Foreign trained dentist and the INBDE exam

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The INBDE exam for foreign trained dentist message: As the world pushes through the pandemic we are quickly realizing how important we are to one another. In the past we may have simply been concerned about our individual homes, but now it is apparent that we all have a responsibility to our neighbor. When one is affected we run the risk of all us being infected. This brings in to question how important is it for nations to get along and forge positive relationships. How important is it for travel bans to be lifted and allow us to freely commute to assist those in need? If there is a shortage in the U.S. of medical personnel does it make since to reach out to our neighboring nations for help and vice versa? This time in History will speak volumes to how the healthcare bridge was built. When know physicians and nurses are in high demand, what about dentist? Will there be a need to increase the opportunities for foreign trained dentist? The answer is probably yes.

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics projects 7.6% employment growth for dentists between 2018 and 2028. In that period, an estimated 10,400 jobs should open up. This coupled with a median salary for dentist of $151,850 could mean more competition for foreign trained dentist. ( ). So what are the best ways for a foreign trained dentist to become more competitive and increase their chances of gaining a U.S. dental license. It starts by doing the following:

Step 1: ECE / WES evaluation

Most US dental schools will require you to get your dental diploma and transcripts evaluated by one of the accredited evaluation institutes (ECE: Educational Credential Evaluators ( or WES: World Education Services( ).

If your transcripts and diploma were issued in a language other than English, you will have to translate them. It is recommended that you find a translator that is a member of the American Translators Association.

Step 2: Prepare for the Integrated National Board of Dental Examination (INBDE)

The purpose of the Integrated National Board Dental Examination (INBDE) mirrors that of the NBDE Program: to assist dental boards in determining the qualifications of individuals who seek to practice dentistry. Throughout its development the INBDE has been focused on the clinical relevance of examination content, and the corresponding clinical relevance of the biomedical sciences. 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 INBDE in order to earn admission into advanced standing programs in US dental schools.

The Integrated National Board Dental Examination (INBDE) will be available for administration on August 1, 2020.

In anticipation of this launch, candidates from non-accredited dental programs who have NOT yet successfully completed the NBDE Part I:

  • May NOT take the NBDE (Part I and Part II) after May 31, 2020.
  • Must take the INBDE to receive National Board Examination (NBE) certification, beginning August 1, 2020.
  • Any application submitted after November 30, 2019, will automatically be assigned a testing window that ends May 31, 2020.

Note: If a non-accredited candidate has successfully completed the NBDE Part I by May 31, 2020, the candidate will still be eligible to take the NBDE Part II until July 31, 2022

Currently MDI Prep is at the forefront of preparing students for the new INBDE exam:

Step 3: Take the INBDE board examinations

First, visit ADA’s NBDE general information guide for step-by-step instructions on taking the exams.

Get a DENTPIN. Applications for the INBDE examination programs are processed through the American Dental Association’s (ADA) Department of Testing Services. The first step in the application process is getting a DENTPIN, a unique personal identifier you will use in taking the exam.

Schedule to take the exam: You will then need to schedule an appointment to take the exam at a Prometric testing center in your area.

Step 4: Take the TOEFL exam

The TOEFL (Test of English as a Foreign Language). The TOEFL is an online test administered by ETS that measures your ability to use and understand English at the university level. Most US dental schools require that you demonstrate your English language proficiency by taking the TOEFL. International dental graduates must demonstrate proficiency in English.

Hire a tutor. If your learning style is better suited to a more personalized approach, a tutor may be a good choice. is an online resource where you can inquire about a tutor.

Step 5: Improve your competitiveness as an applicant

One of the best ways to improve the competitiveness for INBDE exam for foreign trained dentist is to gain dental experience in the United States.

Gaining dental experience in the U.S. will help you to be better educated about the advancements in dentistry. Your experience in the dental field will facilitate your transition to becoming a dental student. Most foreign-trained dentists gain experience as dental assistant. Working as a dental assistant will allow you to get valuable dental experience, but it will also allow you to network with U.S. dentists. Many schools recommend that you submit a letter of recommendation from a U.S. dentist.

Extracurricular activities/Volunteer Service. Applicants are expected to have obtained a variety of experiences, including community service and volunteer work in the U.S. The experiences do not have to be specifically dentistry related, but these experiences may be helpful to one’s own understanding of selfless giving, compassion for others and exposure to diverse populations. Your involvement in extracurricular activities/volunteer service will differentiate you from other prospective students.

Here are few additional ways to expand your experience:

Community service experience also allows you to learn more about the diversity of the US culture.

Become involved in organized dentistry (e.g. ISDS, CDS, ADA, IAGD).

Gain exposure to research: While this is not required, additional knowledge in the science field further enhances a student’s understanding of advancements in the field. Research does not have to be in dentistry/oral health.

Step 6: Apply to a US dental school program

As mentioned, advanced training (or advanced standing) programs are a great option because they prepare foreign-trained dentists to gain licensure in the US and be able to practice in any state. You will earn an American Dental degree (DDS/DMD) through a condensed timeframe, usually 2 to 3 years. Advanced Training Programs are the only option that would make a foreign-trained dentist eligible for licensure in any state in the US (after satisfying the necessary licensure requirements).

The INBDE exam for foreign trained dentist is requiring a thorough understanding of clinical and basic science content.

I – Invest time and resources to pass the INBDE exam (This is not an exam you should take lightly. Studying on your own should not be an option. Find a study partner and if you can’t join an online INBDE Class.)

N – Never give up is the key. When you are tired of studying, remember the reward at the end of the journey. When others tell you that you are wasting your time, remember the reward at the end of the journey. You will reach your goal, but you can Never give up.

B – Build a resume that will impress the U.S. dental program

D – Dedicate 6 months for preparation

E – Enroll in an a reputable INBDE course. Visit:

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