About : National Board Dental Exam

National Board Dental Exam

National Board Dental Exam

National board dental exam measure the competency of dental graduate in both basic and clinical science. It is required by almost all clinical residency programs in the US. Because the level of competition for admission had significantly increased lately, it is important to score high in the test and to take both part I and part II. The national board dental exam is abbreviated NDBE (Click here). The test is based on (Pass/Fail) system.

NBDE I consists of 400 test items that cover four basic science areas: anatomic science, biochemistry-physiology, microbiology-pathology, and dental anatomy and occlusion (Click here)

NBDE II (Click here) is composed of 500 test items distributed on two days. A 400 test items cover the discipline based component which addresses key concepts of the following disciplines; endodontics, operative dentistry, oral and maxillofacial surgery/pain control, oral diagnosis, orthodontics/ pediatric dentistry, patient management, periodontics, pharmacology, and prosthodontics. A 100 test items focus on the case-based component, the test items presents real-life scenarios with an approximate distribution specified as follow 70% adult and 30% pediatric related cases. A minimum of 15% will address the medical management of medically compromised adult and pediatric patients.

To register for the exam, it is essential to send an official copy of original transcripts for evaluation and then you will be provided with a PIN number to complete your registration. Remember that they do not accept WES evaluation (Click here)

Kaplan offers preparatory courses for NBDE I and II as well as study material. However, participants in these courses are not eligible for I-20. Therefore, you need to be enrolled in other English language classes. Contact Kaplan office via the email:

NBDE preparatory courses are online and dependent on the student commitment. Kaplan provides students with preparation books as well as labs to access online lectures and test-like question bank. Students are encouraged to purchase dental decks. However, they are good only for revision purpose and to identify your areas of deficiency. NBDE release exams are available for purchase and should aid students in their studying (Click here). First aid is another good review book to crack the NBDE. Finally, practice makes it better.


Written by:
Weam Banjar BDS, MSc. Clinical Research

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Mahmoud H. Al-Johani

Author Mahmoud H. Al-Johani

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Join the discussion 5 Comments

  • Dr. Sameena Khan says:

    But what is the current scope of this exam? is this exam just good enough for license in US or it can be used as an additional qualification in our CVs? Does it bolster job gaining prospects?

  • WMB says:

    Well, to practice in the US you should pass the exam as well as to join post graduate residency program

  • Thapelo Dithebe says:

    I’m a dentist who qualified in Pretoria at the university of Pretoria in South Africa in 2002 46 yrs old and want to work in Saudi Arabia.
    What should I do to get employed at Saudi can I b employed
    Do I need to write the exam to b registered as a dentist in Saudi
    What is the remuneration

    Tel:+27 79 3508349

  • Dr.Islam says:

    is there are any exam centers here in the ksa??

  • dr amna says:

    is there any exam centres here in ksa and what is the current scope ofnbde now adays

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