Once you graduate from college, prepare for another four years of dental school if you plan on earning a D.D.S. or D.M.D. The American Dental Association lists preferred dental schools for every state. These schools were selected by the ADA using data examining academics and graduate surveys to help you gauge the hallmarks of top dental schools.

Top California Schools

The ADA's "Survey of Dental Education" marks University of California San Francisco and Los Angeles as top dental schools for earning the four-year Doctor of Dental Surgery or D.D.S. Both schools are known for their world-famous faculty, high-quality educational programs and student research opportunities that can lead to publishing. Also mentioned is Loma Linda University School of Dentistry, part of the the world's largest network of Protestant healthcare educational programs. This school is based on the Seventh-Day Adventist faith and offers a four-year D.D.S., as well as advanced specialty courses, like the four-year oral and maxillofacial surgery certificate and the 36-month prosthodontics certificate.

Top East Coast Schools

Many prestigious east coast dental schools appear in the ADA's survey. Harvard University and Tufts University make the survey for multiple reasons that include outstanding Doctor of Dental Medicine or D.M.D. programs. Both dental schools promote the understanding of basic human disease and provide students with state-of-the-art medical centers as an extension of the classroom. These top dentistry schools offer the D.M.D. in a logical sequence that develops concepts and skill sets at simpler levels that gradually advance to more complex procedures.

Top Midwest Schools

Marquette University in Wisconsin and the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor are included in the ADA survey and stand out as top schools for dentistry in the midwest. With lower tuition costs than some of the east coast schools, these universities maintain a high quality of academics, with exceptional instructors who provide a patient-centered clinical model in their curricula. Marquette and Michigan offer various programs that include post-graduate degrees and certificates in areas of dental medicine, such as pediatric dentistry.

Top Southern Schools

The University of Florida and Georgia Regents University Augusta make the ADA survey with their D.M.D. programs and opportunities for residency. These schools present curricula with advanced educational training in dentistry and in-depth training of the clinical and biological sciences applicable to the field. Research opportunities are also available for students seeking specialty certifications. Georgia Regents students may conduct research at The Center for Craniofacial and Related Research, while University of Florida students conduct research at the University of Florida’s Health Science Center.

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