Dentistry is a rewarding career choice. A dentist does much more than keep your teeth healthy and gleaming. They not only restore oral health to patients but can transform their lives with a healthy mouth. Colleges for orthodontists are plentiful. A top-ranked dental school will propel a future dentist’s career immediately upon graduation.

Prerequisites for Becoming an Orthodontist

To begin to practice as a certified orthodontist, you must first earn a bachelor’s degree and then go through four more years of dental school. The graduates earn a Doctor of Dental Surgery (DDS) or Doctor of Dental Medicine (DMD).

Typically, an orthodontia degree program takes around two to three years to complete. Most postgraduate orthodontist programs are designed so the student can complete the coursework and subsequent labs in two years, with an optional year of study for part-time students.

Admissions Process for Orthodontic School

After completing an undergraduate degree, orthodontia degree programs vary in their admissions process. Students can generally expect to need to complete a few basic standardized tests before they can be considered for entry. These include:

  • Graduate Record Examination for submission
  • Dental Acceptance Test (DAT)

Any personal letters of recommendation can also benefit the student.

Sample Letter Requesting Financial Assistance

Financial assistance can ease the often-expensive tuition that comes with a quality orthodontic college education.

A sample letter requesting financial assistance from the government can help you to craft a meaningful and effective letter. A proven tactic is to highlight any major successes or awards you have achieved, spell out your plans to excel in college and explain how an education will help you to give back to your country or specified industry.

You can also write to local nonprofits and community organizations to request financial assistance in your quest to further your education. A sample letter for financial assistance from a church or a local business in your community can provide a good template for your own letter. Point out how you have contributed to your community and what plans you have after graduation that may benefit the community further.

Best Undergraduate Schools for Orthodontics

Dental school classes focus on dental practice competency, oral health and professional studies on legal considerations, ethics and various categories of dental practices. During the dental program, a student is required to complete clinical practice coursework. Always check the admissions requirements well before you plan to attend in order to be prepared.

University of Pennsylvania, Penn Dental Medicine

This top-ranked dental program is one of 12 schools at this Ivy League higher education institution, offering students a wealth of opportunities for interdisciplinary study in many other professional areas. Tuition runs high at an estimated $120,000 in the first year.

University of Michigan

Often ranked in the top three for dental schools, students entering the DDS program had an average GPA of 3.63 and a DAT score of 21. It has DDS, DH, MS and certificate programs as well as an oral health sciences Ph.D. and continuing dental education.

University of California, San Francisco School of Dentistry

Founded in 1881, the UCSF School of Dentistry was the first on the West Coast. It offers prominent DDS and dental hygiene programs as well as Ph.D. and master’s degree programs in oral and craniofacial sciences for students who plan to further their education with a doctoral degree. Tuition is around $43,000 a year, and the average DAT score is 21.

Saint Louis University Center for Advanced Dental Education

This medical campus located in midtown St. Louis has four state-of-the-art treatment clinics: endodontics, orthodontics, pediatric dentistry and periodontics. The premiere dental program also has an imaging center with cone beam 3D imaging and an 18-station technique lab. The student to faculty ratio is impressive at nine to one, and tuition runs around $45,000 a year or $770 per credit hour.

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About the Author

Kimberley McGee is an award-winning journalist with 20+ years of experience writing about education, jobs, business trends and more for The New York Times, Las Vegas Review-Journal, Today’s Parent and other publications. She graduated with a B.A. in Journalism from UNLV. Her full bio and clips can be seen at www.vegaswriter.com.