Case and Oral Review Examination Overview

I. Introduction

The Clinical Oral Review Examination is the fourth phase of a four-part Philippine Board of Pediatric Dentistry (PBPD) certification process and is designed to provide evidence toward validation of the candidate’s advanced training in pediatric dentistry. The PBPD has defined the content to be tested.

The purpose of the Clinical Oral Review Examination is to assess the candidate's treatment planning ability and knowledge of various aspects of treatment of.

II. Eligibility for Application

After candidates successfully complete Phase III - Case Presentation, they can apply for the Clinical Oral Review Examination (CORE).

III. Application for Clinical Oral Review Examination

The Oral Clinical Examination is currently offered annually on the third Monday of November. Space is limited and will be filled on a first-come first-serve basis.

An applicant for the CORE must submit the completed application and the examination fee on or before August 15 of the year the CORE will be taken.

IV. Cancellation and Forfeiture of Fees for CORE

       Cancellation prior to August 15  = forfeiture of 60% of the examination fee

       Cancellation after August 15 = forfeiture of 40% of the examination fee

       Failure to appear for exam  = forfeiture of the examination fee.

       Examination fees are not transferrable from one year to another.

To cancel application, a letter addressed to the PBPD Secretary must be submitted stating reason for cancellation. Failure to do so may forfeit whole amount of application fee.

V. Description of the Examination

The Oral Clinical Examination will enable the candidate to demonstrate proficiency in diagnosis, treatment planning, and clinical care in pediatric dentistry. The examination is conducted only in English.

VI. Examination Blueprint

The examination is composed of three one-hour sessions administered successively by three examiners from the PBPD. Each session consists of clinical vignettes that are presented to the candidate for discussion. The topic areas covered by the vignettes include:

  • Behavior Guidance
  • Prevention (caries risk assessment and detection, preventive dentistry)
  • Management of the Developing Occlusion
  • Comprehensive Care (diagnosis and treatment planning)
  • Hospital Dentistry
  • Medically compromised patients
  • Oral Pathology
  • Special Health Care Needs
  • Trauma

An Applicant will be expected to quote literature references to support his/her statements on the following topics during the examination:

Radiographic Examination

Subjective and Objective Examination




Application of Biological Principles


Complications of Treatment

Medical History


The candidate will be presented a brief introduction of the patient to be discussed, followed by a series of questions regarding the patient’s medical/dental history, diagnosis and treatment options. Many, but not all, cases will include images projected on a flat-panel monitor. The candidate will be permitted to ask questions about the patient and request that an image or images be revisited.

Examiners utilize “open-ended questions” to assess the candidate’s knowledge and skills. Candidates will benefit by giving evidenced-based answers and occasionally citing references to support rationale. Candidates will be expected to have evidenced-based knowledge of all currently acceptable therapy whether they perform the procedures in practice or not and in all types of pediatric patients.

VII. Recommendations for preparation

The Clinical Oral Review Examination is designed to assess the Candidate’s clinical knowledge and judgment. While there is no standard method to prepare for the Clinical Oral Review Examination, candidates should consider reviewing the AAPD Reference Manual, attending continuing education preparation courses, reviewing their favorite pediatric dentistry textbook and atlas, keeping current by reading contemporary journals and/or oral examination role-playing with colleagues.

VIII. Day of the Examination

While the examination consists of a three-hour time period, check-in and identification procedures, and pre-exam orientation will require candidates to be prepared to spend a total of up to four hours for the entire process.

No support materials will be allowed at the candidate’s examination station. No communication between candidates will be allowed during the examination. Each session must be completed according to the time schedule for that session.

You cannot bring personal items (including but not limited to cellular phones, computers, PDA, recording devices, reference materials, purses, back packs or briefcases) with you to the registration, orientation, or testing center. The presence of any of the above devices will be cause for immediate dismissal from the examination and an automatic failure.

IX. Confidentiality Agreement

All Candidates are required to “sign” a confidentiality agreement. The application cannot be submitted for processing if left unchecked. The information and cases presented as part of the Oral Clinical Examination are confidential and copyrighted. The candidates must agree not to discuss or in any way disseminate information regarding the content of the examination.

If PBPD is informed that a candidate has breached the confidentiality agreement an investigation will be initiated by the Ethics Committee and if the candidate is guilty, sanctions will be imposed on the Candidates.

X. Grading

The ABPD utilizes the following criteria for scoring. Questions and acceptable answers are developed for each Skill Sets of a vignette. Candidates receive a score for each of these Skill Sets:

  • Data Gathering
  • Diagnosis Management
  • Treatment Planning Treatment Variations/Complications

The Scoring Categories are as follows:

4 Demonstrates full and in-depth understanding of the application of the skill within the context of the case.
3 Demonstrates use of the skill appropriately within the context of the case.
2 Demonstrates less than full understanding of the application of the skill to the case.
1 Demonstrates wrong or inappropriate understanding of the application of the skill to the case.

The Examiners independently score each Skill Set based on the candidate’s response. Examiners do not discuss scores or come to a consensus.

To assure valid and reliable examinations, the Examiners are not allowed to give candidates any feedback on their responses.

Candidates are encouraged to apply knowledge to a clinical situation, defend a point of view in a convincing manner and not use stalling tactics by being excessively slow in response leading to insufficient information in the time allotted.

XII. Re-examination Policy

The candidate who fails the CORE may retake the examination annually within their six year eligibility period. If the candidate fails to successfully complete the CORE in the 6 year period, their Qualifying written and Case Presentation scores are forfeited and the candidate must start the process over.