Frequently Asked Questions and Advice From Candidates

Many of the answers to questions commonly asked by Candidates can be found on this page. Please review the information provided prior to contacting the WREB Office. Download the Dental Exams Fact Sheet Now!

Applying for an Exam or Clinical Section

Q: I want to apply for an exam. What basic things do I need to know?
A: You can apply for a WREB exam online. In order to apply online, you must first create a WREB account, pay with a credit card or debit card (Visa, Mastercard or Discover only), upload a digital photo and digitally sign the WREB Policy Agreement. Applying online does not guarantee a space in the exam. It is your responsibility to ensure that all application requirements are met. We must ensure that your information is complete and that your photo meets the required specifications. Only then can your status be determined.

Q: What are the exam requirements?
A: The following are required sections: Operative (patient or manikin), Endodontics (manikin), and the Comprehensive Treatment Planning (CTP) computer-based exam. The Periodontal and Prosthodontic sections remain part of the exam, and are included in the full exam fee, but the Candidate may opt out during registration if the state to which they are applying for licensure does not require this procedure.  

Q: Should I wait for my dean to sign the Certification for Graduating Seniors form before I apply for an exam?

A: It is not necessary to wait for your dean’s certification to register for an exam. You may submit your application and send proof of qualification later. However, your proof of qualification must be received in the WREB office prior to the final deadline, or you will be cancelled from the exam and no refund will be given. You will not receive your clinical schedule until your file is complete.

Q: Can I switch from a patient-exam to a manikin-exam?
A: Yes. To switch from a patient-exam to a manikin-exam (or vice versa), please email dentalinfo@wreb.org with your request. Section formats must be finalized no later than the final registration deadline date and can not be switched at the exam site.

Q: What is the CTP exam?
A: The Comprehensive Treatment Planning (CTP) exam is a computer exam. A case history (including radiographs, photos, charting, medical history) of three patients will be provided. Using the information provided, you will have three hours to develop a treatment plan, answer questions related to each case.

Q: Where can I take the CTP computer-based exam?
A: The CTP Exam can be taken at any Prometric Test Center. Once you are enrolled, an authorization letter will be emailed to you regarding how to schedule the exam. This authorization letter will include the time frame to complete the exam, Prometric’s contact information to schedule your appointment, and your eligibility number.

Q: I have passed the National Boards, Parts 1 and 2. What do I need to do to take the WREB?
A: State dental boards require the National Boards Parts 1 and 2 for licensure. WREB does not require National Boards prior to taking the WREB exam.

Q: If I try to register online and there is a “waitlist” status, what should I do?
A: Once the maximum number of applicants are accepted, a waitlist is initiated. In order to be placed on the waitlist, you must still register for an exam, submit your application, photo, and fee. You will be assigned a number for the waitlist. Until then, we cannot tell you what number you will be on the waitlist. Once you are placed on the waitlist, an email will be sent notifying you of your application status. If a space becomes available, an email will be sent informing you of a place that has become available and you are given an option of accepting or declining it. If we do not hear from you within 48 hours after we have sent the e-mail, you remain in the same place on the waitlist, but the place that has become available will be offered to the next person on the waitlist. We recommend that you monitor your e-mail often if you are placed on the waitlist. We are unable to predict what your chances are of obtaining a place in the exam. If you are on the waitlist and do not get placed in the exam, your exam fee is fully refunded (minus $500 if the CTP exam has been taken), or you will be given the option of transferring to a subsequent exam.

Q: What if I discover that I need to take the Prosth and/or Perio section? Can I add it to my exam after I have registered?
A: Yes. You will need to email your request to dentalinfo@wreb.org no later than the Final Deadline. This date can be found on the Dental Exam Schedule. There is no additional charge to add this section.

Q: What if I have already taken the WREB exam and the state I am seeking licensure is now requiring the Prosth and/or Perio section? Can I come back and take just that section?
A: Yes. You will just pay the section fee. Submit your request to dentalinfo@wreb.org and a payment link will be sent to you. A new proof of qualification may also be required.

Q: What if I need special accommodations?
A: Special accommodations are available under certain circumstances. WREB will provide reasonable accommodations, auxiliary aids, or services, provided the requested accommodations would not fundamentally alter the measurement of the skills or knowledge the exam is intended to test. Requests must be received 45 days prior to the first day of the exam. For complete information refer to “Special Accommodations Information” section on the WREB website found under, Dental Candidates, Policies and Procedures.

