8 Fast Facts About Our Nation’s 68 Dental Schools

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Whether you are interested in pursuing a career in the dental field or curious about the next generation of dental professionals, here are 8 quick facts about the 68 accredited programs in the United States.


Notable Newcomers

While some programs have been around forever, there are plenty of new ones popping up at universities across the country. Eleven schools were recently accredited by the Commission on Dental Accreditation in Texas, Missouri, Utah, North Carolina, California, New York, Maine, Florida, Illinois, and Arizona. The newest arrival is Texas Tech University, which will enroll its first class in July 2021.


In June 2022, Lincoln Memorial University and Dean Denise Terese-Koch, DDS, will welcome its first class into the College of Dental Medicine, as well as partner with CRET to build a technology Innovation Center.


Dr. Scott de Rossi, former Dean at UNC at Chapel Hill Adams School of Dentistry, will serve as Dean of the School of Dental Medicine and Oral Health at High Point University in NC, with its inaugural class beginning fall 2023.


Increasing Enrollment

 In recent years, there has been a notable increase in the number of students enrolled in predoctoral dental education programs. During the 2018-19 academic year, there were 25,381 students enrolled; in 2019-20, this number jumped to 25,807. To put this into perspective, enrollment is now at the highest level since the 1980-81 school year!


Talking Numbers

On average, the first-year cost of dental school is $55,395 for in-state residents and $72,219 for non-resident students. For public dental school programs, the average cost hovers around $41,711, while private programs amount to $75,161 on average.


International Students

American dental schools are famous across the globe, so it is no surprise that many international students consider leaving their home countries and pursuing further education here. During the 2019-20 academic year, 708 graduates of international dental schools were admitted to U.S. dental schools. Overall, 5.2 percent of all first-year dental students were non-residents of the USA.


Promising Job Placement

 According to the American Dental Association, more than 88 percent of people who graduated from dental school in 2019 were participating in dental-related activities five months after graduation.


Growing Diversity

The racial diversity of first-year dental school students has increased substantially over the last few decades. In 2005, just 34.9 percent of incoming students were non-Caucasian.  Fast forward to 2020, and people from various nationalities and heritages now make up 46 percent of first-year dental students.


Women are also joining the profession in higher numbers than ever before. While they comprised a mere 11.7 percent of predoctoral dental students in the 1979-80 school year, this number has skyrocketed to 51.6 percent during the 2019-20 academic year! These trends are likely to continue as universities pursue equity and cultural competence.


Debt Disparity

For many people who attend dental school, some amount of tuition debt is inevitable. However, the burden of debt does not affect all students equally: In 2019, Black graduates had the highest average amount of debt at $314,360. Asian American graduates experienced the lowest average debt at $225,750.


Going Forward

We hope that you have enjoyed this quick glimpse into the future of the dental industry. Visit www.richmonddental.net to learn more about professional dental and medical supplies.