BENCH TEST MASTERY
The Ultimate Bench Test Prep Course to Get You Ready, Even if You’ve Never Done a Crown Prep
You need to be prepared for the bench test
before the invitation comes.
When test day comes, you’d better be ready to show them what you’ve got.
Don’t waste the precious opportunity you’ve worked so hard to get.
Play the video below to get a peak into how our online bench test prep works!
Virtual Video Tour
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 for good reason. It took a lot to get into dental school and even more to go through it. Perhaps you got killer grades in high-school, but in dental school you endured countless tests, challenging graduation requirements, and many unreasonable situations dealing with the school system.
After all that hard work, you’ve earned the title, doctor. People show you respect, especially in your home country.
To many dentists, coming to the US and being told that they have to prove themselves on a typodont seems somewhat insulting, as if you’re taking a step backward in your career. You’ve treated real patients and you’re very good at what you do, so why do US dental schools make such a fuss about demonstrating your preparation skills on some plastic teeth? The thought of having to undergo bench test preparation is so daunting for most candidates that many tend to downplay the importance of bench test skills and brush it off as no big deal.
In truth though, 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?
Dental students in most countries around the world don’t spend as much time perfecting typodont preparations as they’re expected to in the US. Not only that, it’s also common to just learn crown preps in theory without practicing them at all. For most schools, it’s just not practical to include them as clinical requirements, so they choose to focus their training and resources in more relevant areas.
Dental students can treat patients effectively without near perfect preps, so most schools don’t make the effort to teach these skills.
The bench test however, is all about demonstrating near perfect preps.
Taking care of the smallest detail down to the tenth of a millimeter is what you need to thrive at during your bench test.
I wish I was exaggerating, but I’m not. This is a completely different territory from what you’re used to.
And just learning the specs for ideal preparations won’t get you anywhere.
The ‘knowing’ part is easy, that kind of information can be found in books, on Facebook and Youtube, and all over the internet.
Figuring out the right specs for preparations – depth, width, angulations – isn’t hard, the info is widely available to anyone. It can take some hassle to find the right information, but it’s all within reach.
So, what is it that makes the bench test challenging?
Execution: 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 seasoned dentists with years of experience.
The more alarming thing? From studies we conducted with international dentists, the majority of candidates didn’t even know that their work was bad after the test, because their eyes weren’t trained to see the mistakes.
So even if though candidates know all of the specs, their preps often aren’t remotely close to ideal. Sadly candidates rarely realize it, believing their work is acceptable. How do I know this? Because they come to me after their bench tests, confused as to why they didn’t get accepted!
In reality, you’re likely a much better practitioner than most US dental students, but that doesn’t matter when it comes to the bench test. US dental students are much better at doing ideal preparations on typodont teeth than you are.
The discrepancy is huge, and you your job is to bridge that gap.
Your preparations must be as good as a US dental student’s to pass this test. The professors that teach and grade them are also grading your work.
Dental students in the US are trained 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 a full 2 years.
This simply isn’t the case with dentists from most other countries – practicing dentists never went through anything like this outside of North America.
Most dentists I’ve spoken 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 and little emphasis was placed upon them. Their only focus was to try the preparations extraorally before treating patients.
There’s nothing wrong with that, it’s just that the emphasis of early dental education is different in the US than the rest of the world.
Ideal preparations are taken very seriously with high and exacting standards in US dental programs. 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. Strategic bench test prep is the key to doing this.
International dentists are in a unique situation: they are already dentists, but they need to learn how to do ideal preparations – a seemingly basic skill – though one they’ve never really done before.
Even though international dentists come from all different kind of backgrounds, years of experience and even years of practice in a specialty, in the world of ideal typodont preparations, nearly all international dentists – from fresh graduates to seasoned practitioners – end up starting from the same level.
This is why everyone needs extensive bench test prep.
This is good news for the fresh graduates!
Not so much for those with years of experience. Nonetheless these are the facts.
So if you’ve practiced for a while please don’t let pride get in your way.
Most fresh-graduates can still relate to a ‘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 go back and learn how to cut plastic teeth. The lesson is often learned the hard way – by failing through one or two application cycles – wasting thousands of dollars and an exorbitant amount of time in the process.
My goal is to prevent that from happening to you.