Q: I am a foreign graduate, what do I need to do to be eligible for the WREB exam?
A: You will need to contact the state board where you wish to practice dentistry and inform that state board that you are a foreign graduate and want to take the WREB dental exam. If you meet the state’s requirements, the state board will send an original letter to the WREB office stating that you have met their requirements and are eligible to take the WREB dental exam. This letter is your proof of qualification. You may register for an exam before the letter from the state board is received. The letter must be received prior to the final deadline, or you will be cancelled from the exam and no refund will be given. You will not receive access to your candidate schedule until the original qualifying letter is received from the state board. You will not receive your clinical schedule until your file is complete.

Q: What if I don’t have a Social Security Number?
A: If you don’t have a social security number, another 9-digit number can be used (i.e. passport number, tax ID, work permit number, etc.). No alpha characters are accepted. Ensure you document this number for verification purposes.

Q: How long does it take to process enrollment after I’ve applied to an exam?
A: Candidates will receive status of their enrollment within two business days of application.

Clinical Materials and Forms

Q: What identification do I need to provide at the exam?
A: Candidates MUST provide two (2) valid, non-expired forms of identification. Please see the Application Policies and Procedures for the specific identification requirements.

Q: When do I need original radiographs? And, when do I not?
A: The Operative procedure requires original radiographs of the tooth taken within six months. The radiographs must show the current condition of the tooth. Duplicates are not acceptable. Separate radiographs or images are needed for each procedure.
The Periodontal Treatment procedure requires complete mouth periapical radiographs, including bitewings. The radiographs must have been taken within the past three years and must be dated. Original radiographs are preferred but duplicates or printed copies are acceptable for the Periodontal section, if they are of diagnostic quality.

Q: If I need new forms, where do I go?
A: You or your assistant may ask a Floor Examiner for additional forms.

Q: Where do I purchase the arches for the Endodontic and Prosthodontics section of the exam?
A: We suggest that you do not purchase any arches until you have reviewed the Exam Site Information for the exam site you will be testing at. Exam Site Information is available at wreb.org. The information will identify the type of mounting in the Sim lab at the exam site. The Exam Site Information will tell you if the arch is available directly through the school’s dental supply store, or you may purchase the arches from Acadental (http://www.acadental.com/wreb). Candidates are responsible for supplying their own Endodontics arches, extra sextants, trays, etc. Please read the Candidate Guide for more information.

Q: May I submit both my Operative restorations for approval at the same time?
A: If the procedures are on the same patient but not on adjacent teeth and accepting both would not cause the loss of occlusal contact, they may be approved at the same time. Submit the paperwork required for both restorations but only one set of instruments. You also may submit both procedures for prep and finish grading at the same time or they may be submitted separately.

Q: Do I have to work with a rubber dam?
A: You do not have to work with a rubber dam, but a rubber dam is required when submitting a patient for the preparation grade or when submitting your patient for a modification request. A rubber dam is required during the Endodontic exam. A rubber dam can only be removed only if radiographs are taken.

Clinical Schedule and Timeline

Q: When will I receive the clinical schedule?
A: Clinical schedules will be posted to your wreb.org profile approximately four weeks prior to the first day of the exam. The schedule will include the times assigned for the simulated exams by candidate ID numbers, and will only be available if your application is complete and WREB has received all required documentation.

Q: Can I change my assigned time for any of the sections of the exam?
A: No. Once schedules are posted, they cannot be changed. Schedules are arranged in advance and in the best interest of all Candidates, taking into consideration space availability, supplies, and exam materials. Schedules are made to give Candidates the optimum open block time and to maintain patient flow in the grading area.

Q: When are my assistant and my patient allowed on the clinic floor to start the exam? When can I put my Patient in line for acceptance or grading?
A: Assistants and patients may enter the clinic with you at 7:00 am on the Clinic Days 1, 2, and 3. For patient comfort, patients should not be sent to the grading area any earlier than 15 minutes before the exam begins. The exam officially begins at 8:00 am. The patient line will not move until the exam begins. Candidates who are assigned Endodontics the first morning of the exam may not submit patients until 10:00 am. Remember to allow breaks for yourself, your assistant and patient.

Q: When do I do my patient procedures?
A: Patient procedures can be done during Open Clinic any time that you are not scheduled for a manikin procedure.

