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 seven (7) specialties currently recognized by the NBC: Ceramics, Complete Dentures, Crown & Bridge, Digital Workflow, Implants, Orthodontics, and Partial Dentures.


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.

Written Examinations

NBC administers the CDT and RG written examinations utilizing computer-based testing with remote proctoring. Testing windows run from the first day of each month through the last day of each month. Application deadlines are the 20th of the month prior to the candidate's desired testing window

Candidates will need the following for computer-based testing (CBT):

    • Private workspace (a busy location, such as a library or cafe, will not suffice)
    • Desktop computer or laptop computer with built-in or external webcam, speakers, microphone (tablets not supported).
    • Desktop computer or laptop computer with internet capabilities that meets the requirements for FastTest as outlined in the link below:
    • Cellular smart phone that meets the requirements for MonitorEDU as outlined in the link below:
    • Power cords for desktop computer/laptop and cellular smart phone
    • Something to prop your cellular smart phone on (tripod, phone stand, household item, etc.)
    • Photographic identification (Driver's License or Passport)
    • A printed copy of your NBC candidate letter

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

Once a candidate has been approved for online testing through NBC, they will receive a confirmation email with detailed instructions regarding accessing their examination. This email will be sent a few days prior to the start of the candidate's desired testing window.


Practical Examination

Remote Testing Using a Third-Party Proctor

NBC launched a new pathway for the Practical examinations, whereby the Practical examinations can be taken remotely at a dental laboratory of the candidate's choice under the supervision of the third party proctoring service, MonitorEDU.

Exams will be offered in alternating monthly testing windows six times a year, during the months of January, March, May, July, September, and November, running from the first day of the month through the last day of the month. Application deadlines are the 20th of the month prior to the candidate's desired testing window.

Candidates will need the following to utilize the remote testing option for the Practical examination:

    • Private workbench where the candidate can perform the majority of work without interference.
    • Laptop computer with built-in or external webcam, speakers, and microphone (tablets not supported).
      • Laptop operating system of Windows 7 and higher or Mac OS 9 and higher. Most Linux are also supported.
      • Web browser must be recent version of Google Chrome (50+). Software is not supported on other internet browsers. Most recent version of Google Chrome can be downloaded at
    • Cellular smart phone with camera with Android 4.1 or higher or iOS 8.0 or higher operating system.
    • Internet connection with at least 2 Mbps download and 2 Mbps upload speeds. Both the computer and cell phone will need to be connected to the Internet.
      • Candidates that don't know their Internet speed can run a speed test on their laptop and cell phone at their exam location prior to the exam at
  • Power cords for laptop computer and cell phone.

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

Once the application deadline of the candidate's desired testing window has passed, NBC will provide candidates with detailed instructions and molds from which the candidates must work via UPS. Depending on the candidate's location, it will take two to five business days to receive these materials. All candidates should receive their NBC materials prior to the first day of their approved testing window. Candidates will receive an email from NBC when materials have shipped.

Please click here for frequently asked questions regarding the Practical examination through the remote testing option using a third party proctor.

Important Note: Candidates utilizing the Remote Practical Testing (RPT) option must include any articulator that was used to complete their work in the package back to NBC in order to appropriately have their work evaluated.

Group Testing at a Pre-Scheduled Volunteer Host Site

For group testing Practical examinations at a pre-scheduled volunteer host site, examination dates are tentative until thirty (30) days prior to the examination. Please call the NBC to check on the expected status of examinations prior to making travel arrangements.

The examination dates are confirmed thirty (30) days prior to the examination date, after the application deadline. Confirmation letters are mailed approximately four (4) weeks prior to the examination with molds, instructions, directions and examination site contact information.


Application Process and Fees

The CDT Handbook & Application is one of the best resources and contains important information regarding the requirements to become a CDT, cancellation and reschedule policy, details about examination preparation and studying, and examination content.

Eligibility to take the CDT examinations will be determined by the NBC upon receipt of a completed application and payment of the examination fees. The fee for all three (3) required examinations is broken down as follows:

  • Written Comprehensive examination: $275
  • Written Specialty examination: $275
  • Practical examination: $650

Candidates who require their Practical Examination 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, but before proceeding with payment.

If any of the examinations are not passed on the first attempt, a new application and fee must be submitted before the candidate can retake the examination(s) in question.

Applications can be submitted by email (, fax (850-222-0053), mail (325 John Knox Rd L103 Tallahassee, FL 32303) or directly online here.


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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