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10 Best Dental Schools in the US: 2022 Rankings

What are the best dental schools in the US in 2022? Are you contemplating which school will give you the best education to become a dentist?

Choosing to go to a dental school is an important step in the process of becoming a dentist.

Some other considerations would be which dental school to attend. Typically, it takes about eight years of schooling to become a fully qualified dentist. A bachelor’s degree is required in any field.

A premier dental school can assist a dental student gain the knowledge, abilities, and competence necessary to practice dentistry.

There are roughly 64 universities in the United States that offer advanced dentistry degrees; choosing which one to attend will be difficult.

Due to the lack of rankings, dentistry school applicants find themselves in an unusual and frequently perplexing situation.

Because elite dental schools are less clearly labeled, this is more common among students pursuing postgraduate degrees.

How then do you know where and how to apply as an exceptional student trying to get into the top dental school possible?

We’ll go over the entries and options of the top dentistry colleges in this guide. This will also cover if they are important, how to evaluate what constitutes a “good” dentistry program, and variables to consider when deciding which dental schools to apply to.

Finally, we’ll provide you with a list of our top 10 best dental schools in the United States.

10 Best Dental Schools in the United States

Not only is it difficult to rank dentistry colleges. Rather, rankings in dentistry are less important than they are in many other areas.

Despite this, many students still want to know. This is especially true for people who intend to pursue particular residency programs.

Even though these students are advised that rankings and tiers in dentistry are far from generally accepted, it is also recognized that they can serve as important guidelines for applicants seeking assistance.

With this in mind, we’ve compiled a list of the top 10 best dental schools in the United States.

Academic reputation, educational resources, clinical possibilities, research opportunities, prospective students’ DAT scores, GPAs, and the reputations of connected medical schools are all factors that go into the ranking.

The best dental schools in the United States are shown below:

1. University of Michigan-Ann Arbor

The University of Michigan in Ann Arbor is indeed the main driver in dentistry and other health-related fields of study.

It offers a large network of linked clinics that provide a wealth of possibilities and access for dentistry students to obtain practical experience.

A total of 120 full-time faculty members are responsible for 15 distinct programs. In addition, the institution offers dental and oral health services to the community.

2. University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill

The Adams School of Dentistry at the University of North Carolina in Chapel Hill is regularly ranked among the best dental schools in the country.

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Its Doctor of Dental Surgery (DDS) Program offers a program based on the Advocate-Clinician-Thinker (ACT) philosophy.

Students in dentistry are instructed and prepared to advocate for their patients, offer excellent clinical care, and resolve issues.

Students obtain clinical experience at 50 rotation locations around North Carolina, including two free student-led clinics. More than 90,000 individuals receive dental and oral health services at these clinics each year.

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3. Harvard University Dental School

Harvard University is consistently ranked among the best universities in the world. They continue to be at the top of the country’s and world’s dental schools. One of the greatest dentistry schools in the United States is housed at this Ivy League institution.

In Boston’s Longwood Medical Area, where Harvard School of Dental Medicine (HSDM) is located. HSDM students usually study with Harvard medical students for a component of their education.

Medical turnarounds at the Harvard Dental Center, which sees over 25,000 patients each year, provide hands-on experience.

4. University of California, San Francisco

The School of Dentistry at the University of California, San Francisco (UCSF) is regarded as one of the nation’s best. Each and every year, more than 100 students graduate from the institution, which offers clinical education as well as research possibilities.

The school’s dentistry facility, which handles over 120,000 dental patients each year, provides hands-on exposure.

In addition to research, the UCSF School of Dentistry receives good marks. In fact, according to funding from the National Institutes of Health, it is the best dental school in the United States.

5. University of California, Los Angeles

The University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA) School of Dentistry, very much like San Francisco counterpart, graduates students exceeding 100 students with a Doctor of Dental Dentistry degree.

The majority of alumni of this program go on to pursue post-graduate courses or additional degrees in oral biology.

UCLA students begin their hands-on patient care during their second year. Turnarounds in different community service programs and specialty clinics continue to provide them with clinical experience. They are able to even provide direct care to a diverse array of patients as a result of this.

6. University of Washington Dental School

The School of Dentistry at the University of Washington was rated #2 in the Shanghai Ranking Consultancy’s Academic Ranking of World Universities the year before. Benefits are given to dentistry students however not all dentistry students are privileged to have.

The following are some of the important experiences available at the University of Washington:

  • A geriatric clinic on wheels
  • A clinic dedicated to the needs of people with impairments.
  • A speciality clinic for those who suffer from mental illnesses and have major dental phobias.

There are also numerous possibilities to obtain clinical experience at sites including Seattle Children’s Hospital, Harborview Medical Center, and the School of Dentistry’s clinics.

7. University of Pennsylvania School of Dental Medicine

The University of Pennsylvania is located in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. This is another Ivy League institution that has made the top ten best dentistry schools in the United States list.

The institution which was founded in 1878, has a long history in dentistry. Bioethics, Business Administration, Education, Law, and Public Health are among the degree options available to DMD students at the University of Pennsylvania.

