icon-education FAQs – Frequently Asked Questions 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.

General

Q: Which exams am I required to take?
A: Contact the state board or state designated licensing agency from which you are seeking licensure to determine which exams are required.

Q: I am interested in a refresher course. Which schools should I contact?
A: WREB does not provide course or program information. Visit the ADA.org or ADHA.org websites for a list of accredited dental hygiene schools in your area. It is your responsibility to verify that the course meets the requirements for licensure in your state.

Q: How do I apply for a WREB exam?
A: You may apply for any available WREB exam for which you are qualified by utilizing either the Online Application via the Schedule page of the WREB Website or by the Mail-In Application. Applying online does not guarantee a space in the exam. It is your responsibility to ensure that all specified application requirements are met. See Application Policies & Procedures on the WREB Website for more information.

Q: Can I apply online for a WREB exam now but pay later?
A: No, you must pay the exam fees at the time of registration. Online applicants must use a credit card. WREB accepts Visa, Master Card or Discover only. Multiple credit cards cannot be used.

Q: Should I wait for my dean or program director to sign the Course Certification Form before I apply for an exam?
A: You may apply for an exam now and send in proof of qualification later. However, your proof of qualification must be received by the Document Deadline, which is no less than three weeks prior to the first scheduled day of the exam, or you will be cancelled from the exam and no refund given. See Application Policies & Procedures on the WREB Website for more information.

Q: I want to attempt the exam held at ABC College, but the website shows unavailable. What does that mean?
A: It could mean that: 1) the Student Hold is in effect for that exam; or 2) the exam has sold out in advance of the Application Deadline.

Q: What is the Student Hold?
A: For each exam site, WREB holds in reserve a finite number of spaces for graduating students of the exam site host school’s current year dental hygiene program. Those students have until 11:59pm Arizona Time of the specified date to apply. If they fail to apply by that time, those seats previously held in reserve will become available to the general public on a first-come, first-served basis. Availability, if any, will be reflected almost immediately on the WREB Website.

Q: I want to attempt the exam at the XYZ location during May 1-5. Do I need to be onsite during the entire date range? How will I know on which day the exam is scheduled?
A: Depending upon the exam type, you may need to be onsite for several days within the date range. Enrolled candidates are provided with their individual examination schedules 3-4 weeks prior to the Clinical exam.

If a location hosts both a Local Anesthesia Clinical exam AND a Hygiene or Restorative Clinical exam, the Local Anesthesia exam is generally scheduled the first day or two of the date range, with the Hygiene or Restorative Clinical exam (including Retake session) scheduled during the remainder of days. However, the schedule is considered tentative until after the Application Deadline for a given exam has passed and Candidates are discouraged from making travel arrangements until after receiving their clinical examination schedule.

Q: What if I need special accommodations for the exam I am about to attempt?
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.

Q: I am using a classmate as a patient for the Anesthesia Exam/sharing a patient for the Hygiene Exam, does WREB need to know this information?
A: Yes, so that we may attempt to schedule you both accordingly. All requests must be in writing (an e-mail will suffice) prior to the exam’s Application Deadline in order to be considered. Please understand that while we make every effort to accommodate Candidate scheduling requests, we cannot guarantee accommodation due to a number of extenuating factors (e.g. volume of accommodation requests, number of days per exam type, operatory availability, etc.). Refer to the Candidate Guide for more information.

Q: Can I change my assigned clinical examination time for the Anesthesia/Hygiene/Restorative exam?
A: No, schedules are arranged in the best interest of all Candidates taking into consideration the number of exam participants, space availability, and number of days per exam type. Schedules are made to give Candidates the optimum open block time and to maintain flow in the grading area and CANNOT be changed.

Q: I lost my driver’s license. Will I need show ID at the Prometric Test Center?
A: Yes, candidates are required to present valid, non-expired government-issued photo identification (ID) prior to admittance into any Prometric Test Center. For Prometric Test Center identification requirements, please visit www.prometric.com or call 800-490-6550.

Q: I lost my driver’s license. Will I need show ID at the Clinical exam?
A: Yes, candidates are required to present two (2) valid, non-expired photo identification (ID) prior to admittance into any WREB exam. See the WREB Exam Security and Identification Verification section of the WREB Candidate Guide for more information.

Q: When will I receive my exam results?
A: WREB performs a thorough check and confirmation of exam results prior to release. Provisional, or preliminary, results are provided onsite for Local Anesthesia, Hygiene and Restorative Clinical exams. However, after in-office processing, Candidates are notified via e-mail when their official results have been posted to their online Candidate Profile.

