated with a patient. The Test Specifications with sample questions, located in the NBDE Part II Guide, list the topic areas in each discipline and the corresponding number of items.

This is just the basic details on the NBDE Part 2 Exams. But there is a lot more official information available on the exam patterns. For more details on the exam pattern, you can have a look at this official guide PDF (Page number 5)

Do not forget to bring the following on the day of the NBDE Part 2 Exams.

Test Day

  • Bring two original, current photo IDs (e.g. driver’s license, passport, social security card). The name on your ID must match the name you put on your application.
  • Know where your test center is and how long it takes to get there.
  • Wear comfortable clothes.
  • Nothing can go into the test with you — no cell phones, watches, etc.
  • Pack a nutritious lunch — you have an optional one-hour break half-way through the exam.

Scoring & Result Pattern of NBDE 2

Results of NBDE Part 2: The NBDE Part II is a pass/fail exam, and the results will be reported only as “pass” for candidates who achieve passing scores. For remediation purposes, candidates who fail the examination will receive numerical scores for each of the major disciplines covered on the examination.

The status of “pass” is reported for candidates who achieve a standard score of 75 or higher. The status of “fail” is reported for candidates who achieve a standard score below 75.

Where to find the results? – You can find the results at the official DENTPIN website. Visit the website at this official link and log in to your account.


Study Materials for NBDE 2

The American Student Dental Association (ASDA) at their official website provide the study materials/NBDE Part 2 reprints that students can purchase and use in their NBDE Preparation.

You can purchase the NBDE Reprints from the official shopping section of ASDA website.

What to do after you give NBDE II

Once you complete your NBDE Part 2 Exams, then you wait for your results. You can check your results at the official DENTPIN account.

If you pass the NBDE Part 2: Complete a clinical licensing examination administered by a state or regional clinical testing agency accepted in the state where you wish to be licensed.

If you DO NOT pass NBDE Part 2: You can apply for reexamination. Then please note the below 2 very important points:

  1. Candidates must wait for a minimum of 90 days between test attempts. There are no exceptions to the 90-day waiting period.
  2. Under the JCNDE’s Five Years/Five Attempts Eligibility Rule, candidates must pass the examination within a) five years of their first attempt or b) five examination attempts, whichever comes first.

If you as a candidate have attempted the exam, prior to 2012, then the above two regulations are not applicable to you. You will need to contact the ADA for the provisions.

I passed NBDE Part 2 Exam.

What Should be My Next Action?

When you started with this journey of clearing NBDE Exams, completing DDS, your end goal was to Practice as a Professional Dentist in the USA.

The USA is a huge country with around 50 States. To start your career a professional dentist you have to work in one of those states depending on your convenience and choice.

Every state has their own licensure exams for health professionals which are needed to be cleared successfully. Only after clearing the Licensure Exam, you are legally allowed to practice dentistry in that particular state in the USA.

As stated in the official website of ASDA: The candidate needs to Complete a clinical licensing examination administered by a state or regional clinical testing agency accepted in the state where you wish to be licensed.

Check out this link to know about all the State Dental Boards under ADA. At the link, you will find all the State Dental Boards. Click on the State Name where you Aim to practice.

The details of the dentist licensure exams for international dentists (Outside USA & Canada) can be viewed at the official ADA link.

Once you successfully clear the licensure exam of the State where you want to practice as a dentist, then you are ready to legally start your professional dental career in the USA. Depending on the rules of the state where you are going to practice, you might be required to undergo periodic evaluation.


Well, we have discussed in complete detail about all the steps that are involved in starting a professional career as a dentist, if you have received a dental degree from outside the USA.

The Next Two Points that we need to discuss is VISA & Expenditure for the NBDE Exams

In the last slide, you can see the Video Explaining the NBDE Procedure. Do not forget to see the last slide.

See The Next Slide for relevant information and official links to check for Visa and the expenditure of the NBDE Exams.

See Next Slide

What Are The Visa Requirements for the International Candidates to Give the NBDe Exams, complete DDS or Practice as a Professional Dentist in the USA?

This is perhaps the most important aspect whenever you are planning to settle or work abroad. Many times it can be a complicated process but you must complete all the steps exactly as it is required by the official authorities.