Meet Your Instructor
Dr. Alyssa Marshall
I started International Dentist Central after going through the advanced standing process myself; not just through one application cycle but two. For 2 years I applied to every single school I could, yet during the first year I didn’t make it in anywhere, despite attending 2 interviews. During the second year, however, every single school except for one sent me an interview invitation, and after that, every single school but one accepted me right off the bat. I actually ended up turning down several interviews.
To help international dentists with this unique situation we’ve created a radically different way of learning the skills you need for your bench test preparation, 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 are even smaller. Unfortunately we don’t have the kind of vision that birds have.
Sadly, I’ve see too many candidates who’ve gone to a live bench test preparatory course who at the end the few short days were ultimately left alone to figure it all out because they failed to grasp subtle but crucial details due to poor optics and lack of a personalized attention.
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 heaven’s sake.
So we did it, we took on the challenge and initiated a breakthrough change, we call it Zoomed-View.
Based on the success of our clients we know that we’ve hit a golden formula that works the best bench test prep possible.
Before you commit to reading about what this method is all about, let me assume a key question you must be asking yourself.
“Will an ONLINE bench test prep course actually help ME succeed?”
The answer is a resounding YES. But you don’t have to take our word for it. Checkout the following words of a recent candidate who kindly shared her experience with us:
I just loved it. It was difficult to believe that an online course could help to improve and prepare for the bench. However, I was impressed. Everything is well designed and you can review the information as much as you want.
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 Hard Facts about Bench Test Prep
(from asking people like you)
(from asking people like you)
*Stats based upon estimates conducted by IDC based upon publicly available information and internally conducted candidate polls
Yikes! These facts are disturbing
Back to #5 though:
78% of applicants wait until they get an interview invitation to
start starting their bench test preparation
This is big! We talked about how the bench test is completely different from the type of dentistry than what’s taught in other countries. Why oh why are you waiting? Start practicing the moment your applications are sent in, you won’t pass the test with average work! I’ve done this before myself, and no I didn’t make it in that year. I wish someone told me to wake up back then.
First: most applicants have no idea where they stand in the competition in terms of their hand skills.
Second: most candidates are 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 I spoke to a few years back, 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 getting feedback from her friends, which happens all the time by the way, but can be like rolling the dice with your future!
Similar scenarios play out often, and it’s heartbreaking.
The bench test is too importan! How long did you prepare to come this far again? And if you mess up a prep at the test you may have to start all over again – with a new CAAPID application – hoping you get an interview call again next year. Each year you repeat the process, your potential for acceptance weakens (schools don’t look kindly on candidates with too many failed attempts).
Don’t do this.
Can you imagine trying to learn a brand new language – lets say Japanese for instance – relying on random YouTube videos? You’ll be tested on fluent conversation in just a few months. If your future career depended on that one Japanese conversation test, wouldn’t you be more strategic in how your set about to learn the language, beyond just watching Youtube videos and free online seminars?
How would “I can handle this Japanese test on my own. It’s just another language and I already know how to speak English. How different can it be? I’ll just ask my friends for help” sound?
Not so good, right?
And what if you were competing against those who had studied hard in actual preparatory courses that taught Japanese as a second language, for months beforehand?
Ironically, this what I read about from advanced standing candidates in online forums and Facebook groups all the time when it comes to the Bench Test!
5 Things That Make the Bench Test Mastery Special
Time and Repetition are Non-Issues
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 mathematics before first learning how to master algebra. You can try, but it won’t make much sense and nothing will be remembered, whereas if that complex math is taught 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 bench test prep courses.
Covering 2 years of material during a week-long live course is challenging. The instructor has a lot to go through but can’t just be lecturing and demoing all day, students need to practice, ask questions, and get feedback. Oh, and there’s a schedule of set topics that must be adhered to, to make sure they don’t get behind.
How do i know? Because I used to run live courses back in the day (until I learned better).
“Sorry, we’ll need to go over some different topics tomorrow because there’s so much to cover, and so little time”
This is what I used to say to my poor students during the live bench test prep courses I used to run. And I always knew there were some in the class who just didn’t get what I’d covered that day, no matter how clear I’d explained it. Time restrictions are the enemy when it comes to live bench test prep courses.
Beyond that, where does repetition come in? After all, practice makes perfect.
