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Uniformity in dental licensure grows

SRTA states will administer ADEX exam

January 13, 2012

By Karen Fox

Dr. Barrette

The American Board of Dental Examiners has extended its reach to 42 states.

On Jan. 12, ADEX announced a new alliance with the Southern Regional Testing Agency Inc. Beginning in 2013, SRTA will administer the ADEX Dental Exam instead of the SRTA exam.

The addition of SRTA to ADEX means that 34 dental schools and 78 dental hygiene schools are participating in ADEX examinations, with results accepted for licensure in 42 states.

Dr. Bruce Barrette, president of the American Board of Dental Examiners, said this is a key step towards obtaining a uniform national examination.

"We've been open to any state board or testing agency that wishes to talk with us as we try to unify testing across the country," said Dr. Barrette.

ADEX serves 28 member state dental boards in developing initial licensure examinations for dentistry and dental hygiene. ADEX exams are administered in Nevada, Florida and Hawaii as well as member states in the North East Regional Board of Dental Examiners Inc. SRTA currently has six member states—Arkansas, Kentucky, Tennessee, South Carolina, Virginia and West Virginia. Three regional testing agencies (the Council of Interstate Testing Agencies Inc., Western Regional Examining Board and the Central Regional Dental Testing Service), the state of Delaware and the Virgin Islands administer their own examinations.

The ADEX and SRTA decision follows a significant development in 2011 when Florida announced it would recognize the ADEX exam for licensure. One of the last states to offer its own licensure examination, the state faced massive budget cuts in 2010 that left its exam too costly to maintain. The Florida Board of Dentistry and Florida Dental Association worked together on an alternative plan, opting for the ADEX examination.