You need to be prepared for the bench test

before the invitation comes.

In the worse case that you don’t get called this year you’ll use what you practiced the next year. This is a test you’ll need to face and do well at, it’s just a matter of when. But when your time does come you better be ready to show them what you’ve got.

Don’t waste the precious opportunity you worked so hard to get.

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There is a huge misconception about what it takes to do well in the bench test.
Please read this very carefully and get this straight.

Dentists are proud of themselves, and likely so. It took a lot to get into dental school and even more to go through it. We all got killer grades from high-school, then in dental school we’ve navigated through countless tests, high graduation requirements, and many unreasonable situations dealing with the school system.

After all of that we’ve earned the title. We know a ton and we’re called a doctor. People show us respect.

So coming to the US and having to take a take a test on a typodont seems like it shouldn’t be a big deal.

Acknowledging the fact that it just might be challenging can feel degrading, as if you’re taking backward steps in your career. You’ve worked with real patients and you’re really good at what you do, so what’s the big deal with doing some preparations on plastic teeth?

Except that it is, it’s a VERY big deal.

    • Have you ever agonized over 0.3mm in width or depth doing cavity preparations?
    • Paid meticulous attention to the angles between the walls and floors of cavity preparations to make sure it’s just right and consistent throughout?
    • Have you ever tried to dial in your crown preparations to 1-2 degrees in angulation and make sure your chamfer is less than 0.5mm wide, but the walls don’t have undercuts?

Other than in North America, dental students in most countries around the world don’t spend time perfecting typodont preparations. Not only that, it’s also common to just learn crown preps in theory without practicing it at all. It’s just not practical and schools chose to focus their training and resources in more relevant areas.

Treating patients clinically doesn’t require those skills either, who has the time for that?

And if it did, schools would’ve taught that way. The bench test however, is exactly that.

Taking care of the smallest detail down to the tenth of a millimeter is what you need to accomplish.

I wish I was exaggerating, but I’m not. This is completely different territory from what you’re used to.

Just learning what the specs for ideal preparations won’t get you anywhere.

The ‘knowing’ part is easy, that kind of information can be found in books and all over the internet.

Sure the burs used are different from the rest of the world and it can take some hassle to find the right information, but it’s within reach. So are the specs for preparations – depth, width, angulations, etc.

What is it that makes the bench test challenging?

It’s the execution, actually doing the preparation

the way it needs to be done.

99% of the time candidates don’t do well even if they know the criteria by heart, this is including the seasoned dentists with years of experience.

The more alarming thing is, the majority don’t even know that their work was bad, because their eyes aren’t trained to find the mistakes.

Yes, even if they know all of the specs, and their prep didn’t meet them remotely, they often don’t know it and think their work is acceptable.

You may be a better practitioner than a US dental student, actually you probably are, but that doesn’t matter. The student is much better at doing ideal preparations on typodont teeth than you are.

The discrepancy is huge, and you need to bridge that.

Your preparations must be as good as theirs to pass this test. The teachers that teach and grade them are also grading your work.

Dental students here practice from the beginning of dental school to adhere to strict and exacting standards, often staying late at night practicing to pass their frequent practical tests – tests they fail if an angle is off, even by just a few degrees. They do this for 2 full years.

This is something that dentists from other countries haven’t dealt with before.

Most dentists I’ve talked to say that they did learn how to do ideal preparations back in dental school, but only performed them a few times on a typodont, it wasn’t a big deal. Its focus was to try the preparations extraorally before start treating patients.

There’s nothing wrong with that, it’s just that the emphasis of education is different in different parts of the world.

But it needs to be addressed if you are to enter a US dental school. Ideal preparations are taken very seriously with high and exacting standards. Showing them a clinically acceptable crown or cavity preparation is not going to get you anywhere.

Now it’s up to you to meet that standard if you want to join their program.

International dentists are in a unique situation, they are dentists already, yet they need to learn how to do ideal preparations, something that feels basic except they’ve never really done it before.

Even though international dentists come from all different kind of backgrounds, years of experience and even specialty, in the world of ideal typodont preparations everyone starts from the same level – from fresh graduates to seasoned practitioners.

This is good news for the fresh graduates!

But not so much for those with years of experience, but that’s the fact.

So if you’ve practiced for a while please don’t let pride get in your way.