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The University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine offers a broad array of clinical experiences for its students, as well as community engagement activities. Its Primary Care Unit sees about 22,000 people a year and offers dental care and services.

8. The University of Buffalo School of Dental Medicine

The School of Dental Medicine at the University of Buffalo is one of the best in the country. UBDM is a prestigious institution with a storied record of improving oral health.

Dentistry students at UBDM have access to extensive study programs that include both scientific and health practices. During the first year of the program, students begin clinical training.

Around 500 students are seeking a DDS degree or a double degree program combining a DDS and a Master of Business Administration degree.

9. New York University Dental School

The dental school of New York University (NYU) is the largest in the country. Approximately a tenth of all dentists in the United States have received their degrees from NYU.

The institution has one of the highest graduation rates in the country. Every year, over 400 DDS students graduate from its College of Dentistry. Students in dentistry study courses in a variety of clinical, behavioral, and biological topics. NYU offers a wide range of clinical experiences with a variety of patients.

Students acquire real-world experience across the whole of their four years of school as they collaborate closely with teachers, their groups, and practice directors. Every year, about 300,000 patients visit NYU, which offers unparalleled experience and opportunity.

10. Columbia University Dental School

For dental students, Columbia University is an excellent choice. The Columbia University College of Dentistry Medicine is a medical and academic institution that provides dental training.

The school allows dental students to do research with eminent faculty members. It also allows them to collaborate with medical students at the institution throughout their pre-clinical years.

The admissions procedure at Columbia University College of Dental Medicine is quite competitive.
Only 5.1 percent of applicants are accepted. This implies that each year, only roughly 84 students are admitted into the program.

5 Things to consider when choosing a dental school

As previously stated, rankings and reputation of dental schools are only fairly essential, and they are mostly used in residency applications.

Nevertheless, there are various criteria to weigh when choosing a dental school, especially for those who desire to undertake general dentistry.

1. Tuition Costs

Dental school is an expensive endeavor. The sky-high tuition costs can make it difficult for applicants to understand the financial ramifications of choosing one institution than another.

Even though the disparity between $300,000 and $500,000 in student debt is significant, you may find yourself having to choose between the two scenarios. This is especially true if you can pay in-state tuition at a public university.

Ensure to evaluate not only tuition but also fees and the cost of living when you conduct your study. Dental expenses, which may run into the tens of thousands of dollars per year, make up a large amount of the cost of dental school.

Geographic cost-of-living differences are however relevant since living in a big city metropolitan area for four years can add $50,000–$100,000 to your student debt relative to staying in a smaller college town in the South or Midwest.

Maintaining a sustainable debt load is crucial for students enthusiastic in specializing, particularly for specializations that need high tuition and, as a result, extra debt.

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2. Graded Programs vs Pass/Fail

The 4.0 scale has traditionally been used to rate dentistry schools. Several programs, on the other hand, have recently switched to a pass/fail rating system.

A pass/fail model may suit your learning style better and lessen your anxiety about grades while in dental school.

Grades, on the other hand, can be stimulating and satisfying, as well as an academic indicator that distinguishes you and is essential when enrolling in dental residency programs.

3. Class Rank

In contrast to undergraduate programs, where your GPA is usually your only educational baseline, several dental schools also award performance in class. Class rank, like reputation, is only important if and when you seek residency.

Schools that have a class rank have a more competitive atmosphere. Selecting a school where there are no class ranks can help you relax.

On the other hand, having a class rank might motivate you and help you stand out while applying for residency.

4. Class Size

Class sizes in dental schools range from 375 students per year at NYU to only 35 at Harvard.

Many aspects of your educational experience, from lecture style to curriculum to interactions with your peers, are influenced by class size. When choosing a school, keep in mind your particular preferences for class size.

5. Location

Would you want to go to a local school or do you want to go somewhere new? Are you more at ease in a big city or would you rather live in a tiny college town?

Choose a program in a place where you will have possibilities for relationships and activities beyond the school that will allow you to monitor your load.

Furthermore, take into account that out-of-state students have a very low admission rate at several public dentistry schools. For instance, it’s commonly known that applying to dental schools in Texas as a non-resident is quite tough.

Going to those schools, on the other hand, is a smart move for Texans, especially since in-state tuition at Texas dentistry schools is also one of the lowest in the country.


Students to dental schools frequently inquire, “What is the best dental school in the United States?” “What are the top-ranked dental schools?” and “What are the best-ranked dental schools?”

Evaluations have grown prevalent among undergraduate universities and graduate programs, and students generally strive to be enrolled into the program with the best record.

After all, what is there too? You’ve worked that hard, and if all else is equal, you should enroll in the most respected dental program.

As nothing more than a result of the influx of inquiries from dentistry applicants, this post has been written. This is especially true for individuals who are applying to the institution for the first time.

This information will assist you in determining where and how to apply for and gain the desired education necessary to become a dentist.

About Martin Vernon

A lifelong learner, educator, and advocate for education as a means for individual and social change. Thanks for stopping by and I hope you have a great day!

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