There’s little of it in a live course because there’s simply not enough time (even if students work late into the night).
It’s 2 years worth of material after-all.
So much of what’s taught gets lost 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.
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. Going back to our math metaphor: advanced math doesn’t make any sense when the student can’t yet formulate basic questions in algebra.
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 looks 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 of the online course well exceeds 50 hours and continues to grow as add more content – that’s more than 2 full days of non-stop watching.
Imagine sitting in a live bench test preparation course for 50 hours straight. How much would you actually retain? Even if it was split into 10 days, 5 hours each, important details would slip. We’re simply 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 Zoomed-View. With Zoomed-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 Zoomed-View.
Get Feedback on Your Work, Daily!
With live bench test prep trainings you can’t get anymore feedback regarding your work once the class is over.
With Bench Test Mastery we’ve got your back as long as you need.
Remember that girl I mentioned above 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 and even a local dentist that she observed with? They all said her work was great.
No I don’t think they were lying, I think they meant the best and wanted to help. But it takes a lot of specialized knowledge, practice, and experience to effectively critique other people’s work and guide them, especially when it comes to ideal preps which most dentists don’t spend an absorbent amount of time thinking about.
I see applicants’ work posted Facebook for feedback a lot, and most of it makes 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 provide false hope and contribute to 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 of our personalized feedback video is different, averaging at about 5 minutes each. Some go over 10 minutes if there’s a lot to talk about. And they don’t just point-out the mistakes, they also give you suggestions and recommendations.
Can you imagine how much faster you’ll improve if you constantly get feedback like this every day for several months before your actual bench test?
That means even if you don’t receive an invitation this year you haven’t wasted anything – you practiced, you still have a course and a mentor to work with next year. Plus you still have full access to all of your feedback videos. You’re way ahead of the 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 not 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 far from random. As important as it is to know which ones to use, you also need to know why, and learn how to identify them.
Most bench test 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 tools and equipment either, so unless you actually know why certain tools 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 pain-point 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 is 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 the most effective way.
Because of the abundance of time we have during Bench Test Mastery, details are covered more extensively than ever possible in a live course.
How would you feel if you went to a live course and the instructor spent 3 out of the 5 days covering foundational topics like patient positioning, indirect, cutting instruments, and more, leaving you only 2 days to work on preps? You’d probably be pretty anxious and upset, right?! You’d have wanted the instructor to brush past those topics for no more than a few hours on Day 1 and get to the preps as quickly as possible. The problem is though, most candidates actually need about 3 solid days of practicing the foundational basics before they’re ready to get to move to preps.
The dirty secret is that every bench test prep instructor of a live course faces a big dilemma trying to teach a room full of students all at different levels:
There’s just not enough time during a live course to bring everyone up to
par on the foundational bench test prep skills that all
candidates need in order to be great at ideal preps .
(though they’ll certainly never admit that to, especially after after you’ve paid thousands of dollars and traveled thousands of miles to be with them a few days)
With Bench Test Mastery, believe me: We have the time to make you great at ideal preps!
A Price that’s a No-brainer
Dentists 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 are no other courses that offers bench test preparation this thoroughly and include daily feedback at this price, not even close!
This is not some second-thought recording of live course lectures. My bench test prep videos are shot specifically for the purpose of showing you every detail with Zoomed-View, a quality that’s unmatched with anything else out there.
That’s not all. Once you enroll, you’ll have full access to all course content until you’re accepted into a North American dental program.
We guarantee: the investment you make in Bench Test Mastery is second to none for the the incredible value it provides — Please DO compare us with the competition.
Here’s what you get when you join the Bench Test Mastery
Bench Test Mastery Course
6-12 Months Complimentary Daily Personalized Feedbacks (mon-fri)
A Private Members-Only Community
Program Information Database of all U.S. Advanced Standing Programs
Ask Me (Dr. Alyssa) Anything Anytime
It’s easy to find information on the criteria for ideal preparations, the secret to success is execution.
EVERYONE is practicing, but few will make it. Effective bench test prep is the key, and IDC is here to help.
Here's What Dentists Think About Bench Test Mastery & IDC
6 Months of Personalized Prep Feedback
12 Months of Personalized Prep Feedback
“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”
Wondering if this is right for you, or have questions around it? Contact us!
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).