Q: What are the eligibility requirements and registration options of the onsite Clinical retake exam? What are the payment options?
A: Eligible candidates may pay the onsite retake fee of their Clinical examination with a credit or debit card displaying the Visa, MasterCard, Discover or American Express logo. WREB also accepts cashier’s checks or money orders for onsite retakes as well. Refer to the respective WREB Candidate Guide for eligibility requirements and procedure information.

Q: If I fail the Written or Clinical exam, how soon will I be able to re-test? Is there a waiting period?
A: Candidates who have multiple unsuccessful attempts of an exam should refer to the respective WREB Candidate Guide or Remediation Policy & Forms section of the WREB Website for more information.

Q: I need to schedule my jurisprudence exam. What do I need to do?
A: Individual state boards administer the jurisprudence exam, not WREB. Contact the state board from which you are seeking licensure for details.

Q: The State in which I am seeking licensure requires a copy of my scores, how do I obtain that information?
A: WREB provides exam results reports to each of our Member State Boards. However, if a State Board requires additional information regarding your exam results, visit the Score Request page for descriptions of the various reports available.

Local Anesthesia - Written Exam

Q: I applied for the Local Anesthesia Written Exam on the WREB Website, but when I contacted Prometric to schedule my exam they said that I wasn’t eligible. Why?
A: An Eligibility Number is required to schedule your Local Anesthesia Written Exam which is not available until after your Written Exam application has been processed by WREB Staff and posted to your online Candidate Profile. Once received, it is strongly recommended that you contact Prometric as soon as possible to schedule your Local Anesthesia Written Exam; however, it may take up to 24 hours for Prometric to receive the information. Be advised that you MUST successfully attempt (pass) the Written Exam within the testing timeframe specified in your Examination Authorization Letter or risk forfeiture of your Clinical exam attempt and registration fees. See the WREB Local Anesthesia Candidate Guide for more information.

Q: What should I do if I experience technical difficulties while attempting the Local Anesthesia Written Exam at a Prometric Testing Center?
A: Prometric is responsible for the technical administration of the Local Anesthesia Written Exam. If you experience technical difficulties, contact the designated Prometric Administrator or Floor Technician right away. However, you should also send an email to hygieneinfo@wreb.org detailing your experience.

Q: I ran out of time and did not answer all the questions remaining. Will I automatically fail the exam?
A: Not necessarily. An attempt can result in success despite not having answered all of the questions. However, a score of 75 or higher is required for successful completion of the Local Anesthesia Written Exam.

Q: When will I receive my results for the Local Anesthesia Written Exam?
A: Exam results are posted daily. Once posted, candidates will receive an e-mail containing instructions on how to access their exam results from their online Candidate Profile. The Local Anesthesia Written Exam is graded independently of the Local Anesthesia Clinical Exam. However, successful completion of the Written Exam is required prior to attempting the Clinical Exam.

Q: I failed the Local Anesthesia Written Exam can I still attempt my scheduled Clinical Exam?
A: No, per WREB Policy, candidates must successfully complete (passing score of 75 or above) the Local Anesthesia Written Exam before attempting the Local Anesthesia Clinical Exam. You might be able to re-test the Written exam depending on the testing timeframe for the Clinical exam in which you are enrolled. Be advised that you MUST successfully attempt (pass) the Written Exam within the testing timeframe specified in your Examination Authorization Letter or risk forfeiture of your Clinical exam attempt and registration fees. See the WREB Local Anesthesia Candidate Guide for more information.

Local Anesthesia - Clinical Exam

Q: When should I tell my patient to arrive?
A: This is up to you and the patient. But you should arrive at least thirty (30) minutes or more ahead of your scheduled clinical examination time.

Q: When can I take my patient’s blood pressure?
A: Blood pressure should be taken within an hour of your assigned clinical examination time. It greatly aids exam flow if you take the BP before entering the clinic to expedite exam flow.

Q: What sterilization procedures should be followed?
A: Refer to the site-specific Exam Site Information packet for infection control policy and sterilization procedure information. Infection control is also reviewed during the Clinic Tour prior to the onsite Candidate Q&A Session.

Q: What if my patient has only one maxillary second molar?
A: Maxillary right and left second molars and at least one mandibular premolar must be present. In the event that a landmark tooth is missing, the patient will be rejected, which constitutes failure of the exam.

Q: Is an implant acceptable as one of the required landmark teeth?
A:
Implants are not natural teeth and do not count as a natural tooth for the required landmark teeth.

Q: Is it acceptable to administer a few drops of anesthetic (initially for patient comfort) prior to reaching the deposition site?
A: If you have been taught this method, you must use your own clinical judgment in the amount of anesthetic that is administered. It is not recommended that anesthetic be deposited as the needle is advanced toward the deposition site. It is a critical error, if too much anesthetic is deposited prior to reaching the target site. Refer to the Critical Aspects of Injection section of the WREB Local Anesthesia Candidate Guide for more information.

