In the world of dentistry, dental schools in the United States continue to reign supreme. The United States had seven of the top ten dental schools in the world in 2019, after having eight in the top ten for three years in a row (2017, 2018, 2019).
The findings are based on a survey of 1,500 deans, chairs, and heads of faculties and departments from the top 100 colleges in a variety of subjects. Questions focused on publications in top-tier dental journals, the most influential and credible awards, and researchers who have made the most contributions to the field, with an emphasis on research and reputation.
To become a dentist, you’re going to need a bachelor’s degree in any field, and then either a Doctor of Dental Surgery (DDS) or Doctor of Medicine in Dentistry (DMD) degree, as well as pass certain national and state examinations. It typically takes four years after completing a bachelor’s degree to become a dentist.
The dental schools listed below have strong reputations, excellent facilities, and outstanding faculty members.
The Best Dental Schools in the US
1. University Of Michigan
The University of Michigan has the highest dental-student population in the country. It accepts approximately 150 new students each year. The school is home to more than 30 research centers and laboratories, including the Center for Oral Health Research in Appalachia and the Geriatrics Center, which offers multidisciplinary research training for dentists, nurses, and doctors.
Students can also benefit from a variety of academic programs at UoM Dental School. They offer DDS degree programs and combined MD/DDS degree programs along with MPH (Master of Public Health) degree programs. Students can also specialize in areas like endodontics, orthodontics or prosthodontics (dentures).
Students will have plenty of opportunities to participate in student clubs such as the American Student Dental Association chapter or take advantage of seminars offered by various student organizations. These include campus events like Dentistry Update Day that are held offsite by other dental schools throughout Michigan or participation in local outreach events like Give Kids A Smile! Day.
With an average student to faculty ratio of 3:1, you’ll get plenty of individualized attention from professors who make it their top priority to help you succeed academically while keeping pace with your personal goals for dental school success.
2. Havard University
Harvard University opened the first dental school in the US in 1867. It was also the second-oldest dental school in the world, and it was the first to utilize the DDS degree, which is now a standard for all dental programs.
The school is located at 188 Longwood Ave., Boston, MA 02115 and can be reached by phone at (617) 432-1443 or email at email@example.com. The dean of Harvard School of Dental Medicine is Bruce Donoff, DMD ’67.
Harvard’s program has been highly respected throughout its history and quickly became a leader in dental education. In 1868, Harvard awarded the first Doctor of Dental Surgery (DDS) degree to Charles Coolidge Parlin; this degree is now considered standard for all dentistry programs.
3. University of California-Los Angeles
The University of California-Los Angeles offers a Doctor of Dental Surgery (DDS) program, an International Dental Degree Program, and a certificate program. The school is ranked as one of the top dental schools in the country by U.S. News and World Report.
UCLA’s DDS program is designed for students who want to pursue private practice or other careers in dentistry. Students learn how to diagnose oral diseases, restore teeth and provide periodontal care through clinical instruction and classroom training. Classes offered include dental anatomy, periodontology, prosthodontics and operative dentistry.
UCLA also offers programs that lead to master’s degrees in oral biology and orthodontics as well as a doctorate degree in endodontics. All programs are accredited by the American Dental Association Commission on Dental Accreditation.
4. University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill
The University of North Carolina (UNC) at Chapel Hill offers a wide variety of dental degrees, including a Doctor of Dental Surgery (DDS), Master’s Degree in Oral Biology, and a PhD in Craniofacial Biology. All undergraduate degrees are awarded through the UNC Adams School of Dentistry.
- Year founded: 1879
- Number of students: 3,000+
- Top-rated programs: 1st in Orthodontics; 2nd in Prosthodontics; 1st in Paediatric Dentistry/children’s dentistry; and 5th in Periodontology & Oral Implantology
- Famous alumni: A number of professional athletes hold degrees from UNC, including basketball player Michael Jordan and retired pitcher Jim Kaat.
- Notable faculty: Dr. Richard Jordan (orthodontist), Dr. Lee Rogers (prosthodontist), Dr. Edward Farrar (periodontologist) and Dr. Mary Kaye Scaramucci (pediatric dentist).
It offers an exceptional dental program that enrolls approximately 100 students per year. The school has a diverse student population, and top-notch facilities like the William R. Kenan Jr. Dental Research Center, which is devoted to carrying out and promoting innovative research in all areas related to oral health.
5. The Ohio State University
One of the fifteenth oldest universities in the United States, Ohio State University is also one of the largest. There are almost 60,000 students currently enrolled at OSU. Located in Columbus, Ohio, OSU has a diverse student population that reflects this large size. Students from all over the country and all over the world attend OSU for its outstanding academics.
