All dental technicians who possess the required education and/or experience, have a working knowledge of the English language, and have not been found guilty of practicing dentistry illegally are eligible to become a Certified Dental Technician.
A candidate for certification must successfully complete three examinations, taken in any order, within a four-year period: a written comprehensive, a specialty practical, and a specialty written.
Recognized Graduates (RGs) have four years to take and substitute the RG examination for the comprehensive examination and pass the other exams (the written specialty and the practical exam) to become a CDT.
After four years, the RG would need to take and pass all three examinations to achieve the CDT status.
The six specialties to choose from are:
crown and bridge
The comprehensive examination has 160 multiple-choice questions and the specialty written examinations have 80 multiple-choice questions. The goal of the CDT examinations is to measure the mastery of knowledge and applied skills that are representative of the successful, professional practice of dental technology.
Several tools are available through the National Association of Dental Laboratories and are shown below. Candidates should refer to the Application and Handbook for a complete list of references.
United States Air Force Manuals - The Air Force Manuals are an excellent source of preparatory material for the CDT examinations. These include Dental Laboratory Technology, Basic Sciences, Removable Prosthodontics, and Orthodontics (2005), Air Force Pamphlet 47-103, Volume One and Dental Laboratory Technology, Fixed and Special Prosthodontics (2005), Air Force Pamphlet 47-103, Volume Two. Electronic copies of these manuals are available for purchase through the National Association of Dental Laboratories (NADL) online by CLICKING HERE.
CDT Practical Exam Work Visual Reference Guide - In March of 2011, the NADL launched the release of new CDT Practical Exam Work Visual Reference Guides, which were created to provide examination candidates with a visual representation of the industry standard in his/her chosen specialty area. There is a visual guide available for each specialty area for purchase at the NADL's online store by CLICKING HERE.
Examination Preparation Guide - The NADL has specifically designed this guide to help navigate the course to success. The guide contains a breakdown of RG and CDT examination content and process, recommended resource materials for exam study, key words from the Glossary of Prosthodontic Terms and sample exam questions.The sample questions will help to familiarize the candidate with the format and types of questions included in each of the actual examinations. This guide also includes study techniques, the Timeline for Success Study Plan (including specific references and page #s to study) for candidates working full time. The Examination Preparation Guide is available electronically through the National Association of Dental Laboratories (NADL) online by CLICKING HERE.
NADL Online Study System - NADL has developed an online study system to help dental technology professional's study for the written examinations. This online study system is designed to quiz users on all aspects of dental laboratory technology including the six specialties: complete dentures, partial dentures, crown and bridge, ceramics, orthodontics and implants. This study system contains hundreds of multiple choice questions that are similar to those on the examinations. It allows you to select your area(s) of study, provides the correct answers and grades your results, so you can assess your progress and improvement. You can access this interactive Online Study System at www.nadl.org under the "Certification" link.