A Review Of The 10 Best Dental Schools For The Year 2019

best dental schools

The Dental industry has a variety of roles beside that of an actual dentist for anyone that desires to explore this industry in these roles. Whether you do not want to, or simply cannot, dedicate the incredible amount of time it takes to achieve the credentials of being a Dentist, other careers in the field are much less time consuming to become eligible for. These careers include that of dental hygienists, dental assistants, or dental technicians, and you can train for any of them at the best dental schools.

Although these roles seem related in concept, they are significantly different from one another. But regardless of where your interests lie, dentist or other role, they all require educational credentials and licensing in order to begin your career. In this article we researched these various roles and requirements to compare and contrast the best dental schools in the field.

Dental School FAQ

Dental School FAQ

1. What Does a Dentist Do?

Dentists diagnose, treat, and work with their patients to maintain oral health ( i.e. the mouth, teeth, gums, and jaw.) But dentists perform a number of different duties when caring for a patient's’ teeth. They use a variety of equipment to clean, fix, observe, alter, and  maintain the human mouth.  Dentists can also prescribe various medicines like antibiotics to mild painkillers and build various models and correctional pieces as well as recommend care and cleaning routines.

Orthodontists and other specialists work based on the needs of their patients. Generally Dentists spend a tremendous amount of time preparing for their career.

2. What Are Some Careers Related to Dentists?

There are several areas that dentists can specialize in and other jobs that take place in the same work environment. These jobs include Dental Assistants, Dental Hygienists, Dental Technicians, and Receptionists. Each role is significantly different, not only based on respective duties, but in educational requirements and certifications, and salary.

3. What Does a Dental Assistant Do?

A dental assistant accompanies dentists while they work and performs some basic patient care. But they do not perform the same tasks as dental hygienists. Dental assistants have to perform laboratory and office duties as well. This includes running tests and delivering results, filing paperwork for patients, keeping track of scheduled patients and prepping for various things like teeth cleanings, minor dental work, scanning teeth for braces and retainers.

There are some states that require you to graduate from a degree or certification program, while other states do not require a formal education but rather on-the-job training.

4. What Does a Dental Hygienist Do?

A dental hygienist will most commonly work under the supervision of a licensed dentist, to provide preventative dental care.They generally spend extensive amounts of time with their patients performing deep cleanings, thoroughly examining the mouth and teeth, and providing personalized suggestions for each patient's dental hygiene.

They suggest toothpastes, mouthwash, and tooth brushes to provide unique hygiene routines based on their examinations. To become a dental hygienist you must earn an associate degree from an accredited dental hygiene educational program. A state license is also required and requirements differ by state.

5. What Does a Dental Technician Do?

Dental Technicians develop and manufacture prosthetics and other oral appliances based on the specifications made by dentists. This does not require any form of patient care, as it does not directly require contact with patients to perform their job.  Much like other forms of creative job positions, you would begin this path as an ‘apprentice’ to laboratory professionals and learn through on-the-job training and ever more challenging tasks and projects.

6. What Is the Average Salary of Each Role?

Dental Assistants earn a median salary of approximately $35,980. (2015*)
Dental Hygienists earn a median salary of approximately $72,000 a year. (2015*)
Dental Technicians earn a salary of approximately $37,000 a year. (2015*)

How We Reviewed 10 of the Best Dental Schools

For our best dental schools review we compared 10 of the top dental colleges in the United States. For these reviews we compare general tuition costs, acceptance rates, those ranked highly for their dental programs, each one's general features, and the percent of U.S. Dental Studies graduates overall each year.

General Tuition Costs

Tuition for the listed and reviewed dental colleges ranges between approximately $10,000 - $35,000 per year.

What We Reviewed

  • University of Southern California
  • New York University
  • University of Michigan
  • Vista College El Paso
  • University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill
  • Utah College of Dental Hygiene
  • University of the Pacific
  • Herzing University
  • Ohio State University
  • Carrington College - Boise

University of Southern California


Features

USC is a massive, highly rated, private four-year college located in Los Angeles, California. It is well known for a large number of incredibly successful programs that yield high numbers of graduates. Their Dental Hygiene program sees approximately 68 graduates on average each year. They accept a number of student loan programs, have a 17% acceptance rate, and a fairly reasonable application fee of $80.