(As a precaution, never trust or pay an unsolicited 3rd party claiming to make the process easier for you. Whenever you have any doubt always refer the official USA embassy in your country.

Which Student Visa Do I Need?

The visa that all foreign students must obtain to come to the United States is called the F-1 visa. This is specifically for academic students.

Students who wish to go to trade school must obtain ‘M’ category visas. Also, interns should obtain ‘J’ category visas to come to the U.S.


What is a Student Visa?

A visa is an immigration document that gives the person a chance to enter a United States Port-of-Entry. A visa does not necessarily grant access to America automatically. All persons entering the country must be examined for suitability for entry.

A Port-of-Entry can be any terminal which connects the U.S. to outside travel pathways. Examples include airports, harbors or border crossing stations at one of the land borders.

Applying for a Student Visa

Applicants interested in applying for a student visa will need to contact the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services for the appropriate paperwork. Most foreign students apply for their visas to the United States from their home countries. The primary contact that they will have for the process will be the U.S. consulate or embassy nearest to them (said to be within their jurisdiction).

The process typically involves filling out a form, paying a fee and including some supporting documentation within the application package such as acceptance letters and proof of finances.


Check this link for the official Visa Requirements: Student Visa for NBDE Exams

Expenditures for the NBDE Exams

NBDE Expenditures

Here are the basic list of the expenditures. At the end of the article, the official links have been mentioned. For now here are the tentative expenditures. The expenditures are in US Dollars and Non-Refundable.


In the Next Slide

check out all the Official Links mentioned in a Chronological manner & divided into steps for your convenience. 

In the last slide, you can see the Video Explaining the NBDE Procedure. Do not forget to see the last slide.

3 min explainer video mentioning all the details for a quick review.

See Next Slide

In the last 4 slides, we saw in detail about the various steps involved in NBDE Exams and requirements for International Dentists who have aspirations to work as a professional dentist in the USA.

In this slide, we will see all the official links mentioned before in the article in a chronological manner. Also, have a look at the short explainer video at the end of the article for an easy understanding of the process.

The Official Links in a chronological manner

VISA Requirements for NBDE Exams:

  • Before you start your Dental Journey to the USA in it highly crucial that you understand and fulfill all the necessary visa requirements required for you go to the USA to appear for NBDE Exams.
  • For the latest updated on the VISA requirements, always contact the USA embassy of your country. Never take any unverified route.
  • Keep a track of the financial and academic requirements that are required for successfully qualifying the VISA requirements.
  • See this link to understand How To Obtain Student Visa?

Keep a track of the USA dental colleges providing  Advanced Standing Programs to International Dentists:

Many U.S. and Canadian dental schools that offer advanced standing programs for international dental graduates participate in ADEA CAAPID.

Listed below are the institutions that currently accept applications from international dental graduates through ADEA CAAPID.

Check this official ADEA CAAPID Directory to find the dental colleges that provide programs to international dentists.

Create you DENTPIN number:

Start with creating a DENTPIN number. Visit this official ADA page for more information on DENTPIN.

In the above links, you will find all the details regarding DENTPIN.

So, you will need to create a DENTPIN NUMBER, which is the unique for every candidate. In all your applications for NBDE 1 & NBDE 2, you will use the same DENTPIN number.

Get Your ECE Evaluation completed:

ECE stands for EDUCATIONAL CREDENTIALS EVALUATORS.

What Does ECE do? ECE evaluates your education credentials that you have received in your native country so that it can be used as a certified educational qualification when you are applying for the NBDE exams in the USA.

Visit the official homepage of ECE here.

Visit this page to know the country wise requirement for ECE evaluation.

If you are from INDIA then see this page for the necessary documents by ECE.

In the case of any doubt, refer and contact the ECE website for guidance.

Apply for NBDE Part 1:

* Please note you will need to create a DENTPIN number before you start applying for NBDE.

To start applying for NBDE Part 1, visit this official ADA page: apply for NBDE 1.

ADA has released an official guide that explains all the details (applications, procedure & fees) related to NBDE 1. This guide is completely free to download. You can download the NBDE Guide from the official ADA link from here.


Where can you appear for NBDE Part 1?

