Exploring Dental Schools in the US

August 11, 2023
By AdmissionSight
Students practicing dentistry on medical dummies in a teaching facility or university

Exploring Dental Schools in the US

Dental schools in the US are advanced educational institutions that prepare students to become licensed dentists. It is a challenging and rigorous academic program that typically lasts four years and includes both classroom instruction and clinical training.

Dental school is designed to equip students with the knowledge, skills, and experience necessary to diagnose and treat dental diseases and disorders, as well as provide preventive care and education to patients.

Why you should enroll in dental school

Admission to dental school is highly competitive and requires a strong academic background, a high score on the Dental Admission Test (DAT), and other factors such as extracurricular activities, research experience, and letters of recommendation.

Once accepted, dental students begin a demanding curriculum that includes courses in anatomy, biochemistry, pharmacology, oral pathology, and many others. In addition to classroom work, students spend a significant amount of time in the clinic, working with patients under the supervision of licensed dentists and dental faculty.

a dentist and his patient looking at the camera

The clinical portion of dental school is critical for students to gain the practical experience and skills necessary to become competent practitioners. During their time in a clinic, dental students learn how to take patient histories, perform oral examinations, diagnose dental problems, and develop treatment plans.

They also gain experience in a variety of dental procedures, such as fillings, crowns, bridges, and extractions. In addition to providing care to patients, dental students also learn about patient management, ethical considerations, and legal regulations governing the practice of dentistry.

Throughout their dental education, students are expected to maintain high academic standards and ethical behavior.

They must also pass several licensure exams in order to become licensed dentists. After graduation, many dental students choose to pursue further training in a dental specialty, such as orthodontics, periodontics, or endodontics.

Dental schools in the US

Dental school is a challenging and rewarding experience that requires dedication, hard work, and a passion for helping others.

It is an excellent career choice for individuals who are interested in healthcare, enjoy working with their hands, and have strong communication and interpersonal skills. Dentistry is also a rapidly growing field with excellent job prospects, particularly in rural and underserved areas.

Dental school is a rigorous and challenging academic program that prepares students to become licensed dentists. It requires a strong academic background, practical skills, and ethical behavior.

Dental school is an excellent choice for individuals who are interested in healthcare and enjoy working with their hands. It offers a fulfilling career with excellent job prospects and opportunities for further specialization.

What are the best dental schools in the US?

Now let’s take a look at the best dental schools in the US. There are several dentistry schools in the United States that are highly regarded for their academic programs, research opportunities, and clinical experiences. Here are some of the best dental schools in the US, according to the 2022 rankings by U.S. News & World Report:

a male dentist working with a client inside his clinic

  • Harvard School of Dental Medicine
  • University of California – Los Angeles School of Dentistry
  • University of Pennsylvania School of Dental Medicine
  • University of Michigan School of Dentistry
  • University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill School of Dentistry
  • University of California – San Francisco School of Dentistry
  • University of Pittsburgh School of Dental Medicine
  • Columbia University College of Dental Medicine
  • New York University College of Dentistry
  • University of Washington School of Dentistry

These schools have consistently ranked high in national and international rankings for their academic excellence, research opportunities, and innovative programs. However, it’s important to note that each dental school has its own unique strengths and weaknesses, and the best dental school for each individual student will depend on their specific needs and preferences. It’s important to research eachdentistryschool carefully to determine which one is the best fit for your academic and career goals.

What do dental schools look for?

It is important to know what dental schools in the US look for. Dentistry schools are highly competitive institutions, and they look for a variety of qualities and experiences when evaluating potential students. Here are some of the most important factors that dentistry schools typically consider when making admissions decisions:

Academic Record: 

One of the most important factors dental schools consider is a student’s academic record. Dentistry schools usually look for applicants who have completed a rigorous undergraduate curriculum with a strong GPA. Dental schools also consider the rigor of the courses taken by the student, particularly in subjects such as biology, chemistry, and physics.

Dental Admission Test (DAT) Scores: 

The DAT is a standardized test that measures a student’s academic ability and scientific knowledge. Dental schools consider a student’s DAT scores as an important factor in the admissions process.

Clinical Experience: 

Dentistry schools look for applicants who have demonstrated a commitment to the field of dentistry through clinical experience. This could include shadowing a dentist, volunteering at a dental clinic, or working as a dental assistant.

Extracurricular Activities: 

Dentistry schools value students who have a well-rounded background, including involvement in extracurricular activities such as community service, research, leadership, and sports.

Letters of Recommendation: 

Letters of recommendation from professors, dentists, and other professionals who know the applicant well can provide valuable insight into an applicant’s character, work ethic, and potential as a dentistry student.

Personal Statement: 

The personal statement is an opportunity for students to showcase their motivation, passion, and unique experiences that have prepared them for a career in dentistry.


Dentistry schools in the US value diversity among their student body, including diversity in background, experiences, and perspectives. Schools seek to create a dynamic and inclusive learning environment that fosters collaboration and mutual respect.

In conclusion, dental schools look for well-rounded students who have demonstrated academic excellence, clinical experience, and a passion for dentistry.

The admissions process is highly competitive, and students should strive to present themselves as unique and qualified applicants through their academic performance, extracurricular activities, and personal statement. By highlighting their strengths and experiences, students can increase their chances of being admitted to a dental school program.

How long does it take to hear back from dental schools?

You might ask how long it takes to hear back from the dental schools you’ll apply to. Well, the length of time it takes to hear back from dental schools can vary depending on the school and the specific admissions cycle.

Generally, dental schools will send out notifications regarding admissions decisions in the late fall or early spring, depending on when the application deadline is. Some schools may notify applicants of their admissions decision within a few weeks, while others may take several months to review all of the applications.

a young dentist working with a client

The length of time it takes to hear back from dental schools can also be influenced by whether the school conducts rolling admissions or not. Rolling admissions means that the school reviews applications as they are received, and they may offer admissions decisions on a rolling basis throughout the admissions cycle. Other schools may have a specific date when they release all admissions decisions at once.

It’s important to note that applicants should check with each school they applied to for specific information on when they can expect to hear back about their admissions decision. Some dental schools in the US may provide an estimated timeline, while others may not. Additionally, some schools may send out notifications by email, while others may send a physical letter.

Getting into dental school with AdmissionSight

If you wish to attend dental school, you should seek the advice of professionals who work in the field of college admissions, such as those at AdmissionSight, to increase your chances of acceptance.

AdmissionSight is the most trusted name in the field of college admissions advice because it has helped students like you get into their first and second-choice colleges for more than a decade.

Please contact us as soon as possible so that we can schedule an initial consultation, which will be provided free of charge.


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