Welcome to the Dental Board of California

Hybrid Portfolio Pathway to Qualify for Initial Licensure as a General Dentist - Fact Sheet

  • The Hybrid Portfolio is an initial licensure pathway that allows the Dental Board of California (Board) to delegate the administration of the clinical examination as legally mandated by the California State Business and Professions Code to the five CODA approved Dental Schools in the State of California. The Clinical Competency Exams will be administered under direct oversight and regular auditing by the Board and will utilize the psychometric principles of standardization, calibration, and verification.
  • Currently, the required clinical examination is administered at the various dental schools within the state by either the Board or the Western Regional Examining Board (WREB), a private examining group, at the various dental schools within the state.
  • The current clinical examination tests in only four clinical areas and is considered a "snap-shot", one point in time exam, as the candidate is assessed in a high-stakes evaluation of competency.
  • Candidates pay an examination fee as high as $2,000.00. Additionally, candidates are required to supply patients to sit for the examination.
  • Patients may or may not be patients of record of the Dental School, and can be family members, friends, or obtained by other means, including Craig's List.
    Several patients are needed for the exam and are often purchased from a third party for up to $2000 per patient
  • Post-examination care is difficult at best if the patient involved with the clinical examination is not a patient of record for the participating Dental School.
  • Hybrid Portfolio has been developed by the Board in conjunction with the five Dental Schools, and validated and modified by psychometric analysis.
  • The Hybrid Portfolio will be much broader based. It will test in seven clinical areas on patients of record with Competency Exams requiring an "on demand acceptable clinical performance".
  • The Hybrid Portfolio consists of sequential candidate evaluation and passing a Competency Exam utilizing a patient of record in each of the following areas:
    • Oral Diagnosis and Treatment Planning; Completed case
    • Periodontics: Diagnosis, Scaling and Root Planing procedures
    • Direct Restorative: Class II amalgam or composite, and Class III composite
    • Indirect Restorative: Fixed Prosthodontics, Crown and Bridge Procedures
    • Endodontics: Completed case
    • Removable Prosthetics: Completed case
  • The 5 Dental Schools have agreed to minimum Clinical Experiences that their students will achieve as a pre-requisite before the student will be deemed ready and thus allowed to sit for the Clinical Examination.
  • These minimum clinical experiences are common requirements, and are within the individual school requirements for graduation. Consequently, a student will still need to meet all academic requirements for that Dental School for graduation, allowing for academic autonomy of individual Dental Schools.
  • One advantage is that the student candidate can perform the required Competency Examinations throughout their dental school tenure utilizing normal standards of patient care while insuring patient protection in the process. Consequently, the examination is no longer a high pressure, high stakes, snap-shot evaluation.
  • Additionally, the procedures are performed on patients who are of record of the individual Dental Schools, ensuring that follow-up care can be obtained if necessary for those involved with this process. Also, the pressure of acquiring patients is alleviated, as the Clinical Examination can be performed at any time once the Clinical Experience requirements have been met. This allows for public protection and safety, minimizing the potential exposure of the patient involved in the current snap-shot examination process.
  • The student candidate competency during the Clinical Exams will be evaluated by calibrated examiners who are members of the Dental School faculty. This method has been found to be appropriate by psychometric analysis.
  • The Board will continue to maintain authority over this process, assigning the final grade of Pass/Fail to the candidate at the completion of the seven Clinical Examinations.
  • Candidates will be required to satisfactorily pass Parts 1 and 2 of the National Board examination and the California Law and Ethics Examination as well, and must be in good Academic Standing as reported by the Dean of each Dental School. They must have no pending ethical issues.
  • The finger-printing and background check required by the Board will continue to be part of the application process.
  • In order to ensure public safety, the Board will maintain oversight of the process utilizing current Dental Board Examiners.
  • The fiscal impact will be significant, as the Board will no longer be required to perform a stand-alone clinical examination which will save considerable licensing funds.