Dental, dental hygiene 2022 cohort earned 100% licensing pass rate second year in a row

Dental student working on a dental manikin.

The School of Dentistry’s 2022 dental and dental hygiene graduating classes achieved a 100% first-attempt pass rate on the Western Regional Examination Board (WREB) for the second year in a row.

Dean Peter M. Loomer, DDS, PhD, did not seem at all surprised by the exam results.

“The dental and dental hygiene Class of 2022 were amazing cohorts. The dentists and hygienists completed their program mostly during the COVID-19 pandemic and excelled in their academic performance,” he said. “They were a kind and caring group, always striving to do their best for the patients. I am very proud of all their accomplishments.”

Dental Hygiene Program Director, Jo Ann D. Jordan, MA, RDH, assistant professor/clinical, credits the students’ resilience and camaraderie for their ability to earn such an outcome at the end of their program. “They remained flexible and supported each other, which made them a very successful class,” she said.

The national board and licensing exam tests dental professional candidates’ clinical competency to treat patients after graduation. Following the COVID-19 pandemic, these exams have been simulated using dental manikins instead of living patients – a decision that Texas dental schools highly advocated for safeguarding student and patient health.

Before the high-stakes exam, both cohorts participated in a preparatory exercise known as Mock WREB, a simulated board exam model run by dental faculty and staff.

“Mock WREB had a huge impact on our success,” said Diane Sullivan, DDS, associate professor and predoctoral clinic director. “The excellent training students receive from our clinical faculty teaches students to think critically. The additional effort from faculty, staff and students was amazing and resulted in candidates being well prepared for the exam.”

The Class of 2022 celebrated their successes during the annual hooding ceremonies and at an all-school commencement on May 21.

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