Most fresh-graduates are still in the ‘student mentality’ and often seek out help, whereas dentists with a few years of experience tend to be more resistant to the idea that they need to learn how to cut plastic teeth. The lesson is often learned the hard way – by failing. Don’t let that happen to you.

To help international dentists with this unique situation we’ve created a radically different way of learning the skills you need for the bench test, whether you’ve never done a crown preparation before, or you’ve treated patients for years.

The traditional way of leaning over the instructor’s shoulder doesn’t work, we all know that you just can’t get close enough to see everything without blocking the operator’s view. The tooth is small and the details of the preparation is even smaller. Unfortunately we don’t have the kind of visions that birds have.

You’re left alone to figure it out.

With all this new cool technology in the world, don’t you think it’s about time that someone does something about this? Personal robots are in development for god’s sake.

So we did it, we took on the challenge and initiated a breakthrough change, we call it  Zoom-2-View.

Based on the success of our clients we know that we’ve hit a golden formula that works.

Before you commit to reading about what this hype is about, let me assume a key question you must be asking yourself:

“Will an ONLINE course actually help ME for the bench test preparation?”

The answer is a resounding YES.

And the good part is, it doesn’t matter if you’re just starting out, haven’t touched a handpiece in 10 years, or if have years of experience practicing. We’ll get into what makes it special in a bit, but for now it works for new graduate dentists who’s never done a crown preparation before, to seasoned dentists who needs to bridge the gap of ideal preparations.

The Cold Stark Facts (From facts and asking people like you)

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Okay this is distressing.

First of all, most applicants have no idea where they stand in the competition in terms of their hand skills.

Second, they’re over-confident. Just learning how to identify mistakes in a preparation is an overlooked skill that you need to learn. Without knowing your mistakes, you’ll likely think you’re better than you really are.

Please pardon me if I’m coming across harsh, but I’ve seen so much.

There was an applicant last year, a female from India, who started crying while we were on the phone. She didn’t pass the bench test. For the school she interviewed at, she had to pass the bench test first to have a in-person interview, and she didn’t make it. She said she practiced really hard and did well on her bench test too.  She couldn’t believe it.

When I saw her work it was nothing close what US dental schools were looking for.

She’d practiced for 7 months on her own! She’d shown her work to several friends some who were already in dental school, and they all said she was really good.

Let’s not get into the details of what happened with feedback from her friends, which happens all the time by the way, but seriously, what a waste of time!

Similar scenarios play very often, and it’s heartbreaking.

This test is too important, how long did you prepare to come this far again? And if you mess up an interview you have to start all over again, from CAAPID, and hope you get an interview call again next year.

Don’t do this.

Can you imagine trying to learn a brand new language, lets just say Japanese for convenience, relying on random YouTube videos? You’ll be tested on fluent conversation in just a few months. If everything depended on that one Japanese conversation test, wouldn’t you learn more methodically? Yeah you know how to speak English, but not Japanese.

How does ‘I can practice on my own, it’s just another language and I know how to speak a language, English. How different can it be? I’ll just ask my friends for help’ sound?

Not so hopeful.

Especially when you’re competing against those who’ve worked hard in programs that teach Japanese as a second language, all the time.

It’s all relative you see.

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5 Things That Make the Bench Test Mastery Special

Time and Repetition is a Non-Issue

This is big, no it’s Huge.

In mastering a new skill, just like anything else in life, you start from the basics and move towards the advanced. You can’t learn advanced grammar before first learning how to formulate basic sentences. You can try, but it won’t make much sense and nothing will stay remembered, whereas if that complex grammar comes to you at the right time you’ll get the essence and internalize it, now the information is yours. Everyone learns at their own pace, some faster some slower, and repetition is important, it really is like learning a new language.

There are several limitations regarding time and repetition that inherently come with live training courses.

Covering 2 years of material during a live course is challenging. The teacher’s got a lot to go through but can’t just be talking and demoing all day, students need to practice, ask questions, and get feedback. Oh, and there’s a schedule to adhere to, we need to do something different tomorrow because there’s lot’s to cover.

In the midst of all that, where does repetition come in? There’s no room for it, there’s simply not enough time.

It’s 2 years worth of material after-all.

So much of what’s taught gets lost and rather than remembered.

Wouldn’t it be great if you could go back and re-listen and re-watch whatever you need to, whenever you need to?

I thought so too.