Schedule your examination appointment 60 to 90 days before your desired exam date. Please remember, you may schedule your examination appointment with Prometric only upon receipt of your eligibility notification.

You can schedule your NBDE Part 1 Examination by visiting the ADA page of PROMETRIC Website.

The tests are usually held in USA & Canada.

Results of NBDE Part 1 & DDS after Passing:

NBDE Part 1 results will be out in around 3 weeks.

You can always access the result by logging in to your DENTPIN account.

If you pass, you can proceed with the DDS application to colleges that take up international dentists under Advanced Standing Program. The application and list of available programs can be found on ADEA’s CAAPID site. Please note: some dental schools do not use CAPPID to administer their application process. You should contact those schools directly for requirements. Please reference the list of 66 U.S. dental schools for contact information.

If you fail in the NBDE Part 1, then you can reappear for the exam only after a waiting period of 90 Days. You can refer more details on NBDE Part 1 by downloading this official guide by ADA.

Apply for NBDE Part 2:

Once you complete your DDS, apply for NBDE Part 2.

See this official ADA NBDE Part 2 Page to start applying for NBDE Part 2.

You will need to log in to your DENTPIN Account (which you created while applying for NBDE Part 1) and fill up the application for NBDE Part 2.

ADA has released an official guide that explains all the details (applications, procedure & fees) related to NBDE 2. This guide is completely free to download. You can download the NBDE Part 2 Guide from the official ADA link from here.


Study Materials for NBDE Part 1 & Part 2:

There are official study materials that have been published by American Student Dental Association (ASDA) for the benefit of dentists aiming to appear for NBDE Exams. For that, you will need to purchase the NBDE Papers directly from ASDA website.

Check this official ASDA link to purchase the preparation materials of NBDE.

Official Guide Released by ADA for International Dentists:

Buy the official guide that has been released by ADA exclusively for the international dentists aiming to get a license to work as a dentist in the USA. After the purchase, you can download the official guide as a PDF to your computer.

This downloadable PDF guide assists internationally-trained dentists in understanding and navigating the U.S. dental education and licensure processes. Contains information on:

• Visas needed to study and work the U.S.
• Applying to U.S. dental education programs
• Requirements to take written and clinical exams for licensure, including NBDE Parts I and     II.

This guide costs 44.95 $ for the non-members & 29.95 $ for the registered ADA members.

Here is the official ADA link from where you can purchase the guide book.


Important Websites/Groups that an International Dentist Must Join as a Member:

Membership at American Dental Association (ADA)

  • Every International Dentist who dreams of working in the USA as a Dentist must be a member of the American Dental Association.
  • See this official page for the various types of memberships available at ADA.
  • On that page, you will find the ADA membership for international dentists, who are living and practicing in a country outside the USA. The membership price will be $100 or $16 depending on the status of your country of residence. You can find more details here.

Membership at American Student Dental Association (ASDA)

  • For every international dentist aiming to work in the USA as a dentist, it is very necessary to be a member of American Student Dental Association (ASDA)
  • For every international dentist, the major point when planning to shift the dental career to the USA is information and contact with experienced dentists and groups who know all the details about the process. ASDA provides all of these to every international dentist. ADS not only provides NBDE Guides, Preparation materials but also helps the international dentists by guiding them in the correct course while applying for various dental exams in the USA.
  • ASDA also has hundreds of other international dentists as members who have already successfully completed all the necessary steps required to work in the USA as a dentist. Interaction with these dentists will give valuable insights to any new dentists trying to get approved as a dentist in the USA.
  • ASDA link for international dentists can be seen here.
  • ASDA Guide to Applying to U.S. Dental Schools for Internationally Trained Dentists – See Here. (Remember to download the guide you will need to be a member)

How to be ASDA member?

  • You can be the member of ASDA by registering at this link.
  • Please know, its is not a free membership. As an international dentist, you will need to pay $93 for a 1-year membership and keep renewing every year to stay as a member.
  • You can find more details on ASDA membership at the link.

