New gateway licensing examination features groundbreaking 3D imaging technology, serving as ethical and valid replacement for clinical skills assessment.

The Joint Commission on National Dental Examinations (JCNDE), in partnership with Prometric, has announced the successful implementation of the Joint Commission’s new Dental Licensure Objective Structured Clinical Examination (DLOSCE).

The DLOSCE is a professionally developed, content-valid examination built specifically for clinical licensure purposes that assesses candidates’ clinical judgment and skills using sophisticated 3D models, without the need to involve patients. Teams of dental subject matter experts meticulously designed the lifelike computerized models, and constructed questions to mirror situations in clinical practice with high fidelity. Prometric, partner to many of the world's leading credentialing and licensure organizations in the design, development and delivery of reliable examination programs, worked with the JCNDE to deploy the DLOSCE, and serves as the primary administrator of this new examination across the United States.

The new technological aspects of the DLOSCE represent a significant leap forward in the standardized assessment of aspiring dentists. Unlike current clinical dental licensure examinations—and consistent with examination trends in medicine, nursing, and numerous other health professions—the DLOSCE does not require candidates to perform procedures on patients. By replacing actual patients with advanced 3D-models in a controlled virtual environment, the new DLOSCE avoids many of the weaknesses and disadvantages of traditional clinical examinations, increases validity, and also significantly decreases the risk of exposure to COVID-19 and other airborne pathogens for all involved.

“The DLOSCE provides a comprehensive evaluation of the clinical judgment that is necessary to safely practice dentistry, advancing assessment technology and helping to address ethical concerns with current clinical licensure examinations,” said Dr. Kanthasamy Ragunanthan, Chair of the JCNDE. “We are confident that the DLOSCE will prove to be an invaluable tool to support the work of state dental boards in their mission to protect the public health. This examination promotes clinical fidelity, fairness, objectivity, and validity, at a time of great need in our country.”  

At its core, the DLOSCE is designed to help dental boards protect the public health, and to do so far more effectively than existing clinical licensure tools.  “The DLOSCE is the first dental licensure examination to employ a laser focus on clinical judgment to help protect the public,” commented Dr. William F. Robinson, a former member of the Florida Board of Dentistry who also served on the DLOSCE Steering Committee. “That’s a key reason why it was quickly accepted in six states, all within six months of its release. This is an unmatched advancement in dental licensure and will ultimately have a positive impact on the oral and overall health of the public.”

The DLOSCE has benefited greatly from some important relationships. “From our initial development through the first examination administration last June, the partnership with Prometric was instrumental in making the launch of the new DLOSCE a great success,” said Dr. Ragunanthan.

“We are proud to partner with the JCNDE to make this groundbreaking advancement in dental credentialing a reality,” said Chief Client Officer, Sean Burke, at Prometric. “By collaborating closely with the JCNDE, we have been able to ensure that the infrastructure supporting DLOSCE administrations is sound and reliable, and that the new examination format can be seamlessly and securely deployed on Prometric’s testing platform—positioning the dental field to provide cutting-edge assessment capabilities for the 21st century dental candidate.”

About the Joint Commission on National Dental Examinations

The Joint Commission on National Dental Examinations (JCNDE) is the agency responsible for the development and administration of the National Board Dental Examinations (NBDE). The JCNDE helps protect the public health through valid, reliable and fair assessments of knowledge, skills, and abilities, to inform state licensure and certification decisions that help ensure safe and effective patient care by qualified oral healthcare team members. This 16-member Commission includes experts from dental schools, dental practice, state dental boards, dental hygiene, dental students, and the public. For more information, visit and

About Prometric

As a global leader in test development, testing delivery, and candidate services, Prometric partners with the world's top credentialing and licensure organizations to design and deliver leading exam programs that help individuals advance their careers and serve their communities. Prometric’s integrated, end-to-end solutions provide exam development, management, and distribution that set the industry standard in quality, security, and service excellence. Prometric leverages its proprietary platform, advanced technologies, and vast operational experience to deliver an exceptional user experience on its world-class secure testing network. Today, Prometric paves the industry’s path forward with new solutions and innovation to ensure reliable access to secure assessments anytime, anywhere. For more information, visit, or follow Prometric on Twitter and LinkedIn.