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Frequently Asked Questions


I completed the Equivalency Process; do I have to create a new profile for the Certification Process?

After completing the Equivalency Process, a new profile will be created for you. You will receive an email once your information has been transferred to the portal for Graduates of Accredited Dental Programs.

Does the NDEB have any residency requirements for participation in their processes?

The NDEB does not have residency requirements for participation in NDEB examinations.

How do I know what pathway to follow for certification?

Which pathway you follow will depend on if you want to be certified as a dentist or dental specialist and if you have graduated from and accredited or non-accredited dental program. Visit How to Become a Dentist in Canada and answer a few short questions to determine which pathway you should follow.

My country is not on the list. Can I still apply?

If your country is not on the list, you must send us all pertaining information on your program and university, with links when applicable. The NDEB will confirm your eligibility to apply to the Equivalency Process within a few weeks.

Can the NDEB assist in obtaining visas?

The NDEB cannot provide assistance in obtaining visas or other documents required for travel for the purposes of participating in the examinations. However, the NDEB can provide a confirmation of registration letter upon request. This letter will be sent to the email address on your online profile within two weeks of your request. If an original letter is required, this must be included in your request and will be sent by regular mail.

How do I change my name with the NDEB?

If you need to change your name with the NDEB, you must submit a Request for Name Change Form and the documents listed on the form to the NDEB office by mail or courier.

Equivalency Process

How long does it take to complete the Equivalency Process?

The length of time it takes to complete the Equivalency Process will vary depending on the individual. The first step is application and credential verification. If everything is submitted correctly the first time this takes approximately 18 weeks. Then there are three examinations to complete. How long it takes to complete the examinations depends on when a person can register for an examination and how many attempts it takes them to pass the examination.

Are there any accredited degree completion programs in the United States?

For information on accredited dental programs in the United States, visit the CODA website.

If I take the Australian Dental Council Equivalency Process can I go directly to the Certification Process?

There is no reciprocity between the Australian Dental Council and the NDEB. You must complete the NDEB Equivalency Process in order to participate in the Certification Process.

If I complete a Degree Completion Program, am I considered a graduate of an accredited dental program?

Yes, if you successfully complete a Degree Completion program at a Canadian faculty of Dentistry, you will receive a degree from an accredited university and complete the process for graduates of accredited dental programs.


How are exam fees established?

Exam fees are established independently for each exam with the objective of being fair and reasonable. They are determined based on exam-specific costs including exam development, costs to administer exams, and overhead. Overhead costs are allocated to exams based on time and effort required to support each exam. Individual exam fees are not intended to subsidize other exams. The fees are reviewed annually and adjusted, as necessary.

Can I get a tax receipt for the examination fees?

Tax receipts for application and examination fees are generated annually and can be obtained through your NDEB online profile.

NDEB Certification Process

Are there limits on the number of dentists the NDEB certifies each year?

The NDEB does not place limits on the number of certificates that can be issued. The number of certified individuals is based on the number of candidates who have fulfilled the requirements for certification.

How long is the process to become certified?

The process of certification varies depending on what pathway an individual takes. From the time an individual is eligible to take the certification exams it can take between 6-18 months. The timeframe varies based on how many times the individual is required to take the examinations to pass. The certification examinations can be taken three times.

Does NDEB Certification automatically give me a license to practise in Canada?

No, you must apply for a license with the Dental Regulatory Authorities (DRAs) in the province where you want to practice. The DRA may require additional documentation, jurisprudence tests, and evidence of language proficiency prior to licensure.

Do I have to take the Written Examination and OSCE together?

Yes, the Written Examination and OSCE must be taken together. If you are unsuccessful in one examination, you will only need to retake the examination that was failed.

Can I take the examinations before I graduate?

The Written Examination and OSCE can be taken four months before months before graduation. Your expected date of graduation will be confirmed with your university prior to taking the examinations.

I am not a new grad, am I still eligible to apply to the Certification Process?

