CDT Application & Exam Process

The goal of the CDT examination is to measure competency of a predetermined body of knowledge and the skills deemed to represent the successful, professional-level practice of dental technology. To become a CDT, a technician must demonstrate their knowledge and applied skills in their chosen specialty. There are six (6) specialties currently recognized by the NBC: Ceramics, Complete Dentures, Crown & Bridge, Orthodontics, Partial Dentures and Implants.


The Examinations

The examinations given by the NBC are the result of years of continuing development. Questions on the exams originate with technicians in the field. Subject matter experts conduct regular reviews, revisions and updates of the exams. All examination content is also subject to ongoing statistical analysis based on actual usage of exam questions as well as peer review to ensure relevance to current practices in dental technology.

Click Here for Additional Information on the Certification Program Standards


The following examinations must be passed successfully to become a Certified Dental Technician (CDT):

  • The Written Comprehensive examination (or the Written Recognized Graduate examination, if eligible);
  • The Written Specialty examination;
  • The Practical examination (in the same specialty area as the Written Specialty examination)


Candidates may sit for the examinations in any order and all three (3) exams must be passed within four (4) years of the date that the first exam was passed.

Application Process and Fees

In order to offer a greater number of testing locations and more flexible scheduling, NBC launched a computer-based testing (CBT) option for the CDT and RG written examinations. NBC has partnered with Assessment Systems Corporation to offer the CDT and RG written examinations online using a third-party remote proctor beginning July 1, 2018.

There are certain rules to ensure the integrity of the process. For example, test takers will be required to select a 30 day testing window during which time they must schedule and complete their examination. Test takers will also be required to complete a series of security protocols before, during and after the examination.

The requirements for computer-based testing (CBT) are as follows:

    • Desktop computer or laptop (not tablet)
    • Webcam, speakers and microphone (built-in or external)
    • Connection to network with sufficient internet speed: at least 2 Mbps download speed and 2 Mbps upload
    • Browser (not Internet Explorer) with pop-up blocker disabled
    • Candidates can check the readiness of their computer at
    • Testing must take place in a private area
    • Government issued photo ID matching your examination application

Additional rules will be provided to the candidate by NBC and by the exam Proctor.

For more information on computer-based testing (CBT), please download the CDT Handbook and Application or contact NBC by email at [email protected] or by phone at (800) 684-5310.


To register for an examination, the candidate must read and fill out the application that can be found in the CDT Handbook and Application. The handbook is one of the best resources and contains important information regarding the requirements to become a CDT, examination confirmation, the cancellation and rescheduling policy, details about examination preparation and studying, and information about examination content.

  • Written Comprehensive Examination
    • $245 for computer-based testing (CBT)
    • $245 for paper-based testing (PBT)
  • Written Specialty Examination
    • $245 for computer-based testing (CBT)
    • $245 for paper-based testing (PBT)
  • CDT Practical Examination
    • $495, which includes a $50 non-refundable one-time application fee

*This includes a $50 non-refundable one-time application fee.

Candidates who require their Practical Exam molds to be shipped outside of the United States will be responsible for covering the costs of international shipping. NBC will provide you with your total after determining the shipping costs before proceeding with payment.

Candidates for examinations must submit a completed application and payment for a specific examination.

Download CDT Exam Handbook Here

Online CDT Exam Application

Search Exam Dates & Locations

Examination References

Eligibility for Exams

All technicians applying for the CDT examination must:

  • Have a working knowledge of the English language
  • Be a high school graduate (or the documented equivalent)
  • Be of satisfactory ethical and legal standing as defined by the NBC's disciplinary standards
  • Meet the technical prerequisites required for testing

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