The Best Dental Schools In California

By Eric Eng

By Eric Eng

a young dentist working with a client

The Best Dental Schools In California

Students thinking about pursuing a degree in dentistry picture themselves living their dream in California because of the state’s thriving higher education industry, its diversified population, and its simply great weather. The majority of these dental schools in California are not only the greatest in the state of California, but they are also among the very top universities in the entire globe for students who choose to pursue careers as dentists or dental researchers.

Prospective dental students can find whatever it is that they’re looking for in the state of California, whether they want to attend a school that is known all over the world and is located in a major city such as Los Angeles or San Francisco or they want to participate in a program that is more intimate but still highly regarded so that they can gain experience serving a more localized community.

How many dental schools are in California?

How many different dental schools are there in the state of California? The Commission on Dental Accreditation (CODA), which is the accrediting authority of the American Dental Association (ADA), recognizes 118 programs and dental schools in California.

a young dentist looking at the camera smiling while at the back ground another dentist is working with a client

Dental hygiene, dental assisting, dental laboratory technology, general dentistry, oral and maxillofacial surgery, oral and maxillofacial radiology, prosthodontics, endodontics, orthodontics, dentofacial orthopedics, periodontics, and pediatric dentistry are some of the topics covered in these programs, which can be found at colleges, universities, hospitals, and technical schools.

The following list includes just some of the schools in California that the CODA accredits to offer dental programs:

  • Alameda Health System/Highland General Hospital
  • Cabrillo College
  • College of Alameda
  • Cypress College
  • Herman Ostrow School of Dentistry of USC
  • Loma Linda University School of Dentistry
  • Los Angeles City College
  • Moreno Valley College
  • Pasadena City College
  • The University of California at Los Angeles School of Dentistry
  • The University of California at San Francisco School of Dentistry
  • University of the Pacific Arthur A. Dugoni School of Dentistry
  • West Coast University
  • Western University of Health Sciences College of Dental Medicine

What are good dental schools in California?

Where can someone find good dentistry schools in the state of California? Take an overview of these dental schools to better understand why they are regarded as some of the very best if you are curious about the factors that contribute to their high rankings.

The following dental schools in California are considered to be the best in the state based on their acceptance rates.

Loma Linda School of Dentistry (Loma Linda, CA)

The Loma Linda School of Dentistry combines clinical expertise with a commitment to caring for every patient’s overall health and happiness. The school’s motto is “Service is our mission,” and it operates under this guiding principle.

a male dentist working with a client inside his clinic

Loma Linda University, a part of the university education system operated by the Seventh-day Adventist Church, places a significant emphasis on teaching religious principles in its medical program. The dentistry school has earned a global reputation for the importance it places on spiritual development and community involvement.

As one of the best dental schools in California, Loma Linda students have the opportunity to select from a variety of degree programs, including those leading to the awarding of a Doctor of Dental Surgery (DDS) degree, a Bachelor of Science in Dental Hygiene degree, certification in orthodontics or pediatric dentistry, and many more.

Student care is provided at the Loma Linda University Student Clinics to other students by students themselves, under the strict supervision of faculty members who are both highly skilled and experienced in the medical field. Students can apply what they have learned in a classroom setting to a real-world scenario while receiving guidance and assistance from trained professionals.

Only 6.4% of students who apply are accepted at Loma Linda University. The criteria for admission change based on the type of degree being pursued. DDS candidates will be required to show evidence of academic coursework in the sciences, a minimum of 50 hours of dental practice observation, and a grade point average of at least 2.7, with a grade point average of 3.5 or better being suggested.

New undergraduate students applying to the dental hygiene program must present three letters of reference and demonstrate evidence of having participated in 20 hours of observation.

University of the Pacific Arthur A. Dugoni School of Dentistry (San Francisco, CA)

The Arthur A. Dugoni School of Dentistry at the University of the Pacific is widely regarded as the best option for prospective students looking for world-class dental schools in California. This is because it is situated in the center of San Francisco, widely regarded as one of the most desirable urban locations in the United States.

University of the Pacific building

The Arthur A. Dugoni School of Dentistry strongly emphasizes innovation as one of its core values. It is the only institution in the entirety of the United States that offers an expedited DDS curriculum, meaning that it reduces the typical study time of four years to just three. Students also have the extraordinary chance to begin practical instruction on the very first day of the program.

This is one of the primary reasons why Arthur A. Dugoni alumni are in such great demand when it comes time for them to begin their professional careers. Students shouldn’t be discouraged from applying even though the acceptance rate is only 6.3% because it implies that applicants will need to stand out among the crowd to be considered.

Building a student body that is diverse and well-rounded throughout each of the school’s unique programs is one of the most important aspects of the school’s goal. In addition to taking biology and chemistry classes during high school, applicants to the dental hygiene program need to have a minimum grade point average of 2.7.

UCLA School of Dentistry (Los Angeles, CA)

At the UCLA School of Dentistry, one of the best dental schools in California, prospective students who want to work in dentistry and establish themselves as true leaders in their industry will discover a wealth of possibilities to learn and advance their careers during their time there.

View of UCLA signage

According to the Academic Ranking of World Universities, the University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA) School of Dentistry is ranked as the number six dental school anywhere in the world. UCLA is known for having a world-class academic program and faculty members recognized worldwide for their research, leadership, and teaching expertise.

Regardless of the student’s specific areas of interest, the university’s 13 approved postgraduate programs and 15 academic divisions ensure that they will have access to competent staff and a world-class learning environment.

