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The National Dental Specialty Examination (NDSE)

The National Dental Specialty Examination (NDSE)

NDEB – NDSE Certification

National Dental Specialty Examination (NDSE)

NDSE Certification

Provincial Licensure

Individuals who have completed a specialty program recognized by the CDAC must successfully complete the National Dental Specialty Examination (NDSE) before being eligible for registration as a specialist in Canada.


Individuals who have completed a specialty program recognized by the CDAC, including Dental Specialty Assessment and Training Programs, or are in the final six months of an accredited dental specialty program are eligible to take the NDSE.

Format and Content

The purpose of the NDSE is to test entry-level competencies required of dental specialists. The NDSE covers general specialty knowledge including basic sciences, clinical diagnosis, and treatment planning. The level of knowledge required is consistent with Commission on Dental Accreditation of Canada requirements in each specialty.

The NDSE is a one-day examination, administered electronically.


The NDEB updates examination questions on a regular basis as new knowledge becomes available.


Examinations will use the 2017 American Academy of Periodontology (AAP) disease classification.


The NDSE Protocol contains all the information examinees are required to know about writing the NDSE including examination blueprints. Examinees should read the Protocol carefully in advance of the examination.

Download the 2021 NDSE Protocol

Specific preparation material for each specialty examination can be found by visiting the specialty specific page using the links above.

Passing Standard

You must obtain a minimum score of 75 to be successful on the examination.

Appeals and Rescores

Upcoming Examination Dates

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