If you graduated from an accredited dental program more than five years (60 months) ago, you must apply for Special Consideration to be a candidate.

You can download the Special Consideration Application Form. The form explains the document requirements for Special Consideration Applications.


How long after I take the NDECC™ can I expect to receive the result?

When you register for an NDECC™ session you will be informed of when your work will be evaluated. There are currently four evaluation session planned per year. The number of weeks between your examination and the evaluation will depend on the schedule.

Will there be a limit on the amount of material that is supplied (burs, composite, strips, etc.)?

There is no limit on the amount of material that is supplied. At the beginning of the day, your kit will include what an average candidate would use during an NDECC™ examination. Should you need additional supply, you will be able to request them to attending NDEB® staff members.

I have loupes with battery packs that need to be charged. Will there be electrical outlets?

The top drawer of your dental cabinet will include a power bar/strip that can be plugged into your workstation outlet. You will be able to connect your battery pack to this strip and keep it in the drawer of your dental cabinet while it charges. You will need to follow proper infection control when handling your battery pack.

Why are all the diamond burs coarse or extra coarse? Can we have fine or medium diamond burs?

During our tests, we determined that diamond burs finer than coarse or extra coarse were inefficient and caused burning of the plastic teeth. The NDEB® will therefore not be providing There will however be a friction grip low speed handpiece available should you wish to use the coarse burs on slower speed. The grading rubric of the polishing criteria for the NDECC™ has been adjusted accordingly



Can the NDEB® provide exact measurements for each preparation?

The NDEB® will not answer questions about preparation design. It is the responsibility of a competent dentist to know how much reduction and what preparation and margin designs need to be achieved for specific teeth and various restorative materials.

Where will the exam be held?

The exam will be held at the NDECCTM Test Centre located at 340 Albert St. 12th Floor Ottawa, ON. The Test Centre is located:

  • a 4 minute walk from the O-train Lyon station
  • 4 km from the Ottawa train station
  • 11 km from the Ottawa airport

What facilities will be available at the Test Centre?

At the Test Centre, you will have access to an examinee locker room, examinee lounge including kitchen, an examinee private room for prayer, breastfeeding, meditation, etc., washrooms, a classroom, situational judgement rooms, and the simulation clinic.

What do I wear for the exam?

You should wear comfortable professional streetwear. A disposable surgical gown to wear on top of your clothes will be provided. Closed toed shoes with socks must be worn. For the health and comfort of examinees and staff the Test Centre is a scent free environment. We request that you avoid scented products such as cologne, aftershave, perfume, and scented lotion. The use of scented deodorant is permitted.

What type of simulators will be used for the clinical skills component?

The Test Centre will be equipped with A-dec simulators and Kilgore International, Inc. Darwin heads.

What brand of handpiece will be available for me to use during the exam?

The handpieces used in the Test Centre will be Kavo handpieces. The handpieces are air driven.

What materials will I need for the exam?

You will be provided with all the necessary equipment, materials, and instruments for your examination.

What can I bring into the Test Centre?

You are permitted to bring your lunch, snacks, drinks, medications (if pre-approved), and menstrual products. You must provide your own protective eyewear. Dental surgical loupes are permitted. You must also bring the NDECC™ card provided at registration.

Will I be able to leave the Test Centre during the exam?

If during your exam you leave the Test Centre, even to return to reception , you will not be permitted back into the Test Centre to complete your exam.

Online Profile

I cannot access my online profile.

  • Please ensure you are logging in to the correct online profile from the Log in page.
  • Use the username is the email address you used when creating your online profile
  • If you have forgotten your password, use the reset link on the log in page
  • Once you have reset your password, you should receive an email
  • Please ensure that your check your junk mail

You should also use a laptop or desktop (not a mobile or tablet) and you may want to try using a different browser if you still encounter issues.


Are the NDEB examinations graded on a curve?