Q: What should I do if bone is contacted prematurely?
A: If you contact bone prematurely, you may reposition the needle or with the needle. However, once the optimum depth and angle are achieved and announced, the injection is evaluated, and the needle cannot be repositioned. Refer to the Critical Aspects of Injection section of the WREB Local Anesthesia Candidate Guide for more information.

Q: What is an attempt?
A: An attempt is when the needle penetrates the tissue. Three penetration attempts are allowed (per injection) to obtain the optimum angle and depth.

Q: Will I fail the exam if I get a positive aspiration?
A: No, there is no penalty for positive aspiration. However, you will not pass the injection if you do not recognize and handle a positive aspiration properly. In the event of a second positive aspiration at the same injection site, you will be asked to withdraw the needle and the injection will be graded as performed. Refer to of the WREB Local Anesthesia Candidate Guide for the proper procedure for handling positive aspirations.

Q: Can I dismiss the patient after I finish my injections?
A: Examiners will instruct you to dispose of used sharps and anesthetic cartridges prior to dismissing the patient.

Q: What do I do with unused anesthetic and cartridges?
A: Refer to the site-specific Exam Site Information packet for more information; also addressed during the onsite Clinic Tour.

Q: If I pass the Local Anesthesia Written Exam, but fail the Clinical Examination, will I have to retake both exams?
A: Written results are valid for up to twelve (12) months prior to attempting or re-attempting the Clinical exam. If a candidate does not apply for and successfully re-attempt (passing score of 75 or above) within twelve (12) months of their initial Clinical Exam attempt, both the Written and Clinical exams MUST be retested. Overall successful completion of the WREB Local Anesthesia Examination requires passing scores in both the Written Exam and the Clinical Exam. See WREB Local Anesthesia Candidate Guide for more information.

Q: I failed one injection and passed the other but wasn’t able to complete an on-site retake. I’ve registered for another clinical exam at a different location. Can I just test the injection that I previously failed or will I have to complete both injections?
A: No, if testing at another exam site, you will have to complete both injections.

Dental Hygiene - Clinical Exam

Q: One of the teeth in my Patient’s treatment quadrant has a tooth with 8mm pocket depths. Will my Patient be rejected?
A: The criteria for pocket depths only applies to acceptable surfaces for Qualifying Calculus. You are not penalized if there are pocket depths >6mm, but examiners will not accept those surfaces for Qualifying Calculus.

Q: If I use the same patient for my first submission and also as my alternate submission, and the first submission is rejected, will I be penalized 4 points, even though it is the same patient?
A: Yes. If your first patient is rejected, you will incur a 4-point penalty. See the Performance Evaluation section of the WREB Dental Hygiene Candidate Guide for more information.

Q: Can I use the purple Anesthesia Clinical Successful Memo I received at ABC College in March to administer anesthesia to my patient at XYZ College in June?
A: No, the purple Clinical Success Memo is acceptable documentation only if the anesthesia exam immediately precedes your dental hygiene exam. Refer to the WREB Dental Hygiene Candidate Guide for more information.

Q: My state does not require a local anesthesia exam for licensure. Do I have to take the WREB Local Anesthesia Exam or can I administer local anesthetic to my patient during the WREB Hygiene Clinical Exam?
A: No, candidates whose state does not require a local anesthesia exam for licensure are not required to take attempt the WREB Local Anesthesia Written & Clinical Exams. However, proof of qualification documentation is required in order to administer local anesthetic to your patient during the WREB Hygiene Clinical Exam. Refer to the WREB Dental Hygiene Candidate Guide for more information.

Q: How do I find a practitioner to administer local anesthetic to my patient during the Hygiene Clinical exam?
A: See the corresponding Exam Site Information packet for the specific exam site at which you are enrolled for practitioner availability. If the exam site host does not provide a practitioner, contact the local dental (ADA.org) or dental hygiene (ADHA.org) component in your city or state for assistance.

Q: Can I allow my educator or dentist to look at my patient to see if he/she will qualify as an acceptable patient for the exam?
A: It is your responsibility to accurately and effectively interpret patient qualification criteria. Therefore, other professionals (including faculty) should not determine your patient’s acceptability for the examination. To avoid the possibility of loss of clinic time and points, read and re-read the Patient Criteria section of the WREB Dental Hygiene Candidate Guide to make sure that you understand the requirements for patient acceptance.

Q: My board patient just had a tooth extracted (no complications) from the same quadrant that I am submitting for the exam. Will there be any issues with using this patient or submitting that quad?
A: If the extraction has had time to heal, and your patient meets the prescribed criteria, you should be able to use the same quadrant. It is recommended that you indicate on the Patient Submission Sheet that the tooth was recently extracted.