Q: Do I have to have my patient in line for grading by 10:30 am on the last day of the exam?
A: You have until 11:00 am to have your patient in line for grading on the last day. For Clinic Day 1 and 2, your patient must be in line for grading by 4:00 pm.

Q: May I anesthetize my patient before I send him/her to the grading area for approval to start?
A: For Periodontal Treatment patients, you should anesthetize the quadrant(s) submitted for approval to facilitate Examiner evaluation and for patient comfort. For Operative Patient Check-In, you may anesthetize patients at your discretion. Do not administer any local anesthetic until the Patient Medical History form has been reviewed and signed off by the Floor Examiner.

Q: For the Patient Operative section, may I submit both my restorations for approval at the same time?
A: If the procedures are on the same patient but not on adjacent teeth and accepting both would not cause the loss of occlusal contact, they may be approved at the same time. Submit the paperwork required for both restorations but only one set of instruments. You also may submit both procedures for prep and finish grading at the same time or they may be submitted separately.

Q: If I choose to do two patient Operative procedures and both restorations are approved to start, do I have to do both preps that day?
A: You may do only one preparation if you choose. For the procedure that has been approved but not started, bring your worksheet to a Floor Examiner for the proper paperwork.

Q: When will I receive the final results of the dental exam?
A: Final results will be posted to your wreb.org profile approximately 2-4 weeks after the exam. When final results are available, you will be notified via email. You can access them by logging in to wreb.org with your username and password. Exam results are not given by phone, fax or e-mail. For your privacy and for security reasons, there are no exceptions to this policy.

Responsibilities at the Exam

Q: What are Floor Examiners?
A: Floor Examiners assist Candidates on the clinic floor. They are there to:

  • Answer questions and clarify procedures
  • Act as liaisons between Candidates and Grading Examiners
  • Provide extra forms for Candidates such as Patient Medical History Form and Follow Up Care Agreement Forms
  • Sign Patient Medical History Forms
  • Distribute forms from Examiners that affect Candidate and procedures
  • Check on modifications
  • Manage Pulp Exposures
  • Check and initial steps in the processes involved on worksheets.

Q: When do I call a Floor Examiner to check for a modification of outline or internal form?
A: When removal of caries, affected dentin or unsound demineralized enamel will extend the outline and/or internal form of the preparation beyond the criteria for a “5”, see a Floor Examiner.

Q: What are Sim Floor Examiners?
A: Sim Floor Examiners assist candidates during simulated sections of the exam. They are there to:

  • Provide Set-Up Checks
  • Announce the start and end of the exam time
  • Administer late penalties
  • Provide permission for Candidates to leave the lab
  • Monitor procedures throughout the exam
  • Answer Candidate questions as needed
  • Sign Modification Requests

Q: Are translators allowed on the clinic floor?
A: Translators will be allowed on the clinic floor or in the grading area only as needed. Translators will be asked to remain in the patient waiting area until or if their services are required.

Q: How many initials from Examiners do I need on my Operative worksheet?
A: It depends on what portion of the restoration you are doing. One initial is required at Acceptance, at least two initials if you have sent a note with a modification procedure and three initials are required if you have sent a patient for prep or finish grading.

Q: Can my assistant dismiss my patient while I am in the Sim Lab?
A: Yes, if there is no follow up required when your patient returns from the grading area. Remember, a Floor Examiner’s initials are required on worksheets for patient release from the exam.

Q: Do I have to sterilize my instruments for the simulation sections?
A: You may bring instruments and burrs of your choice either in a cassette or autoclave bags. The instruments can be sterilized prior to the start of your first simulation section and be sanitized and used again for other simulation sections.

Q: Does WREB provide patients for Candidates? If not, where can I find potential patients?
A: WREB does not supply patients for candidates, and we strongly discourage patient procurement services. Patient acceptance criteria are designed to standardize the exam, not to create an obstacle to patient procurement. Reading the criteria and understanding the broad range of acceptable patients for the two Operative restorations and the Periodontal Treatment procedure will prepare you to screen for qualifying patients. The patients expected by WREB are patients routinely treated in a school dental clinic or a dental office.

Q: Is it possible to share patients with another candidate?
A: Yes. If sharing a patient, both candidates are required to provide necessary patient forms. The candidates must communicate with WREB that they are sharing a patient and who they are sharing with for scheduling purposes. A patient requiring antibiotic premedication cannot be shared.