USA State Licensure Exams:

  1. This is the final step for the candidate to qualify to work as a dentist in the USA.
  2. Each state sets its own licensure requirements (use this state map to navigate).
  3. However, all licensing boards use the National Board Dental Examinations to satisfy a major portion of their written requirements.
  4. The NBDE Parts I and II are developed and administered by the ADA’s Joint Commission on National Dental Examinations. The actual exams are conducted by regional or state examining boards.
  5. After you’ve passed it, you’re on your way to taking your regional licensing exam. To know the Statewide licensure exam click this official ADA link.

Some important tips

  1. You need a strong background in your subjects before appearing for the exams. For reference use the stand international level books for the subjects.
  2. You will need to utilize study materials. Just reading the textbooks won’t help. You need to have a look at the model question papers that will go a great way in preparing you for the exam.
  3. At the end of the article Amazon links to the Popular Books that will help you in NBDE preparation are given. It’s better to buy the books directly online from the publishers rather that wasting time in searching for scanned old copies and then they will not be updated.
  4. Released national board dental exams from previous years, can be a great resource, the more recent, the better, they can serve to familiarise you with the format of the exam, and you can use them to test yourself and your preparation, don’t count too much on seeing the same questions though in your exam.
  5. You can purchase those directly from the American Student Dental Association. It’s really helpful if you to become a member of ASDA, foreign-trained dentists or international dental graduates who are not yet enrolled in a US dental school can join at the associate level, the dues are $93 and you get decent discounts on reprints of the released NBDE exams.

See Next for the Final Recap &

The Sequence of the Events in NBDE Exams in video

See NEXT Slide

We have now come to the last slide of this long article. Till now we have discussed all the available information for an international dentist to work as a dentist in the USA. You are requested to go through the article carefully and visit all the associated official links mentioned in the article.

For your recap here is the flow chart of the events in the entire process.

The Sequence of Events

(For International Trained Dentists Wanting to Work as Dentist in the USA)

AFTER BDS / Dental Degree in Your Country/ Or a Dental Student

(Fulfilling the criteria required to apply for the exams)

GET ECE EVALUATION

( Course by course Recommended )

Prepare for NBDE EXAM 

OBTAIN DENTPIN

[The DENTPIN (DENTAL Personal Identifier Number) is a unique personal identifier for applicants  & students involved with the U.S. dental education system and standardized testing programs]

 APPLY TO ADA FOR NBDE EXAM 1 

SCHEDULE A TIME TABLE TO TAKE THE EXAM

TAKE THE EXAM AT A PROMETRIC EXAM CENTER

SCORE REPORTS

And If you Pass the Exams

APPLY TO UNIVERSITIES FOR ADMISSION FOR DDS and 

Attend the personal interview on call

DDS FOR 2 TO 3 YEARS

After Completing the DDS apply for NBDE II & Pass NBDE II

LICENSURE EXAM OF STATE WHERE

YOU WANT TO PRACTICE DENTISTRY

PRACTICE AS GENERAL PRACTITIONER IN RESPECTIVE STATE

In order to explain the process in the simplest manner please have a look at this video. The video outlines the entire process in an animated manner.


See Next – The Final Slide

Links to Get NBDE Study materials by Kaplan, Mosby & Dental Decks

(Links to the Preparation Materials for NBDE)

Useful Links for Foreign Dental Students

Wanting to be a Dentist in USA

An Advice to all Aspirants

You all by now, know the value of Study Materials in the preparation of NBDE. Also keep in mind that every year the question sets are updated with new additions. When you are planning for DDS, then why act miserly and try to download old, outdated version of study materials. They are not going to be of help any way. Also its not easy to get the scanned online versions. Even if you do manage to get some papers from some of your seniors – they will be very old versions. 

Check out these Books that will help you in your preparation. These are selected few popular books and every NBDE aspirant must have them.

The Official Steps – Guide for International Dentists to Work in USA by

American Dental Association

Two Best Selling Books on NBDE Test Papers by Mosby. Another two books and useful guides published by Mosby are: Mosby’s Review for the NBDE, Part I and Mosby’s Review for the NBDE, Part II. They also have very good reviews.

Kaplan Study Materials is also one of the best in the Market for Review of NBDE Preparation

The Very Popular NBDE First Aid Series

Once of the Most Popular Preparing Materials – Dental Decks

 




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