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Pros

  • Large college with a vast selection of majors
  • 17% acceptance rate
  • The average graduate has the potential to make approximately $35k annually

  Cons

  • Private colleges are harder to be accepted to
  • On the more expensive end of average tuition costs
  • Cost of living in the LA area is high

Cost of Tuition


Average tuition cost for 4-year programs at SCU are approximately $32,000. For specific Dental Hygiene programs and their exact tuition costs visit the Southern California University official website.

New York University


Features

NYU is another large private four-year institution with an enrollment rate of about 24,000 undergraduate students. The campus is located in Manhattan, New York in the city area of New York. They have a very competitive acceptance rate of 32%. On average they see 84% graduating students, and their alumni go on to make starting salaries of around $46,000. Application fees are a fairly reasonable $80 and they accept various forms of student loans, financial aid, and grant or scholarships.

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Pros

  • Acceptance rate of 32%
  • Offers a large selection  of majors
  • Dental Hygiene program sees an average of 76 graduates annually

  Cons

  • Private colleges are harder to be accepted to
  • Extremely large campus and student population
  • Athletic programs are sub-par

Cost of Tuition


Average tuition cost for 4-year programs at NYU are approximately $35,000 a year. For specific Dental Hygiene programs and their exact tuition costs visit the New York University official website.

University of Michigan - Ann Arbor


Features

The University of Michigan is a highly rated public four-year college that has a large enrollment average of approximately 28,000 undergraduate students annually. Located in Ann Arbor, in the Detroit area, they have a fairly competitive acceptance rate of 29% and offer a large variety of majors with exceptional grade averages. They have a slightly cheaper application fee of $75 and also offer a tuition cost that is closest to the national average of approximately $15.5,000 a year. Graduates go on to make starting salaries of around $49,000 annually.

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Pros

  • More affordable tuition and application costs
  • Large institution with exceptional program results
  • High acceptance rate as a public institution

  Cons

  • Requires higher SAT/ACT scores for entry
  • Although it is a public college it is still more exclusive than average

Cost of Tuition


Average tuition cost for four-year programs at UMAA are approximately $16,000 a year. For specific Dental Hygiene programs and their exact tuition costs visit the Southern California University official website.

Vista College El Paso


Features

The more modest VCEP is a two-year trade school located in El Paso, Texas. They have no application fees and offer a 100% acceptance rate. Their Dental Assistant program sees an average of 221 graduates annually.

But they offer an immense amount of accelerated career training as well provide their students with as many tools as possible to achieve the careers they truly want to pursue. Instructors are experienced in the career fields they prepare their students for and offer flexible class schedules an devening/night programs. The school accepts a variety of student loans. Their graduates go on to make an average starting salary of approximately $20,000 a year.

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Pros

  • No application fees and a 1000% acceptance rate
  • Flexible class schedules and hands on career training
  • Sees an 84% annual graduation rate

  Cons

  • Overall institutional performance is slightly lower
  • Most programs are based heavily in hands-on career training
  • Only offers two-year programs

Cost of Tuition


Average tuition cost for 2-year programs at VC El Paso are approximately $16,000 a year. For specific Dental Assistant programs and their exact tuition costs visit the Vista College El Paso official website.

University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill


Features

UNC is a large four-year public institution with an impressive enrollment of approximately 18,00 undergraduate students annually. Their Dental Hygiene programs see an average of approximately 38 graduates a year from their overall annual graduation rate of 91%. They have a fairly high priced application fee of $85, despite their low average starting salary of around $39,700 a year.

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Pros

  • Very low tuition costs
  • Competitive acceptance rate
  • Public institutions are generally easier to be accepted to

  Cons

  • Expensive application fee compared to tuition costs
  • Lower average number of dental hygiene graduates
  • Not as diverse as other similar colleges

Cost of Tuition


Average tuition cost for four-year programs at UNCCH are approximately $10,000 a year. For specific Dental Hygiene programs and their exact tuition costs visit the University of North Carolina official website.

Utah College of Dental Hygiene


Features

Unlike the other colleges in this best dental schools review list, Utah College of Dental Hygiene is a small but charming four-year, for-profit school located in Orem, Utah in the Salt Lake City area.  It only sees an enrollment of approximately 118 undergraduate students each year.  Dental hygiene is the only major this school offers, and so far 100% of its students have graduated annually.

This program is approved and therefore accredited by the Commission on Dental Accreditation(CODA) which is recognized by the United States Department of Education. They offer a selection of different financial aid program for those who qualify.

