INBDE - Integrated National Board Dental Examination

 What is the INBDE?

The Integrated National Board Dental Examination (INBDE) is the 500-item licensing exam administered by the American Dental Association (ADA) which allows graduate dental students to practice in the United States of America. The content of the INBDE is formulated by the Joint Commission on National Dental Examinations (JCNDE).

Previous to 2022, the NBDE exam consisted of two parts; Part 1 (written) and Part 2 (practical). These parts have now been combined with the introduction of INBDE which is purely a written cognitive exam. It is referred to as an “integrated” exam because it combines content from several disciplines, and exam 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. There is no longer a practical element to the exam this is now a proprietary test administered by individual states Boards of Dentistry.

The idea behind the change to the new INBDE was to pivot away from roat / factual recall questions and move towards more problem-solving questions. As a result, this has led to an:

  1. increase in the appropriateness of test content
  2. improvement of the examination experience for candidates
  3. easier assist for regulatory agencies

The focus of the exam is still the same i.e.

  1. Embryology, Human anatomy, & Histology
  2. Physiology and biochemistry 
  3. Pathology and microbiology
  4. Dental Anatomy and Occlusion 
  5. Endodontic
  6. Operative Dentistry
  7. Control of maxillofacial and oral surgery pain
  8. Oral diagnosis
  9. Pediatric dentistry and orthodontics 
  10. Periodontics
  11. Pharmacology
  12. Prosthodontics
  13. Patient management
  14. Behavioral science
  15. Occupational safety
  16. Dental public health

However, the INBDE will require candidates to further 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.