Also because everyone’s speed of progression is different, the slower students don’t get to learn the cool advanced stuff before the end of the course. Advanced grammar doesn’t make any sense when the student can’t yet formulate basic questions in Japanese.

The essence of a partial veneer crown can’t be understood unless the student is ready for it. The student may learn how to mimic a 7/8th crown, but the preparation will have crucial mistakes and will scream out ‘I don’t really know what I’m doing and why these features are needed, I just know it looked somewhat like this’.

The graders can tell, it’s obvious. They teach dental students for a living.

This is a non-issue for Bench Test Mastery, repeat as often as you need and take your time to get things right. Perfect the full gold crown first, then move on to the 7/8 crown.

It’s all right there, waiting for you.

Also, the total length for the course of the online course well exceeds 50 tk hours and it’s going up as we add more content – that’s more than 2 days non-stop.

Imagine sitting in a course for 50 hours straight, how much would you retain? Even if it was split into 10 days, 5 hours each, important details will slip, we’re not designed to learn that way.

With Bench Test Mastery, you can come back and repeat as often as you need, a whole segment or just parts of it – you’re not missing out on anything. Every time you go back and repeat you’ll learn more from it, parts that didn’t make sense will start making sense.


Teeth are small, and preparations done on teeth are even smaller. The detail we need is down to tenth of a millimeter.

Dental photography has come a long way, it’s time for videography to change as well. Zooming-in for close-up videos are good, but not sufficient on its own.

So we came up with a way of filming called Zoom-2-View. With Zoom-2-View, not only do we film close-up, we also film from 2 different angles at once, simultaneously.

What does this mean to you?

By showing you 2 views from different angles simultaneously, you get to watch a 2-dimensional video in a 3-dimensional way. It’s also zoomed-in, and you can watch the video full-screen on your laptop or tablet, so you get to see down to the smallest detail how things are done.

Compare this with trying to stare at a tooth as large as your fingernail while a teacher demonstrates, leaning over to see as close as you can while not blocking the teacher’s view.

This used to be the best we could do, but not anymore with Zoom-2-View.

Take a look at this video to get a glimpse of the technology.

Get Feedback on your work, Until you get Accepted

With live trainings you can’t get anymore feedback regarding your work once the class is over.

With Bench Test Mastery we’ve got your back until you get accepted.

Remember the girl that cried on the phone because she didn’t know her work was bad? She failed her bench test despite having practiced really hard for 7 months? Proper feedback and guidance is important.

And on that note, the quality of the feedback you get and who you rely on is also important. Remember she’d gotten feedback from her friends? They all said her work was great.

No I don’t think they were lying, I think they did meant the best and wanted to help. But it takes a lot to grow the eyes to critique other people’s work and guide them, it takes a lot more than performing them.

I see applicant’s work posted on Facebook for feedback a lot, and most of them make me cringe. Not the work itself, but it’s the comments. Well intended people trying to help, but not yet equipped to do so, can end-up doing more harm than good. They end up giving false hope and contributing in over-confidence.

Feedback is crucial to moving forward. It’s so easy to practice without real actually improving. It’s like spinning wheels in the air, a waste of time and energy. And no you won’t get accepted unless your hands are REALLY good.

Here’s a sample feedback video for you to get a taste of it.

The length of each video is different, averaging at about 5 minutes each. Some go over 10 minutes if there’s a lot to talk about. And it doesn’t just point-out the mistakes, it also gives you suggestions and recommendations.

Can you imagine how much faster you’ll improve if you constantly get feedback like this? And it’s not even time-bound, it’s until you get accepted.

That means even if you don’t receive an invitation this year you didn’t waste anything – you practiced,you still have a course and a mentor to work with next year. And you’re way ahead of others.

Not just preparations

Burs, hand cutting instruments, patient positioning, indirect vision, common mistakes, and more

Everything is explained in depth

Burs and Hand Cutting Instruments

Programs are very particular about every aspect of the preparation – shape, depth, width, and angles from all directions, clearance, etc. To meet the specifications they want, we first need to start from what tools to use and why.

Most international dentists have never used hand cutting instruments before. But without one, it’s simply possible to do an ideal cavity preparation. Once you learn how to use them, they’ll become your best friend.

Each bur and hand instrument is picked and used for a reason and purpose, it’s not random. As much as it’s important to know which ones to use, you also need to know why, and learn how to identify them.