Q: If I choose to complete the Simulated Operative section, can I complete just one procedure?
A: No, the Simulated Operative exam requires both the Class II and Class III to be completed.

Q: If WREB considers all exposures avoidable, how do I deal with an exposure or near exposure?
A: The preferred procedure is to leave a small amount of caries or decalcified dentin (0.5 mm) over the pulp to avoid an exposure. Write in the “Note to Examiners” on the worksheet your intentions. All other caries in the preparation must be removed. If an exposure does occur, write in the “Note to Examiners” on the worksheet your intentions regarding the exposure and how it will be managed, place a rubber dam (if not already in place) and call a Floor Examiner. Upon verification of the exposure, a Floor Examiner will instruct you to place a pulp capping material over the exposure as soon as possible.

Licensure

Q: Does WREB know which states require the Perio and/or Prosth exams?
A: No. WREB does not know each state board’s requirements. You will need to contact the state board in which you choose to seek licensure to find out what they require before applying for an exam.

Q: What steps do I need to take to qualify for licensure in my state?
A: WREB is a testing agency and does not issue licenses, nor does it constitute licensure in any state. Questions regarding licensing and reciprocity should be directed to the state board where licensure is sought. 

Q: How do I send my scores to the state where I wish to get licensed?
A: Upon completion of the WREB exam, an Individual Performance Report (IPR) can be printed from your WREB account online. If you are successful, the state board may allow you to submit this report for licensure. 

If a State Board requires additional information pertaining to your exam results, visit Request Scores to order the requested report.

Note: All WREB member state boards have access to our online, secure database. Once final results have been posted, they can immediately view Candidate scores by logging in. You can find if your state is a member state by going here and selecting, “States Accepting WREB”

Q: Which states accept WREB exam results?
A: Please see WREB member states for the most current listing available at wreb.org. However, because this list may change, it is recommended you contact the state board.

You may also contact the American Association of Dental Boards (AADB) website, www.dentalboards.org for more information and links to all state boards.

Q: How do I schedule my jurisprudence exam?
A: Individual state boards administer the jurisprudence exam. You should contact the appropriate state board for details.

Q: How long are WREB results valid and what is the time limit after I pass WREB to apply for a license in a member state?
A: WREB does not put a time limit on results, however, each member state will accept WREB results for a set time period. Contact individual state boards or the state board where you wish to be licensed, about the time limits to apply for licensure.

Exam Results and Retakes

Q: How do I send my scores to the state where I wish to get licensed?
A: Upon completion of the WREB exam, an Individual Performance Report (IPR) can be printed from your WREB account online. If you are successful, the state board may allow you to submit this report for licensure. 

If a State Board requires additional information pertaining to your exam results, visit Request Scores to order the requested report.

Note: All WREB member state boards have access to our online, secure database. Once final results have been posted, they can immediately view Candidate scores by logging in. You can find if your state is a member state by going here and selecting, “States Accepting WREB”

Q: If I do not pass the WREB exam, can I retake it? What do I need to submit?
A: Yes, once you receive your final results, you may apply to retake the exam at a future site. Registration can be completed online using your original username and password to login to your account. See the Application Policies and Procedures, “Section Exams (Re-Take Only)”.  You will not need to provide a new qualification if you are re-taking the exam within the same calendar year as your first attempt.

If you need to update your personal information such as phone number or address, email dentalinfo@wreb.org.

Q: I’ve never taken WREB, how do I request a non-failure letter to be sent to a state board?
A: You can request non-failure verifications here

Q: If I am unsuccessful in one section of the WREB exam, do I retake the whole exam?
A: No, you just need to retake the failed section within twelve (12) months of your first attempt. Exceptions to this policy will apply when the twelve (12) month period spans different testing years and significant changes to the exam occur.

Results for all sections attempted, whether passing or failing, will be reported to state boards. This includes initial, retake, and onsite retake attempts.

Other

Q: I’ve never taken WREB, how do I request a non-failure letter to be sent to a state board?
A: You can request non-failure verifications here

Q: I am interested in a refresher course. What schools can I contact?
A: You may wish to contact the post-graduate and/or the continuing education departments of accredited dental schools directly. WREB does not provide nor approve refresher courses.

Q: How do I update my profile information?
A: Email dentalinfo@wreb.org to update any profile information.

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