INBDE – A Complete guide for International Students

The INBDE is an examination foreign-trained dentists must take and pass to earn admission into any advanced standing programs in the US dental schools. This article is a COMPLETE GUIDE TO THE INBDE FOR INTERNATIONAL STUDENTS and the necessary steps required, questions usually asked, study material which students find helpful for the INBDE examination.

Following are the crucial things to know and taking the right steps forward which is a must for all international dentists seeking a good career in the US.

1. What is The INBDE?

The Integrated National Board Dental Examination (INBDE) is a new written, cognitive examination for dental licensure scheduled to replace the current National Board Dental Examination (NBDE) Part I and Part II examinations.

It is referred to as an “integrated” exam because it combines content from several disciplines, and test takers must integrate their knowledge of science with the clinical know-how involved in the safe practice of dentistry to answer many of the test items.

The new test relies less on rote knowledge and information recall emphasizes the relevance of the basic sciences through test items that link science and clinical application.

Test items on the INBDE will require candidates to draw from their knowledge of basic science, behavioral science, and clinical competencies to answer them correctly. For example, INBDE questions will ask about patient care, how dentists approach the practice of dentistry, and how dentists keep up with advances in the profession.

The INBDE is a 500-item examination which will be administered via computer at test centers throughout the United States and US territories. It will take one and a half days to complete.

2. Is It A Pass And Fail Test, Or Do We Get A Score?

The INBDE is designed to be scored as a pass or fail test, and numerical scores are not provided to candidates. Though scores are not given, the exam’s attempt is definitely counted and appears in the final report. It is always better to pass these competitive exams on the first attempt, as candidates with multiple attempts will definitely be at a disadvantage when applying to competitive schools. Most schools do keep in mind the number of attempts needed to clear the exam. Hence, it is good to attempt the test when thoroughly prepared to avoid a failed attempt.

3. What If We Fail The INBDE?

Those candidates who do not manage to clear the exam in the first attempt can retake it. Candidates are eligible to appear up to 5 attempts for the examination and must wait for a minimum of 90 days between each unsuccessful test attempt and post their third failed attempt; candidates must wait for at least one year before reappearing for the test.

4. Where Can The Exam Be Taken?

International candidates cannot appear for the INBDE from the comfort of their home country.  The INBDE can be taken only in the US and Canada and requires candidates to fly to these countries to take this exam.

5. Steps To Register For The INBDE

In this complete guide to the INBDE, we are going to explain the steps which should be taken to register for the INBDE

a) Certificate Of Eligibility

Candidates who are still in their internship or pursuing dentistry in their home country need to submit a Certificate of eligibility for INBDE with their Deans signature to JCNDE, which is a part of the American Dental Association (ADA). 
Graduates do not need to submit a certificate of eligibility to JCNDE and can go ahead with the next step directly.

b) Creating a DENTPIN® Number

The next step involves creating a DENTPIN® number on the (American Dental Association) ADA website. 
A DENTPIN® will be required to apply to take the test. If you have previously applied for, or taken, the DAT, INBDE, NBDE, or NBDHE, you already have a DENTPIN®.
You can Retrieve, register, or get more information about DENTPIN® at the following link:

c) Course By Course Evaluation

Next, the candidates should request a course-by-course evaluation after making a profile on the Educational Credential Evaluators website (ECE). 
This step requires certain documents to be submitted to ECE, after which candidates get a grading or a GPA. Candidates should request a copy of the ECE report to be sent to JCNDE.

d) Registration For The INBDE

Once JCNDE/ ADA receives the ECE evaluation, they send a confirmation email to candidates, and now the candidate is eligible to take the INBDE.

e) Payment For The Test

A login with DENTPIN® is required, along with a payment of 680 dollars by credit card, and then the exam can be scheduled on the Prometric website.

Cost to Apply

Part I: $425 (Credit card payments only). Examination fees are non-refundable and non-transferable (no exceptions).
Part II: $475 (Credit card payments only). Examination fees are non-refundable and non-transferable (no exceptions).
INBDE: $680 (Credit card payments only). Examination fees are non-refundable and non-transferable (no exceptions).

f) Schedule a Time to Take the Examination

Advanced Scheduling

Schedule your examination appointment 60 to 90 days before your desired exam date. Please remember, you may schedule your examination appointment with Prometric only upon receipt of your eligibility notification.

Rescheduling Examination Appointments

Reschedule your examination appointment by contacting Prometric. Rescheduling will result in a fee paid directly to Prometric.

The fees to reschedule testing appointments are as follows:

Cancellation/Reschedule period Cancellation/Reschedule Fee
30 or more days before test date   Reschedule on or before 6/30/22: $25
Reschedule on or after 7/1/22: $40*
5-29 days before scheduled test date Reschedule on or before 6/30/22: $60
Reschedule on or after 7/1/22: $70*
1-4 days before scheduled test date $150
Penalty if candidate fails to appear for a scheduled
testing appointment OR presents themselves more than 
30 minutes after the scheduled start time and is refused
full testing fee will be forfeited

*From July 1, 2022, these fees may have increased

g) Take the Exam at a Prometric Test Center

The INBDE must be scheduled for two consecutive days at the same test center. If you have concerns about scheduling issues, examination conditions, or any other unresolved problems, inform the test administrator before leaving the test center. For issues requiring further action, email within five business days after the scheduled examination appointment.

If you need to cancel or reschedule your appointment due to an emergency please contact the Department of Testing Services by emailing or calling 800.232.1694.

The INBDE is a highly competitive exam requiring applicants to take a defined approach to crack it.
You must know the INBDE study content and the structure of the INBDE exam and start preparing for it with the best study material.

Don't know where to begin from? Don't stress; we've got your back.

Read our next Blog: INBDE Study Plan - Best Study Plan Strategy To Ace Your INBDE Preparation

Updated Sep 10, 2022.