If you’re interested in pursuing a degree at an institution with a rich history and a very large student body, The Ohio State University may be the school for you. It is one of the oldest universities in the United States, having been established in 1870. It’s also one of the largest: it has a student body of over 66,000 students. It is recognized as one of America’s Public Ivy universities and as a Public Research University by the Carnegie Classification of Institutions of Higher Education. Additionally, both its dental school and medical school are highly ranked according to U.S. News & World Report
6. University of Washington
You should consider [the University of Washington]() if you are looking for a top ranked dental school. The dental program there is in the top five in the U.S. and is located in a large city. This is a very competitive dental school to get into, and it will prepare you well for a career as a dentist. It may however be difficult to make ends meet given that it’s one of the most expensive dental schools in the country.
7. The University of Texas Health Science Center at San Antonio
The Texas Medical Center Health Science Campus (TMC) is a unique health care campus that includes three major health care institutions—the University of Texas Health Science Center at San Antonio (UTHealth), the University of Texas Health Science Center at Houston (UTHealth), and Incarnate Word Hospital.
Having shared our story, let’s now continue by exploring how UTHealth San Antonio ranks among the best healthcare schools in the country.
8. Tufts University
As one of the most expensive cities in the United States, Boston is a city that boasts many great schools. Tufts University School of Dental Medicine is located in the heart of Boston, making it an ideal location for those wanting to work and live in this great city. Established in 1868, Tufts is the second-oldest dental school in the US. The school offers several different degree programs and other dental medicine related services.
Tufts offers a Doctor of Dental Medicine degree as well as a number of graduate programs, including Master’s degrees and Doctorates (in partnership with Tufts University Graduate School). They also offer an Advanced Education in General Dentistry Residency program which lasts one year and takes place at Tufts University School of Dental Medicine.
9. University of California-San Francisco
USCF is the third best dental school in America, and the best one in California. It’s also ranked as the number one dental school in the world. UCSF offers a wide range of services, but it’s really focused on research, which means that if you want to contribute to new discoveries in dentistry or oral surgery you should go there. The downside is that it can be harder to get an appointment with a regular dentist at this huge research facility, but they do have several clinics where normal people can go for exams and treatments.
- UCSF’s dental school is one of the most competitive and hard-working programs in the world. With an acceptance rate of 9 percent and a graduation rate of 99 percent, there are few other schools as prestigious or committed to their students’ success as UCSF.
- The dental school also has a reputation for producing some of the best researchers in dentistry, keeping them at the top of their game:
> “The School … continues to be a leading center for research on oral health, with more than $25 million in research funding annually from federal agencies and the University.”
- As if that wasn’t enough to attract prospective students, it also boasts some pretty interesting courses that focus on hands-on experience:
> “Among them are courses on implant dentistry; pain control; oral cancer detection; forensic odontology; orthodontics; head and neck anatomy for dental students; rehabilitation dentistry; biomaterials science and stem cell biology.”
10. Virginia Commonwealth University
The dental program at Virginia Commonwealth University is one of the best in the country. It’s a two-year graduate program with an annual tuition rate of $28,500 and a living cost of $16,177. The school is ranked 34th on U.S. News & World Report’s list of top dental schools and offers programs like general dentistry, oral and maxillofacial pathology, endodontics, orthodontics, pediatric dentistry, and periodontics. Notable alumni include Mark Reynolds White, who served as governor of Virginia from 1962 to 1966; Jim Withers, the father of street medicine; and Benjamin Harrison Kean Jr., CEO of the American Dental Association during the mid 20th century.
The deadline to apply for September admission is typically January or February preceding enrollment. Acceptance rates hover around 10 percent (100 students are enrolled each year), making this dental school highly competitive among applicants. Students at VCU School of Dentistry represent more than 40 countries around the globe—VCU is one of only a few U.S.-based schools that offer extensive international programs in addition to its domestic curriculum—and VCU has earned recognition for being one of the most diverse higher-education institutions in America by The Princeton Review for 13 consecutive years. Located in Richmond…
- Tuition: $13,634
- Cost of living (on campus): $15,040
- Ranking: No. 10 in Best Dental Schools in the US
- Student-faculty ratio: 2.2 to 1
- Education programs: Doctor of Dental Surgery (DDS), Master’s degree (MS) in Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery, MS in Orthodontics, MS in Periodontics, MS in Prosthodontics
- Notable alumni: Dr. Mitchell L. Paris, former dean; Dr. Tracy Foxworthy of Emporia State University; Dr. Robert Sainz of Christ Community Health Services; and Dr. Brett Moore of Southern Illinois University
Dental school can be hard, but it will all be worth it if you find the right school for you.
Dental school is all about finding your own path and trying new things. There are so many options out there, and they’re all different, so take the time to find out which schools will give you the best experience for you. It’s a personal decision that depends on who you are and what your goals are. Here’s one tip for figuring it out: make sure you’re in a place that has great professors and other resources, like museums or libraries.
That said, keep in mind that dental schools can be very expensive! When you go to dental school, make sure you do your research on scholarships and grants so that you don’t end up paying too much money for it.
Many schools have programs designed to help students get the financial aid they need in order to succeed at their studies. You should also look into how much debt will be incurred after graduation because this can affect how soon or late