symbol 2  What ADEX Does:

ADEX is an organization of State Boards. It is not an organization of Testing Agencies.  ADEX develops the examinations, it does not administer them.  Currently the Regional Testing Agencies that administer the ADEX Dental licensure examination are the NERB dba CDCA and CITA.  See the paragraph on SCOPE, below for more information.


In 2003, the US had sixteen (16) different dental and dental hygiene licensure examinations administered by four regional and twelve independent testing agencies.

Concerned, the AADE called a special meeting of all testing agencies, and they collectively decided to participate in the process of developing a uniform national dental and dental hygiene licensure examination.

This newly created group of representatives from the four regional testing agencies and 12 independent States started work on the development and organizational structure of the exam in a collaborative effort unprecedented in AADE history. This group decided that this organization would be an organization of State Boards.

In 2004 most of the criteria, scoring and content of the examination was in its final stages and most of the work was on the organizational and structural design of this new organization.

The group also named itself the American Board of Dental Examiners (ADEX).

ADEX was incorporated in Kansas and the Articles of Incorporation and Bylaws were adopted in May of 2005.  The ADEX would function as a National Exam committee for the participating State Boards of Dentistry and Testing Agencies.

The first ADLEX, now simply called the ADEX Dental Exam, was administered by the Central Regional Dental Testing Service (CRDTS) in Hawaii in December 2005.

The ADEX Philosophy:

ADEX’s philosophy is motivated by the concept of a Uniform National Dental and Dental Hygiene Clinical Licensure Examination administered throughout the country in accredited dental and dental hygiene institutions by regional and independent testing agencies.

Understanding that dentistry is no different in one part of the country than another, and there should be no difference in the standards of dentistry from one part of the country to another, the ADEX feels that candidates that successfully complete the ADEX examination in dentistry and dental hygiene should have the portability to practice their chosen profession throughout the United States.

The Scope of ADEX:

There are five Regional Testing Agencies in the United States.  (1) The NERB (DBA) as  the Commission on Dental Competency  Assessments (CDCA), (2) the Council of Interstate Testing Agencies (CITA); (3) the Central Regional Dental Testing Service (CRDTS), (4) the Western Regional Examining Board (WREB), and (5) the Southern Regional Testing Agency (SRTA),

At one time, all agencies administered their own independently developed examinations.  These agencies had their own committees who designed clinical licensure examinations based on the principles of test development.  Although test development principles are universal and apply to all test development, not all dental licensure examinations developed by these testing agencies are similar.

With the creation of ADEX, an exam development corporation, the States Boards of Dentistry, and the Regional Testing agencies that supported this concept became the members of ADEX.

ADEX then became or replaced the exam committees for those State Boards and Regional Testing Agencies.

ADEX now develops the dental and dental hygiene examination for these testing agencies.

Unfortunately, not all testing agencies believe in a uniform national dental and dental hygiene licensure examination. Consequently, some agencies still retain their own exam committees and continue to develop and administer their own dental and dental hygiene licensure exams.

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