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Home » 5 Best Dental Schools in the USA. Which One is Your Favorite?

5 Best Dental Schools in the USA. Which One is Your Favorite?

If you want to be admitted into one of the best dental schools in the USA, this post is for you.

All dental schools are not founded or managed equally. They also do not offer their students the same research facilities and academic atmosphere.

Some say their geographical settings contribute to what they are, although there are other things to consider, for example, the expertise of their faculty members.

Based on the available resources in the public domain, we have made the following list of the best dental schools in the USA to help you to get a clear picture of the matter.

5 Best Dental Schools in America

University of Michigan School of Dentistry

University of Michigan’s School of Dentistry boasts to be the best dental school in the USA today. It conducts its academic efforts through its six dedicated departments:

  • Biologic and Materials Sciences & Prosthodontics (BMSP)
  • Cariology, Restorative Sciences & Endodontics
  • Dental Hygiene
  • Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery / Hospital Dentistry
  • Orthodontics and Pediatric Dentistry (OPD)
  • Periodontics & Oral Medicine

The school’s research domains include skeletal biology, cancer therapeutics, tissue engineering, and regenerative medicine.

The school is based at 1011 North University Ave, Ann Arbor, MI 48109.

University of Pennsylvania School of Dental Medicine

Popularly known as Penn Dental Medicine, the University of Pennsylvania’s School of Dental Medicine is located at 240 South 40th Street, Philadelphia.

The school was recently named the Apple Distinguished School for 2022-2025.

While selecting its Distinguished Schools, Apple considers the following main points:

  • Innovation
  • Leadership
  • Educational excellence

Established in 1878, Penn Dental Medicine is one of America’s oldest university-affiliated dental schools.

It has as many as 12 schools located on a singular campus to conduct its academic activities, while its core values reflect the following:

  • Legacy
  • Empowerment
  • Aspiration
  • Discovery
  • Social Consciousness

The Penn Dental Medicine Journal, which features the school’s research findings and clinical programs, is published quarterly.

Harvard School of Dental Medicine: The best dental school in America

The Harvard School of Dental Medicine is undoubtedly one of the best dental schools in the world.

It was founded in 1867, which makes it the first dental school in the United States to be affiliated with a university. It is located in the Longwood Medical Area of Boston.

Alongside providing dental education to its students, the school educates the following sections of people:

  • Clinicians
  • Educators
  • Researchers
  • Leaders 

The school states its mission as the following:

To foster a community of diverse global leaders in education, research, and clinical innovation dedicated to improving human health by integrating dentistry and medicine.”

Its academic departments include:

  • Developmental Biology
  • Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery
  • Oral Health Policy and Epidemiology
  • Oral Medicine, Infection, and Immunity
  • Restorative Dentistry and Biomaterials Sciences

It offers Ph.D. Degrees in Biological Sciences in Dental Medicine through its Graduate School of Arts and Sciences. The program researches molecular, supramolecular, cellular, and supracellular fields.

The school offers scholarships to its students and researchers from over 25 different funds, including the following:

  • Harvard University Presidential Scholarship
  • Harvard Scholarships in Advanced Dental Medicine
  • School of Dental Medicine National Scholarship Fund
  • Delta Dental of Massachusetts Dean’s Scholarship in Oral Public Health and Epidemiology
  • James M. Dunning Teaching and Research Fund

The University of California, Los Angeles School of Dentistry

The UCLA School of Dentistry is a research-intensive dental school. It has students from over 25 countries and as many as 13 residency programs.

It has more than 4600 DDS alumni and 900 Post-Graduate Certificate Holders. Through its Community-Based Clinical Education, it has completed more than 13,000 procedures only in 2019-20.

UCLA School of Dentistry’s four main areas of research are:

  • Cancer Diagnostics & Therapeutics
  • Craniofacial Biology & Bioengineering
  • Infection & Inflammation
  • Health Services & Clinical Research

It conducts its academic activities through the following four divisions:

  • Regenerative and Reconstructive Sciences
  • Diagnostic and Surgical Sciences
  • Preventive and Restorative Sciences
  • Oral and Systemic Health Sciences

The school has the best residency programs of its class in the USA. It also has specific programs for international dentists and continuing education.

The University of California, San Francisco School of Dentistry: One of the best dental schools in America

The UCSF School of Dentistry was founded in 1881. It is a leading institution for oral and craniofacial health. It offers DDS programs, PhDs, post-graduate, and residency programs.

The school’s research activities include the following:

  • Stem cell research
  • Oral/head and neck cancer
  • Health disparities
  • Craniofacial biology
  • Biomaterials/Bioengineering
  • Cell and tissue biology
  • Hard tissue biology

Its Craniofacial Center treats all issues affecting the face, head, and neck.

Under the Department of Oral & Maxillofacial Surgery, it offers research in the following areas:

  • Maxillofacial trauma
  • Craniofacial surgery
  • Benign pathology
  • Malignant pathology
  • Reconstruction

The school has a place for you if you want to study temporomandibular joint disorders, bioethics, and biostatistics.

The school proudly mentions that it has ranked as the top U.S. dental school in research funding from the National Institutes of Health for more than a quarter-century.

Now that you know about the 5 best dental schools in the USA let us discuss a few things related to dental education and the profession.

How much money does a dentist make in the USA?

According to LeapScholar, a dentist earns between $117,000 and $372,000 annually in the USA. The highest salary goes to Dental Anesthesiologists, and Las Vegas is the city that pays the highest amount in the nation to its dentists.

If you are an oral and maxillofacial surgeon, you may expect to earn as much as $234,990, while your income will be close to $194,930 if you work as a public health dentist.

How long is a dental residency program in the USA?

According to The College of Dental Medicine, Columbia University, the Pediatric Dentistry Residency is 2 years, the General Practice Residency is one year, and the ​​Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery/MD Residency is 6 years long.

The residency may have an optional part in it, so find out in detail all about the program before applying for it.

Do dentists get paid during residency?

According to Mass General Brigham, which Harvard Medical School follows, the salaries of dental residents are calculated by Post-Graduate Years. Thus a dentist during their residency may receive from $71,400 to $100,00, based on their year.


Mass General Brigham. Salary Scale for Residents.

College of Dental Medicine. Postdoctoral and Residency Programs.

University of California San Francisco. Facts and History.

University of California San Francisco. Program in Craniofacial Biology.

UCLA School of Dentistry. Facts & Figures.

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