While the Section on Restorative Dentistry instructs students on restoring the function and appearance of teeth that have been damaged or malformed, the Section on Dental Anesthesiology provides education, research, and clinical practice in pain management. Both of these sections are part of the Department of Dental and Craniofacial Sciences at the University of Michigan.

Within the Division of Public Health and Community Dentistry at the UCLA School of Dentistry, students interested in learning more about the relationship between dental care and communities will discover a wealth of information and possibilities to collaborate with local groups.

Because there are so many different courses of study available at the UCLA School of Dentistry, prospective students need to do extensive research on the program(s) in which they have the interest to have a thorough understanding of exactly what the admissions committee will be looking for. This dentistry school is ranked as the fourth most competitive in all of California, with just 6.2% of applicants being accepted.

UCSF School of Dentistry (San Francisco, CA)

The UCSF School of Dentistry in San Francisco has a history dating back to 1881, making it one of the oldest dental schools in the country. In addition, it is one of the best dental schools in California. The school is dedicated to improving public health via scientific research and also offers dental education.

university of california san francisco

Today, the school provides training for students to gain the academic knowledge, critical thinking skills, and clinical skills they need to excel in any field, whether it be in the public sector, academic research, or the dentistry profession.

It is well-known that UC San Francisco provides its students with access to some of the finest research possibilities, not only in the state of California but also across the entirety of the United States. To maintain its position as a preeminent research institution, the university draws in approximately $34 million annually in funding to support the research endeavors of its students and staff in fundamental areas such as stem cells, craniofacial biology, and cancer of the head and neck.

Students who are interested in dental health outside of the United States have the opportunity to participate in the Global Oral Health Program at UC San Francisco, which is a one-of-a-kind project that addresses oral health concerns that are affecting people all over the world.

University of Southern California Herman Ostrow School of Dentistry (Los Angeles, CA)

The University of Southern California is dedicated to preparing the next generation of oral health professionals to be leaders in their industry. The Herman Ostrow School of Dentistry is part of a prestigious private institution that is well-known for the quality of the clinical education it provides, as well as the research it does and the community service it provides.

USC signage

Herman Ostrow, one of the best dental schools in California, offers a variety of distinctively specialized degree programs, including the Master of science in biomedical implants and tissue engineering as well as the master of Biomaterials and digital dentistry. Many students opt to study for their Doctor of dental surgery degree; however, Herman Ostrow also offers these other programs.

Dental students of today have the opportunity to be a part of the school’s long and illustrious academic legacy, which stretches back to 1897 when the school was founded. Herman Ostrow graduates throughout the years have made significant contributions to the field of dentistry.

These contributions range from those of Floyde E. Hogeboom, credited with establishing modern pediatric dentistry as a specialization, to those of Anna M. Pattinson, known for serving as Editor in Chief of the scientific journal Dimensions of Dental Hygiene. Both of these individuals graduated from the Herman Ostrow School of Dentistry.

Each course of study at Herman Ostrow has its own set of prerequisites and curriculum. Still, with an overall acceptance rate of only 4.9%, it will be challenging to secure a spot in any of the available academic programs here. You should be prepared to present prerequisites in the sciences, letters of recommendation from scientific professors, and perhaps a letter of recommendation from a dentist who is currently in practice.

Western University of Health Sciences College of Dental Medicine (Pomona, CA)

The Western University of Health Sciences College of Dental Medicine has the lowest acceptance rate among any other dental schools in California, accepting only 2.1% of the students that apply to the program. This prestigious college is home to one of the most cutting-edge Doctor of Dental Medicine (DMD) programs in the United States.

The DMD program at this college provides students with a curriculum that is based on what dentists will need to know in the future. The DMD program also incorporates a variety of educational approaches within its state-of-the-art facilities.

During their time at WesternU, DMD students can participate in a comprehensive clinical experience by providing care to actual patients in the local community. In addition, they have access to interprofessional learning opportunities that emphasize the critical role that every healthcare professional plays in mitigating the risk of unfavorable patient outcomes through improved collaboration and communication.

Dental students receive training not just in the scientific and clinical approaches that are essential to the field but also in the business and management practices that are essential to the field. Graduates of this program will have the finest possible basis for entering practice and becoming leaders in their profession due to this training.

The Doctor of Dental Medicine (DMD) program at WesternU receives over 2,800 applications each year but can only accept approximately 70 students at any given time. Prospective students who are interested in enrolling in this demanding and rewarding program are required to provide evidence to the admissions committee that they are adaptable, well-rounded, and academically prepared to take on the task of participating in it. Hence, WesternU has etched its name into the list of the best dental schools in California.

How much does a dentist in California make?

How much does a dentist in California make? In California, the average salary for a dentist is expected to be $182,120 a year, with the total annual compensation coming in at an estimated $245,975.

These figures indicate the median, which is the point in the middle of the ranges derived using our in-house developed algorithm for estimating total compensation based on the wages submitted by our users. It is expected that the higher salary will amount to $63,855 each year.

Additional compensation may come in the form of a monetary bonus, commission, tips, or a share of the profits. The values that are represented by the “Most Likely Range” are those that can be found between the 25th and 75th percentiles of all of the pay data that is available for this role.

If you’re set on getting into a world-class college but aren’t sure how to make it happen, we can help! AdmissionSight is a leading college entrance expert with over a decade of experience helping students just like you get into the schools of their dreams.

At AdmissionSight, we focus on offering a wide range of services, all aimed at helping students perfect their applications to catch the attention of admissions officers. Contact us today to schedule a free consultation to learn more about what we offer.




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