The purpose of Component II is to examine a candidate's abilities, knowledge, recognition, problem solving, and treatment planning of clinical situations. This format will also test a candidate's ability to diagnose and manage both common and unusual problems that confront the Pediatric Dental Specialist in clinical practice.
The Component II Examination sessions are conducted by two examiners. During the oral examination, candidates will be presented with case histories, medical and dental histories, radiographs, photographs, and other clinical information. Candidates will be expected to recognize, diagnose, and plan appropriate intervention, management, and follow-up care for the presented patients. The focus is to evaluate the ability to successfully manage patients in a Pediatric Dentistry specialty practice. The oral examination will be structured to test the domains below in each of the two sessions. Each domain will cover a number of sub topics.
Growth and Development (orthodontics, non-pharmacological behaviour management, physical and psychological development)
Pharmacological Behaviour Guidance - General Anesthesia
Infection Control & Occupational Hazards
Record Keeping & Informed Consent
Biostatistics / Epidemiology
1. Familiarize yourself with the format of the oral examination and the domains to be covered in each of the 90 minute sessions. These domains should serve as a guide to the types of cases that may be covered.
2. The oral examination is a test of a candidate’s ability to assess, diagnose, treat, and manage common clinical scenarios at the level of a specialist in Pediatric Dentistry. The cases are selected to be representative of what Pediatric Dentists in Canada see in their offices.
3. Use textbooks as your primary method of study. The Reference Manual of the American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry is a good source of currently recommended and accepted clinical practices. Candidates will not be asked to directly cite research articles to substantiate clinical decisions; however, candidates will be expected to select clinical decisions and treatment based on current evidence-based practice.
Candidate Study Guide
The intent of this guide is to provide the candidate with an understanding of the format in which questions may be asked during Component II of the National Dental Specialty Examination. The content used in these sample questions is used for illustrative purposes only, and should not be construed as an example of the level of difficulty of the examination questions.
Try to relax and listen carefully to the questions.
Notepads and pens will be available for note taking. All notes must be left in the Examination room at the end of the Examination.
When asked to describe something, do not skip to the obvious conclusion and ignore other important details. The examiners are interested in observing the process used by the candidate to critically assess the item. Do not stare at an image quietly; candidates should verbalize their thought processes and describe what they see.
The Examination cases have been selected to be representative of the skills and knowledge a qualified specialist with appropriate training should be able to personally manage. Whether candidates treat a particular type of patient in their practice or provide a particular procedure in their office is irrelevant.
Candidates should handle each case as though it were a patient presenting to his/her office, and answer the questions as if he/she was personally treating the patients in his/her practice.
Candidates may ask to have questions repeated and to see images again if needed. Candidates may also ask to see additional images. Once a case is completed and the Examination has progressed to the next case, candidates cannot answer questions on previous cases.
All the case material must be covered during the allotted time period. Answer the questions in a succinct and organized manner. Candidates that stall or ramble will be refocused to the original question by the examiners.
The examiners remain impartial and have been trained not to give candidates any indication whether their responses are correct or incorrect. This behaviour may appear unfriendly to some candidates, but it is essential to ensure that no candidates receive helpful positive reinforcement from examiners.
Do not argue or debate with the examiners in an attempt to elicit information or the correct response. If there are legitimate differences of opinion on how to treat a case within a specialty, select the mainstream option and then mention possible alternative approaches.
Remember that there are never any trick questions.