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Pros

  • UCDH is dedicated to Dental Hygiene
  • Fully accredited and sees a 100% graduation rate

  Cons

  • You must apply/inquire to determine tuition costs
  • Have only graduated approximately 720 students so far
  • Enrollment is incredibly small and acceptance is very limited

Cost of Tuition


Average tuition cost for the 4-year programs at UCDH are unavailable to the general public. But you can apply/inquire about the costs of their Dental Hygiene program by visiting the Utah College of Dental Hygiene official website.

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University of the Pacific


Features

University of the Pacific is a small private college located in the similarly sized town of Stockton, California. Their average undergraduate enrollment is roughly 3,400 students annually. Their acceptance is a competitive rate of 66%. This highly rated school offers their graduate student a potential starting salary of around an average $51,500 a year. Their Dental Hygiene program sees an average of about 31 graduates a year out of their overall 68% of graduates. They have surprisingly cheap application fees of $35.

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Pros

  • Offers a much higher chance of acceptance than most private schools
  • Offers evening degree programs
  • Most graduates feel confident in their ability to find a career after graduation

  Cons

  • Tuition is expensive
  • Athletic division does not include football
  • Further from major cities like Los Angeles, and San Francisco.

Cost of Tuition


Average tuition cost for 4-year programs at UP are approximately $33,700 a year. For specific Dental Hygiene programs and their exact tuition costs visit the University of the Pacific official website.

Herzing University


Features

Herzing University is another small, four-year private institution with a limited amount of majors that only sees an average enrollment of around 166 undergraduate students annually. But their acceptance rate is 100%. Dental Assisting is actually one of their most popular majors and the also offer a Dental Hygiene program. They have no application fee and their average tuition cost is approximately $16,600 a year.

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Pros

  • No application fees
  • Offers programs in both Dental Hygiene and Assisting
  • Tuition is reasonable

  Cons

  • They offer very limited programs/majors
  • Not  a lot of information available to the general public on their programs and admission requirements

Cost of Tuition


Average tuition cost for four-year programs at HU are approximately $16,000 a year. For specific Dental Hygiene and Dental Assisting programs and their exact tuition costs visit the Herzing University official website.

Ohio State University


Features

Ohio State University is a highly rated public 4-year college with a large enrollment of around 42,000 undergraduate students annually. Acceptance is fairly competitive at 54% in the state of Ohio. The campus is located in Columbus, Ohio and see an average of 84% graduating students. They offer a large range of majors, but for the purpose of this review of the best dental schools, their Dental Hygiene program sees 38 of those graduates with an average potential starting salary of around $36,000 a year..

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Pros

  • Fair acceptance rate of 54%
  • Affordable tuition based on national average
  • Public colleges are generally easier to be accepted to

  Cons

  • Dental Hygiene program does not see many graduates
  • OSU does not offer evening degree programs

Cost of Tuition


Average tuition cost for four-year programs at OSU are approximately $17,000 a year. For specific Dental Hygiene programs and their exact tuition costs visit the Ohio State University official website.

Carrington College - Boise


Features

Carrington College - Boise is an average 2-year for-profit trade school in Boise, Idaho. This fairly small institution sees an average of around just under 400 undergraduates a year. Dental Assisting and Dental Hygiene is among their most popular majors and together they see about 66 graduates of their 54% average of graduates a year. They have no application fees and potential for a starting salary of around $24,800 a year.

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Pros

  • No application fees
  • Popular dental Assisting and Dental Hygiene programs
  • Offers a large selection of majors

  Cons

  • CCB overall preforms averagely at best
  • Graduation rate is 50%
  • Only offers two-year programs

Cost of Tuition


Average tuition cost for 2-year programs at CCB are approximately $27,000 a year. For specific Dental Hygiene and Dental Assisting programs and their exact tuition costs for the Boise campus visit the Carrington College official website.


The Verdict


In the terms we discussed for our reviews in this list of best dental schools, we have reviewed and compared ten of the top colleges that offer dental programs. From our collective research, the best dental school that offers students interested in the other aspects of dentistry the most bang for their buck, the most overall graduates each year, and opportunities for graduates, is the University of Michigan - Ann Arbor.

Not only do graduates have the potential to make what they paid for their education in a year, they have a competitive acceptance rate and the ability to pursue full four-year programs for Dental Hygiene in one place, for a reasonable average tuition cost of about $28,000 a year. The University of Michigan - Ann Arbor is the best of this list of top ten best dental schools in the United States.

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