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NBDHE® General Information

April 2022 Webinar Available

A new webinar recording with information on updates to the INBDE, NBDE Part II and the NBDHE is available below. 

Listen now 

IMPORTANT UPDATE. The JCNDE will begin transitioning to the standard-length-NBDHE in October 2021. Additionally, the JCNDE will implement the updated periodontal classification terminology in standard length forms.  Please see the corresponding sections below for additional details.  

COVID-19 updates for all testing candidates   Click the blue box and check back regularly for new information. 

Transition to the Standard-Length NBDHE in October 2021

In July of 2020, the JCNDE transitioned to a validated reduced-length form of the NBDHE to help address a backlog of candidates who were unable to test due to the pandemic. While the pandemic remains, the backlog of candidates has been addressed and capacity is currently present in test centers.  Given updated conditions, the JCNDE returned to the standard-length version of the NBDHE in October 2021. The standard-length-NBDHE will also incorporate the 2017 periodontal disease classifications, the implementation of which had been delayed by the pandemic.  Please see the Implementation of Updated Periodontal Classification Terminology section below for additional information.  

All candidates have six months of eligibility to complete the NBDHE, with the starting date coinciding with the date on which DTS has fully processed the candidate’s application.  The following table provides information concerning how the transition to the standard-length-NBDHE will occur, with regard to test form assignments and the date when the candidate’s application is ready for processing by DTS.

If the candidate’s application is submitted and approved by the Dental Hygiene program director by the following date:



… then the candidate will be assigned the following NBDHE form:

Before 11:59 p.m. (Central) on Thursday, October 7, 2021

Short-form-NBDHE. Candidate will be assigned the short-form-NBDHE, with administration to occur through December 31, 2021. Candidates wishing to test after December 31, 2021 must reach out to staff to have their application modified. These candidates will then be assigned the standard-length-NBDHE from January 1 through the remainder of their six-month eligibility window.

October 8, 2021 and after

Standard-length-NBDHE. Candidate will be assigned the standard-length-NBDHE for the full six months of their eligibility window.

Candidates whose applications are processed before October 8, 2021 will NOT be able to change their eligibility to the standard-length-NBDHE, unless they choose to test after December 31, 2021. In the latter case, candidates can email to request their six-month eligibility window be restricted to dates from January 1 forward, so the standard-length-NBDHE can be assigned.  In their email, students should request this eligibility window change, provide their DENTPIN, and provide confirmation that they do not have an appointment currently scheduled.  If an appointment has already been scheduled, candidates must cancel this appointment through the Pearson VUE website, before sending the aforementioned email request to the JCNDE. Requests may take up to five business days to be processed. 

Implementation of Updated Periodontal Classification Terminology:

In 2017, the American Academy of Periodontology introduced a new classification system for periodontal and peri-implant diseases and conditions. Periodontal educators recommend that individuals refer to the 2017 World Workshop on the Classification of Periodontal and Peri-implant Diseases and Conditions—available on the American Academy of Periodontology website—for additional information.  The following table shows how this new classification system will be implemented in NBDHE forms. 

If a candidate is assigned the following NBDHE form:

… then the NBDHE will use the following periodontal classification system:


2017 Classification of Periodontal and Peri-implant Diseases and Conditions


Prior classification system (1999)

In short, the new classification system has been implemented solely within administrations of the standard-length-NBDHE (regardless of the candidate’s actual test administration date).

Candidates can download information about the new classification system below. 

Perio Classification at a Glance (PDF)
Perio Classification FAQ (PDF)
Staging and Grading Periodontics (PDF)

While the standard-length-NBDHE will rely solely on the 2017 classification system, given prior utilization of the 1999 classification system it likely remains of benefit to future practitioners to be knowledgeable of both sets of classifications, because individual researchers, practitioners, and existing textbooks can communicate information using either set of classifications.

Pearson Vue Test Centers Open in All States

Due to the ongoing pandemic, governments may at any time reinstate measures limiting operations in testing centers. Pearson VUE continues to monitor the situation and available recommendations, and will adjust testing capacity and/or operations accordingly. These adjustments may require additional cancellations of candidate appointments. Candidates should refer to the Pearson Vue Coronavirus Update webpage for the most updated information regarding test centers in specific states.

In light of the situation, the Department of Testing Services (DTS) recommends the following:

  • Candidates should schedule their testing appointments as soon as possible to avoid delays in testing.
  • Candidates who have already scheduled appointments may wish to revisit their scheduling periodically to see if an earlier appointment may be available, as Pearson VUE adjusts to meet the demand.
  • Candidates whose six-month eligibility window is about to expire are invited to contact DTS at if they are experiencing scheduling issues.
  • Candidates experiencing general difficulties obtaining an NBDHE testing appointment are welcome to contact DTS at  
  • When reaching out to DTS, candidates should make sure to include their DENTPIN, preferred testing location (including city and state), and the date range in which they are trying to take the exam.


  • Apply to Take the NBDHE
  • Schedule a Time to Take the Examination
  • Schedule Change Information
  • Exam Preparation Material and Helpful Information
  • Examination Item Development Guide
  • NBDHE Results Information and Audit Request
  • Test Security and Fraud Prevention