Dental Laboratory Technology Certification Board Announces Changes to Practical Examinations

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The National Board for Certification in Dental Laboratory Technology (NBC) recently announced changes to its Certified Dental Laboratory and Recognized Graduate examinations as part of the process of updating its certification program. Program changes will be made to the Ceramics, Crown & Bridge and Implants practical examinations, and a substructure will be added to the onsite requirements to better reflect industry practices.

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NBC Chair Heather Voss, CDT

This will be the programs’ first step towards integrating digital technology into the hands-on portion of the practical examinations.

The National Board for Certification in Dental Laboratory Technology (NBC) continues its efforts to maintain relevant and valid examinations as part of its commitment to serving the dental laboratory technology profession. NBC recently announced updated references and an updated job task outline for its Certified Dental Technician ([CDT) and Recognized Graduate (RG) examinations as part of the CDT program’s revalidation process beginning January 1, 2017.

NBC is proud to announce that as part of the process of updating its certification program it will make changes to the Ceramics, Crown & Bridge and Implants practical examinations beginning January 1, 2017. Based on the changes to the job task outlines, there will not be significant updates to the practical examinations for Complete Dentures, Partial Dentures and Orthodontics.

“We have announced some major changes in the last couple of months related to the updated job task outlines and new written examination references. However, I am extremely excited about the changes we have made to the Ceramics, Crown & Bridge and Implants practical examinations. This will be the programs’ first step toward integrating digital technology into the hands-on portion of the practical examinations.” said NBC Chair Heather Voss, CDT. “With these changes, candidates will be able to use digital or analog fabrication techniques in their preliminary work and will have more flexibility with choice of materials.”

Some of the changes to the Crown and Bridge practical examination will include allowing candidates to digitally produce their metal framework as part of their preliminary work. Additionally, a substructure will be added to the onsite requirements to better reflect industry practices.

For the Ceramics practical examination, candidates still have to produce a single unit PFM; however, the metal substructure can be cast or can be fabricated using selective laser melting. Also, the bridge is no longer required to be a PFM bridge. Candidates will be able to use the material of their choice and can fabricate the substructure using either traditional or digital fabrication techniques. The MOD onlay will be removed from the examination and a veneer will be added to the onsite requirements in an effort to reflect the trends in the industry.

For the Implants practical examination, candidates will be asked to fabricate a custom abutment as part of the preliminary work and can use either traditional or digital fabrication techniques. The preliminary denture has been completely removed from the examination, but onsite requirements include a 1 x 14 Set Up and Wax up over two attachments. Additionally, the Hader Bar has been replaced with a Wrap-Around Bar to better reflect what we are seeing in the real world setting.

“I am so proud of the positive changes coming out of the CDT program. This program is moving in the right direction to ensure that the CDT program remains relevant,” said Voss. “The updates to the practical examination better align our examinations to the actual work being performed in dentistry today and allow for more flexibility in fabrication techniques and material selection. We will continue to advance this program to ensure that it provides a national standard that the industry can be proud of.”    

The CDT designation demonstrates a mastery of the knowledge and applied skills in dental laboratory technology. Individuals who obtain the CDT designation have demonstrated a commitment to dental laboratory technology and proficiency not all of their peers will achieve.

“I am coming up on my 25th year as a CDT and I am even more proud to call myself a CDT now, than when I first earned it,” said Voss. “For me, getting my CDT wasn’t about earning more or getting additional business. It was and still is about pride, community and building up dental laboratory technology as a respected member of the dental team. I am proud of this program and all the changes it is making.”

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About NBC:
The National Board for Certification in Dental Laboratory Technology was formed in 1955 as an independent certification organization dedicated to improving the quality of dental laboratory technology through voluntary testing and certification of dental laboratories and technicians. This is the only voluntary certification program for dental laboratory technicians recognized by the American Dental Association. For more information on the NBC, please visit http://www.nbccert.org or contact the NBC office at (800) 684-5310 or certification(at)nbccert(dot)org.

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Brianna Barnebee

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