In most bench tests programs will provide you with all the tools and material needed, you’re not allowed to bring in your own. You’ll need to know what to use when by looking at the shape of the burs and hand cutting instruments. Oh and not all schools use the exact same things either, so unless you actually know why certain things are used where, you can be thrown off during your test, or worse, use the wrong things and not even know it.

Patient Positioning and Indirect Vision

This is a constant struggle and painpoint for people as they try to pay attention to their posture for the first time.

It’s all covered in Bench Test Mastery. Granted every dentist has their own preferences and there’s no one correct position, but there are boundaries and guidelines that needs to be followed.

Training for indirect vision needs patience, it takes time, but do you know the best way to train for it? There’s a reason preparations get messed up when done through indirect vision, and it would help to understand what it is. We go to the heart of that issue and help you train.

Because of the abundance of time we have during Bench Test Mastery, details are covered more extensively than possible during a live course.

How would you feel if you went to a live course and the teacher spends hours on those things? It all comes back to time, there’s just not enough of it during a live course.

A Price that’s a No-brainer

Dentist’s make $100/hour on average in the U.S. Your time is worth a lot more than you think. Getting into a program as soon as you can is key.

There’s no other course that trains you in the bench test this thoroughly and includes unlimited feedback at this price, not even close.

This is not some recording of live course lectures, the videos are shot specifically for this purpose with Zoom-2-View, a quality that’s unmatched with anything else out there.

That’s not all. Once you enroll, you’re a member until you no longer need the course.

We guarantee we’re best in price and best in the field — Please DO compare us with the competition.

Here’s what you get when you join the Bench Test Mastery

  • The Course

  • 6-12 Months Complimentary Daily Feedbacks (Monday-Friday)

  • A Private Members-Only Community

  • Ask Anything Anytime

“Thanks Alyssa you are the best teacher even though you are an e- mentor I feel lucky to have you as my mentor! Thank you”

“The videos were great!! I love how you guided us step by step through the prep as promised. It actually felt like I was working with you one on one :)”

“The videos were exactly the thing I was looking for.”

“I really appreciate your effort in putting everything together; the videos are informative and the picture quality is good.”

“I just wanted to tell you that you are a lifesaver.”

“I like the way you explained every single detail and possible mistakes. It’s really easy to fallow”

“Dr. Marshall is the best teacher”

“I reviewed today’s video’s. They were very informative. I am glad I joined your course.”

“All your videos and notes have been extremely informative and well done.”

“Thank you so much Dr. Marshall for helping me gain confidence in my abilities and skills. The experience has been excellent. I wish we had more time with you but in these past 3 days I have made vast improvements”

It’s easy to find information on the criteria for ideal preparations, the name of the game is execution. 

EVERYONE  is practicing, but not everyone will make it. Getting ahead is the key, and IDC is here to help.

6 Months of Personalized Prep Feedback
Option to Extend Personalized Prep Feedbacks (More Info)
Submit Images of Your Preps for Personalized Feedback from Dr. Alyssa (Daily Mon-Fri)
Powerful Self-Study Bench Test Mastery Course
Access to University Bench Test Information Database
Active Discussion Forums
30 Minute Session with Dr. Alyssa to Help Get You Started
Access to All Members' Prep Feedback Videos (3000+ Videos)
Prepare Me!
12 Months of Personalized Prep Feedback
Gives You the Best Chance to Perfect Your Preps
Submit Images of Your Preps for Personalized Feedback from Dr. Alyssa (Daily Mon-Fri)
Powerful Self-Study Bench Test Mastery Course
Access to University Bench Test Information Database
Active Discussion Forums
30 Minute Session with Dr. Alyssa to Help Get You Started
Additional 30 Minute Session with Dr. Alyssa to Discuss Anything You Need Help With
Access to All Members' Prep Feedback Videos (3000+ Videos)
Prepare Me!

Wondering if this is right for you, or have questions around it? Contact us!

Upgrading Feedbacks

The Well Prepared package provides the ability to extend your daily feedbacks from Dr. Alyssa by 6 months. The 6 month extension can be purchased for $697 at any time and can be purchased as many times as necessary (unless you’ve been accepted).

Top Common Bench Test Mistakes

Download this free PDF to learn how to avoid the mistakes that most candidates make on their upcoming bench test
Created by Dr. Aylssa Marshall