No. The cut score that determines whether an examinee passes or fails is based on the recommendation of a subject matter expert panel through a process called standard setting. In this process, the panel has the opportunity to view the actual exam content and will then consider the content against the level of skill required of a competent dentist to set a pass mark. NDEB examinations are not designed to pass or fail a pre-determined percentage of examinees. If an examinee demonstrates competence to safely enter practice by answering a sufficient number of questions correctly, they will pass the examination regardless of how other examinees perform.

I know I need to earn a test equated rescaled score of 75 to pass the examination. Does that mean I need to get 75 percent of the questions correct?

No. An examinee does not need to answer 75 percent of the questions correctly to receive a rescaled score of 75. The rescaled score is not the percentage of test questions the examinee answered correctly as it also takes into account the difficulty of the exam as established by a panel of experts through standard setting.

If I received a score of 74 on the examination, does that mean I was only one test question away from passing?

No, NDEB examinations contain more than one hundred questions. The overall rescaled score does not indicate the number of questions answered correctly. An examinee who receives a score of 74 could be one or several questions away from passing the examination.

Specialty Certification Process

I am certified as a general dentist; how do I access my account to apply for the NDSE?

Your username is the email addressed used when you created your profile for the Certification Process. You can reset your password from the first page of the online portal. If you do not remember the email address or no longer have access, please contact for further assistance accessing your account.

Why don’t all universities offer DSATPs?

Not all specialty programs are offered at every university. Additionally, availability of the DSATPs is dependent on the physical facilities available. Consequently, there are very few DSATP spaces offered across the county each year.

I completed my specialty program more than five years ago, how do I apply?

If you graduated from an accredited dental specialty program more than five years (60 months) ago, you must download the NDSE Special Consideration Application Form. This form outlines the requirements for Special Consideration Applications.

Can I take the NDSE before I complete my specialty program?

You can take the NDSE if you are within the final six months of an accredited specialty program, or have completed a DSATP. The NDEB will confirm your eligibility directly with the university before you take the examination.

How do I know if my specialty is recognized?

There are nine dental specialties recognized by CDAC. Dental public health, endodontics, oral and maxillofacial radiology, oral and maxillofacial surgery, orthodontics, oral medicine/oral pathology, prosthodontics, periodontics, pediatric dentistry. The NDEB will not accept applications to the DSCKE for other specialty programs or combined programs.

I cannot find my preferred examination centre when I try to register.

Your profile will only provide locations with availability. If your centre does not appear as an option, this indicates there is currently no availability for this location.

You can either register for another location, or wait until registration opens for the next examination.

Taking the Examinations

How do I submit a Compassionate Appeal?

To submit a Compassionate Appeal, fill out the Compassionate Appeal Request Form.

Relevant documentation is required to demonstrate how your work was affected and must be submitted at the time of request.

How do I get the results of an examination verification?

Examinees are notified of the result of the verification by email approximately 6 weeks following the request. Regrades are typically completed within 12 weeks.

In no circumstances will examinees have access to their examinations or scoresheets.

How do I request a verification of my examination?

Verification of scores is available to examinees who have failed the examination.

To request a verification of your AFK or ACJ score, log in to your NDEB online profile and select “Other Services”.

For the Written, OSCE, or NDSE, you must log in to your NDEB online profile and select “results” from the menu on the left.

For DSCKE participants, your request must be submitted by email to and payment sent by cheque or money order to the NDEB office.

What happens if I am caught cheating or not following the regulations?

During an exam, any behavior that is considered to potentially compromise the integrity of the examination will be documented by the Test Administrator and submitted to the NDEB. Allegations of misconduct are investigated by staff and reviewed by the Examinations Committee. The consequences for compromising the integrity of an examination can be significant.

What does it mean when NDEB says an examinee has compromised the integrity of the examination?

Simply stated, compromising the integrity of the exam means that an examinee has cheated or not followed the regulations outlined in the exam protocol.

