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Failed WREB and Passed on Second Try

Discussion in 'NBDE Exams & Licensure Exams' started by amalgamati0n, Aug 23, 2015.

  1. amalgamati0n

    Aug 23, 2015
    Likes Received:
    Hi there. I’m a grad from a US dental school who failed the WREB and passed it on my second try. It was an awful experience, but the posts on SDN really helped. I figured I would post my experience in the hopes that it will help some other students/dentists in the same position.

    I failed the exam in Spring 2015. I failed both endodontic and perio sections and had to re-take the entire clinical exam. I was expecting to fail endo – I lost the apical stop on my posterior tooth and my obturation was >3mm out the apex. I did not expect to fail perio, but my patient had a mandibular lingual retainer cemented on every anterior tooth, and I guess I should’ve been more careful cleaning behind the lingual retainer.

    I retook the exam at USC in Fall 2015. I spent a lot of money retaking this exam.

    LU LAU:
    Because I had already graduated and was unable to find patients, I paid Lu Lau for their patient finding services for the operative. Their service is very expensive, but they do find ideal lesions. My only complaint is that this specific WREB exam (end of the year in Los Angeles) was very busy for them, and they were clearly swamped as the exam drew near. I was not able to receive my radiographs prior to the exam, but for those who live in the LA area, you can always go to their office to get the radiographs yourself. I received two separate patients, one with #8ML lesion and another with #29 DO lesion (appropriate for composite). Both lesions were ideal and were accepted. My only issue with their case selection was that #29 was rotated so the prep/restoration were shaped a bit funny, but thankfully the examiners passed me even though #29 ended up with a light contact and less than ideal proximal contour. Both patients were very friendly and patient throughout the exam process. Lu Lau is certainly expensive, but if you’re retaking the WREB, I would highly recommend their services to find you an ideal lesion. The WREB exam is really an exam testing our skills on patient selection more than our clinical skills.

    I used SDN to find a recommended assistant, and went with SDN user Boardassistant ([email protected]). He also found me a periodontal patient who had 4 qualifying quads of SRP. He was the perfect assistant. He brought all the instruments I needed with backups for everything. He knew his way around the school, the requirements for the exam, and placed the rubber dam on both my patients perfectly as well as the matrix and wedge. It was also helpful to have an experienced assistant as a second set of eyes to critique my work (which I probably shouldn’t admit to, but honestly, an experienced assistant probably has more knowledge than a freshly graduated dentist). For those of us like myself who are taking the exam at a foreign location and don’t have access to instruments, a good assistant is really helpful and Boardassistant was perfect.

    As far as endo, I bought endo teeth online from B for Bones and was able to practice at a dental school (I’m doing a residency). Lu Lau suggested B for Bones to me when I asked about endo teeth. The website might appear a bit sketchy but the teeth arrived within a couple weeks. I ordered the maxillary centrals and (50 for $400) and they all arrived clean and free of caries, with the majority of them being appropriate for WREB. I also bought their mixed set of premolars (maxillary and mandibular, 50 for $200). As I expected, about ¼ of them were maxillary first premolars that were bifurcated and appropriate for WREB. The teeth were definitely dried out when they arrived, but I soaked them in water (didn’t have access to formalin) and still didn’t have any issues with teeth breaking. If you are in a situation such as myself, then I recommend B for Bones. When I retook endo, I had the perfect teeth and was done with the procedure with an hour and a half to spare. Again, case selection is everything in this exam. I recommend: short maxillary central teeth with unconstricted, tapered canals and not too high of pulp horns for the anterior. Short bifurcated maxillary premolars with high pulp chambers and unconstructed, tapered canals for the posterior. I found a nice one with a straight, short palatal canal.

    Again, all of this was VERY expensive. I lost probably close to $10,000 for this, but again, we are in a horrible position with these regional clinical exams where failure is not an option. As I mentioned, I personally believe that these exams have nothing to do with our clinical skills as much as case selection. If you have the misfortune of having to retake one of those exams, please don’t be arrogant and wing it. Spend the money on ideal cases.
  2. 100%permwinner

    2+ Year Member

    Feb 9, 2014
    Likes Received:
    Dental Student
    Well, at least you finally passed the exam. Congratulations for that!
    I am a BU dental student who is having serious trouble finding extracted teeth for endo class (and possible for clinical board in 4th year too). I have contacted several oral surgeon offices with no luck because there are so many other people looking for teeth too and they don't seem to have any remaining. I may consider Bforbones to buy lots of teeth as my last resort because time is so limited and valuable. The upperclassmen also told me collect premolars and central incisors.
    Are you able to keep those teeth for more than 1 year in tap water and or diluted bleach solution? Do you know if these teeth are accepted by endo faculty at your school (my school seems ok with that)?

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