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 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.
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
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.
- CDT Comprehensive Exam: $220
- CDT Specialty Written Exam: $220
- CDT Practical Exam: $495*
*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. If approved, the candidate will be sent a confirmation postcard.
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