Licensure Examinations

Call me a Subjectivity "Hater"

June 8, 2021

Scot Armstrong

Chief Executive Officer




SUBJECTIVE— Dependent on or taking place in a person’s mind rather than the external world, based on a given person’s experience, understanding, and feelings; personal or individual (

OBJECTIVE— Existing independent of or external to the mind; actual or real, based on observable phenomena; empirical, uninfluenced by emotions or personal prejudices (


When I first graduated college and accepted a position with Ernst and Young as a consultant, I was fascinated by the vast amount and range of knowledge that existed in our consultants, managers and partners. I was initially taught by my mentors and managers that knowledge was earned though experience and that knowledge, especially if well rounded, would always set you apart. I followed that advice and worked long hours in multiple industries and countries and learned everything I could about my clients and how to solve their problems. I didn’t stop after work. I learned about the local geography, food, wine, and local customs. If, we have ever met, you would know I always have a fun story to tell about a place or people I met, as I grew my experience and knowledge.


Then one day the partners decided that it was time to develop a knowledge management solution. Counter to all I had ever learned, I was assigned the task of working with a team to transfer the wealth of knowledge in our personnel’s minds into a database that could be accessed by anyone. As you can imagine, this was not met with incredible enthusiasm. Even though most employees complied, some refused, seeing their knowledge as their differentiator.  What they didn’t see at the time is their knowledge made them comfortable. They did not have to learn new things. They could control their career and never risk exposure or be forced to learn something new. However, doing so impacted the learning process of other personnel and restricted our ability to scale to meet our client’s needs. It was a barrier to career succession. It was a means to control by using knowledge to determine an opinionated outcome.


Luckily, we moved on to build vast knowledge bases that were accessible to all. The dinosaurs who refused to change and refused to continue learning and evolve, retired. A new breed of consultant was born. One that believed in using knowledge to better the team and improve client outcomes. We never stopped learning. We craved the opportunity to solve the next big problem. We used the knowledge base to do so more efficiently and faster. Eventually knowledge became integrated with computers that could compute at a greater speed and when given parameters, would always return a reliable result. This was the beginning of what is known today as artificial intelligence. Whether you are entering a simple formula into an excel spreadsheet or calculating a shopping cart using camera recognition, we rely on machines to provide results with accuracy and speed that is both empirical and uninfluenced by human emotion. This objectivity is vital to maintain a standard of any kind.


Fast forward to today. I am now the CEO of a dental education company whose goal is to elevate dental education. Our company has been very fortunate to work with amazing partners and products that will truly elevate dental education. However, just like my days at Ernst and Young, many, many years ago, we work with two types of people: Those who love technology and the benefits it provides like speed, accuracy and objectivity and those who want to retain their subjectivity. Subjectivity is comfortable. Subjectivity does not require you to learn new things. Subjectivity provides control over the decisions to be made. Subjectivity also impacts the learning process of those we teach. Subjectivity can penalize a person unfairly. Subjectivity is a means of control by using knowledge to determine an opinionated outcome.


Promethean Dental Systems’ goal is to elevate dental education through the use of advanced technology. We want to educate the entire dental life cycle from Admissions to Retirement. We want to support existing educational institutions and provide a new model of learning, the Simodont. We promote multimodal learning for all of our customers, which helps them learn faster and in more depth. For us multimodal is Simodonts, Manikins, and Patients. If we want dental education assessments to be objective, we must utilize a multimodal learning foundation and migrate dental education to a model that uses dental fidelity and fair standards for machine testing and grading. This will provide our students and professionals, as well as faculty and boards with empirical evidence that is not influenced by subjectivity. It will provide the evidence that is black and white and remove the gray area that can both help and harm our students. It will provide a fair and level field of play and will elevate our profession and the services we provide our patients.

Convenient for Candidates

Accurate and Objective

Lowers Candidate Stress


Frequently Asked Questions

Multimodal learning suggests that when a number of our senses – visual, auditory, kinesthetic – are engaged during learning, we understand and remember more. By combining these modes, learners experience learning in various ways to create a diverse learning style. PDS provides multimodal learning via standardized didactic and psychomotor courses using manikins and the Simodont Dental Trainer.

    1. Audience
      1. Licensure exams are provided for both dental and dental hygiene professionals
    2. Approved Testing Locations
      1. Athens, GA
      2. Coldwater, MI
      3. Associated Dental School programs
        1. Knoxville, TN at Lincoln Memorial University
    3. Approach
      1. Multimodal Hybrid Exam
        1. Simodont Dental Trainer provides the ability to prep teeth for restorations, crown preparations and endodontic access.
        2. Simulated hand scaling is under development and expected to be launched in January 2022.
        3. Manikin heads provide the opportunity to fill teeth prepared using the Simodont with final restoration.
        4. Manikin heads provide the opportunity to scale teeth.
  1. Grading
    1. Automated objective scoring using Compare software to assess individual performance on each procedure. No subjective interpretation is allowed.
  2. Scoring
    1. Final grading is provided to participants of the examination within 24 hours.
  3. Ethical
    1. No patients are used in assessing competence therefore removing the issue of unethical treatment of patients.
  1. Athen, GA
    1. 2 Simodont Dental Trainers
    2. 2 Manikin Heads
    3. 2 Private Operatories
    4. Setting: Dental Office
  2. Coldwater, MI
    1. 2 Simodont Dental Trainers
    2. 6 ADEC Simulators
    3. 12 Phantom Heads on Tables
    4. Setting: Teaching Theater
  1. The biggest difference is there is no patient involved in the exam process. Competency of a professional’s ability to work safely on a patient should be performed by dental schools.
  2. Competency of skills and confirmation of competency to work on a patient does not require the presence of a patient as determined by adjusted criteria during the COVID pandemic.
  3. Traditional Approach
    1. Current board procedures (post-COVID)
    2. Two days in duration
    3. Does not include site fees
    4. Includes testing agency fees (travel, assets, examiners)
  1. Multimodal Approach
    1. Current board procedures (post-COVID)
    2. Two days in duration
    3. Does not include site fees
    4. Includes testing agency fees (travel, assets, examiners)
    5. Improved dental fidelity
    6. Objective assessment
    7. Digital record of examination provide to candidate and state boards when requested


  2. Schedule

    Day One

    8:00 – 9:00 AM

    Basic Hand Skills/Calibration with 4 block exercises: X, O, Indirect X, Indirect O

    9:00 – 11:00 AM

    Preps #4 DO, #14 MO, #9DL

    11:00 – 2:00 PM

    Fill #23DL, #18 MO, #29 DO

    2:00 – 5:00 PM

    Endodontics: #14 Access, Instrument, Fill #8

    Day Two

    8:00 – 12:00 PM

    Prosthodontics: Preps for #3, #5, #9

    12:00 – 3:00 PM

    Periodontics: Perio Charting, Scaling

There is no research to support the Simodont Dental Trainer
  1. PDS has curated over 40 published research articles to support the use of the Simodont Dental Trainer. More articles done by leading dental educators are expected.
  2. The available research articles demonstrate the maturation of the Simodont Dental Trainer.
  3. The available research articles provide peer-reviewed proof of the simulation-haptic approach using the Simodont Dental Trainer
  4. See the list of research articles here: Promethean Dental Systems.