Q: Can I use a 3rd molar as a proximal contact?
A: A qualifying 3rd molar may provide the required proximal molar contact. A non-qualifying 3rd molar may still serve as the required contact for a 2nd molar in the treatment quadrant. Refer to the WREB Dental Hygiene Candidate Guide for more information.

Q: Can I use a suction adaptor during the examination?
A: WREB does not impose restrictions on the use of suction adaptors. Refer to the site-specific Exam Site Information packet or contact the exam site host school directly to ensure adaptor compatibility and that there are no restrictions for use in their clinic.

Q: My patient has orthodontic cement on the facials. Will the surfaces be disqualified?
A: There are no restrictions on the presence of orthodontic cement. Cement removal is not an evaluated procedure.

Q: My patient’s nasal septum ring and nose ring are not removable. In the pano, the apex of tooth #9 is slightly obscured by part of the nasal septum ring. Will my radiographs be considered non-diagnostic? Will the tooth be disqualified?
A: The presence of nasal rings will not cause the tooth or the patient to be disqualified. In the “Comments to Examiners” section of the Patient Submission Sheet, you should indicate that the nasal septum ring cannot be removed.

Q: Are there any contraindications against the use of ultrasonic for a patient with mild asthma during the examination?
A: WREB does not have specific contraindications for the use of the ultrasonic for a patient with mild asthma. However, the Candidate is responsible for making any necessary alterations to treatment, monitoring and managing the comfort of their patient.

Q: Where can I buy the required instruments or rent equipment?
A: WREB does not sell instruments nor rent equipment. Refer to the Exam Site Information packet for equipment rental information as well as a list of materials provided at a specific exam site.

Q: Are there particular handles WREB requires for the explorer or probe?
A: The handle may be plastic, resin or metal of a comfortable diameter for the clinician.

Q: Can the mirror be double-sided?
A: The mirror must be a #4 or #5 front-surface mirror and may be double-sided.

Q: Can the probe be a double-ended with a shepherd’s hook or does it have to be single-ended?
A: The probe must be a UNC 12, not a right-angled instrument. Whatever is on the other end is irrelevant. However, the patient’s tray must contain the three instruments specified in the WREB Dental Hygiene Candidate Guide: #4 or 5 front surface mouth mirror, 11/12 ODU double-ended explorer, and UNC-12 periodontal probe.

Q: My clinic uses a different explorer and I’m unsure how to read the measurements on the UNC12 probe required for this exam.
A: The UNC probe is divided into 1-12 increments. Begin by counting the increments on the probe. The bottom of the first heavier line is 4mm and the top of that line is 5mm. The next increment or line would be six. If you do this, you should end at 12, which is the top black line.

Restorative - Clinical Exam

Q: Can I bring my own triturator or amalgamator?
A: Yes, it may make you feel more comfortable during the exam using a familiar triturator or amalgamator. Also, see Exam Site Information packet for a list of equipment and materials provided at the specific exam site.

Q: In an effort to save money, I’m buying a typodont used by a fellow student during their clinical examination. Can I use the same typodont for my clinical examination?
A: WREB does not have any restrictions regarding previously used typodonts. However, you are encouraged to carefully check the gingiva for lacerations or tears, and the teeth and preps for scarring. Be sure to replace any damaged gingiva or teeth prior to the examination to avoid incurring any trauma penalties at Check-Out grading. See Typodont Criteria in the WREB Restorative Candidate Guide.

Q: Our clinic is currently using a bonding adhesive/primer so that the instruments do not stick to the composite material. Is it acceptable to use a bond/primer adhesive when placing composites?
A: Bonding adhesive/primer may be used for placement of the composite material during the Restorative Exam but must not cover the surface of the finished restoration.

Q: What can I do to improve my chances for success of the Restorative exam?
A: Know the dental anatomy; practice your restorations on a typodont. Read and re-read the WREB Restorative Candidate Guide as accurate interpretation of the prescribed criteria is your responsibility.

ADVICE FROM PREVIOUS CANDIDATES who have taken the Restorative Exam

  • Candidate Guide: Read and re-read the Candidate Guide; know the grading criteria.
  • Education: Take an extended restorative course, if necessary.
  • Skills: Practice carvings and also having to remove a carving.
  • Preparedness: Know what to do if your marginal ridge breaks.
  • Familiarize: Attend the Clinic Tour to familiarize yourself with the clinic layout, equipment, etc.
  • Equipment: Bring your own triturator; it makes a difference.
  • Typodont Storage: Remember to bring a box or container for your typodont.

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