How are questions selected?

A committee, consisting primarily of general dentists recommended by Provincial Dental Regulatory Authorities, selects the questions for use on examinations.

How are examination questions developed?

Questions used for each administration of the Assessment of Fundamental Knowledge (AFK), the Assessment of Clinical Judgement (ACJ), the Written Examination, and the Objective Structured Clinical Examination (OSCE) are developed and reviewed by content experts who are primarily faculty members at Canadian faculties of dentistry.

When will I know my results?

Results are released based on the time indicated in the examination protocols.

Individual results cannot be given by phone or email and no information can be given prior to them being released.

If I withdraw from an exam can I register for the same exam at a different location?

Yes, you can withdraw from a session and register in another session if there is space available. Be aware that withdrawals can take up to two weeks to process and you will not be able to register for another exam until the withdrawal has been processed.

When will I know the location of my examination?

Location memos are usually posted to your online profile within two weeks of the registration deadline date. Keep an eye out for the email indicating new information has been posted to your online profile.

I cannot find my preferred examination centre when I try to register.

Your profile will only provide locations with availability. If your centre does not appear as an option, this indicates there is currently no availability for this location.

You can either register for another location, or wait until registration opens for the next examination.

I am unable to register, is something wrong?

You can only register for examinations when registration is open and if spaces are available. If you are unable to register, check the upcoming dates page to confirm registration is open. It is not unusual for examinations to fill-up prior to the registration deadline.

Vision 2022

How can I reapply to the Equivalency Process if I am currently ineligible?

Individuals who are ineligible for the Equivalency Process because they failed the ACS three times, can reapply to the Equivalency Process by completing an online application form that will be available through the NDEB website in January 2022. Only those that failed the ACS three times are eligible to reapply.

When an application is received, NDEB staff will confirm the individual is eligible to restart the Equivalency Process and the individuals existing NDEB online profile will be updated accordingly.

Will I have to resubmit all my documents when I reapply?

Individuals who were previously approved to participate in the Equivalency Process will not have to resubmit their educational credentials. They will however, be required to submit a notarized copy of current government issued photo identification, upload a recent photograph, and a provide a name change request form if required.

Will there be a fee for reapplying to the Equivalency Process?

Yes, there will be a small administrative fee for reapplication to the Equivalency Process. When your application is received and it is confirmed you are eligible, the application fee will be added to your online profile, and you will be notified to make the payment.

How long will it take to process a reapplication?

It is expected that a reapplication to the Equivalency Process will take between 8-10 weeks. This timeframe may change based on the volume of applications received.

What will happen to my previous exam scores?

If you reapply to the Equivalency Process, your previous examination scores will be voided and you will no longer have access to them. When you order a transcript, these scores will not be reported and the NDEB will be unable to confirm previous exam scores with third-parties.

When will we know what will be tested on the new ACS?

The ACS team is working hard on the development of the modified ACS blueprint. The blueprint will be available for examinees well in advance of the first ACS so that examinees can prepare.

When will the first modified ACS be offered in the NDEB clinic?

We cannot confirm the date of the first ACS to be offered in the NDEB clinic; however, we do not expect to be able to offer the ACS in our facility before June 2022.

The clinic construction is underway, but we are aware that construction delays are not uncommon. When we are confident that the ACS can be run, we will provide examinees with the dates of exam sessions and registration instructions.

What if I have passed the ACS but have not passed the ACJ?

When the new eligibility requirements come into effect on January 1, 2022, you will no longer be able to register for the ACS unless you have received a passing grade on the ACJ. If you have already passed the ACS but have not passed the ACJ this will not affect your ACS result.

When does the five-year period to pass the ACS start?

For anyone currently eligible to take the ACS the five-year time period to successfully complete the ACS will begin on January 1, 2022. After January 1, 2022 eligibility for the ACS will require successful completion of the ACJ. When a participant passes the ACJ, the five year time period will start.