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The ADA Department of Testing Services administers the Dental Admission Test (DAT) as part of the application process for dental school. The DAT is a test designed to measure general academic ability, comprehension of scientific information and perceptual ability. 

The Joint Commission on National Dental Examinations (JCNDE) administers the National Board Dental Examinations Part I and Part II  as well as the National Board Dental Hygiene Examination. After successfully passing the National Board Dental Examinations (Part I and Part II or Dental Hygiene), you can display your achievement with a National Board Dental or Dental Hygiene Certificate. This full-size certificate features the gold embossed ADA seal and official designation of your achievement.

The next generation of the National Board Dental Examination (NBDE) is in the works. The Integrated National Board Dental Examination (INBDE) is a new single integrated examination for dentistry that incorporates basic, behavioral, and clinical sciences to assess entry level competency in dentistry as one step to assist state boards of dentistry in evaluating candidates for dental licensure. Work on the INBDE is being overseen by the Committee for an Integrated Examination (CIE). The CIE is a special committee of the JCNDE, whose charge is to develop and validate the new examination instrument.

There are specific licensure requirements that must be met before practicing dentistry or becoming a dental hygienist.  The three basic requirements are an educational requirement, a written examination requirement and a clinical examination requirement.  The National Board Dental Examinations are intended to fulfill or partially fulfill the written examination requirement.