Please see our 2011 Best Dental School Rankings
Dental professionals will undoubtedly say that it is improper and unfair to rank dental schools. We agree, it is not the best idea to provide our readers dental school rankings because each school provides similar education and each school has unique characteristics. For this reason, this list remains debatable, however, our main intent is to provide a general road map of which schools are leaders in their small niches, and why they are unique. This ranking of the Top 10 Best Dental Schools involves the amalgamation of multiple metrics and rankings from media sources as well as other sources and reports. Our primary intelligence is our dental student and faculty insiders at dental schools across the United States and Canada. All dental schools in the US and Canada are excellent, and the reader should note that that all dental students eventually graduate with equivalent DDS or DMD degrees.
Top 10 Best Dental Schools in the nations of US/Canada as of 2008
1. University of Maryland at Baltimore (UMB), Baltimore College of Dental Surgery
2. Harvard University, School of Dental Medicine
Harvard Dental is the first ever university-based and university-affiliated dental school in North America. Before Harvard Dental came along, dental schools and the field of dentistry itself was not recognized as an important sub-specialty of medicine. The legacy of this school in this regard cannot be overlooked. Harvard is a world-class educational institution overall - leading most rankings across the world in broad categories. Harvard's School of Dental Medicine is a dental school with a strong research backbone and this school has obtained an excellent legacy for discoveries within its walls. Harvard leads in integrating new discoveries from the laboratory to transforming such discoveries into a solid curriculum offered to their students. While research is it's strength, clinical training is also keeping pace. Minor negative points are that Harvard Dental's clinics are somewhat problematic for patients in terms of continuing care and that it ranks as the 10th most expensive dental school.
3. The University of Texas Health Science Center at San Antonio (UTHSCSA) Dental School
A solid foundation and a great mix of professors. A cooperative atmosphere contributes strongly to this dental school's excellence. Junior and senior off-campus clinical rotations enhance the students' exposure to the clinical world of dentistry. UTHSCSA Dental offers unique 'selectives' that allow their students to excel in a field that they choose. These selectives include courses such as molar endodontics, introductory orthodontics, in-depth financial planning, periodontal flap surgery, and even enteric sedation. Excellent training, and in-depth exposure to advanced aspects of dentistry are sure-fire ways to have a dental school stand above the rest of the crowd.
4. University of North Carolina, School of Dentistry
Strong education, strong research, and a strong sense of service to the community. This dental school is one of the top dental schools in the nation due to its strong performance across most benchmarks. As North Carolina's only dental school, a lack of patients for students doesn't become an issue, and UNC Dental's lucky students have a fantastic clinical experience. Upperclassmen are known to assist fresh faces as they wind through all the hurdles a dental school can throw at a new student. Camaraderie, curriculum, research opportunities, and limitless patients make for a great experience at UNC.
5. University of Michigan, School of Dentistry
The first dental school in history to be loosely associated with a university, this school helped to incorporate dentistry as a true profession. The main reason this school is a top-tier institution is because of an excellent and solid education, with good reviews from many media sources and reports, and a comparatively affordable tuition. Students report overall high levels of satisfaction. Great faculty and dynamics (as reported by students) result in this school being a Top 10 choice! The fact that this school offers separate cubicles for senior students and the Sindecuse Museum of Dentistry located within the dental school are adjunct reasons that a prospective student may consider in their search for a dental school. Although unrelated to the ranking, it is interesting to note that the museum is one of only a handful of dental museums across the world, with over 10,000 exhibits.
6. The University of Toronto, The Faculty of Dentistry
The premier research center for dentistry in Canada and well recognized internationally, UofT Dental scores strong among dental schools in North America. Only top-tier students are accepted, as admission averages to this dental school are extremely competitive, rivaling institutions such as Harvard. A multidisciplinary approach is applied at this institution, resulting in extremely rigorous education. The program offers its students many off-campus opportunities for patient treatment as well. This large, well-endowed dental school, with a legacy in Canada that can't be beat is as a result, Canada's best, and our Top 6th dental school.
7. University of Pennsylvania, School of Dental Medicine (UPenn)
A nationally high ranking school with impressive rates of funding from the NIH, UPenn Dental scores in the Top 10 with its curriculum strongly integrated with medicine and an added interdisciplinary approach. Incoming students into UPenn Dental can expect a rigorous educational experience in both clinical and biomedical sciences. UPenn also boasts a new clinical facility that opened in 2002 - combined with a decent patient population - provides an enjoyable clinical experience for UPenn dental students. On the downside, a relatively larger class size, and dreary dungeon-like classrooms are still a mainstay at this institution.
8. McGill University, Faculty of Dentistry
New facilities and an impressive reputation propels this dental school well above the average dental institution. A diverse student population, along with a strong clinical background gives students a unique experience. McGill University's Faculty of Dentistry is one of a handful of dental schools embedded within a hospital setting. Students in 3rd and 4th years spend time in the hospital dental clinic which provides an added benefit of treating medically compromised patients. Students also rotate through other disciplines within the hospital as well. Overall, this lends McGill graduates a more confident 'leg-up' over other dental graduates. As an aside, Montreal is a city known within Canada as a "party city" and McGill dental students have a reputation that does not disappoint. Interestingly and unrelated to the ranking, it's worthy to note for our readers that our insiders tell us that McGill dental students are (coincidentally?) a good looking bunch.
9. University of Washington, School of Dentistry
This excellent dental school ranks #4 in terms of funding from NIDCR. Pass rates and average scores (although these numbers are not released) consistently show that NBDE Part I and II test takers from this school are among the highest scoring within the country. Excellent training perhaps? WREB passing rates (98.2%) for graduates simply solidifies what all of the other benchmarks also scream: "We teach our students exactly what they need to know!" A diverse student population, and a choice of advanced electives for students in their junior and senior years contributes to the strong academic environment. Students also report a higher level of satisfaction.
10. Columbia University, College of Dental Medicine
This dental school, located in exciting New York City, is an excellent choice for those seeking dual degrees. Columbia offers both the DDS/MPH and the DDS/MBA. A total of five dual degrees are offered at this college. Location, degrees offered, and students' experience enriched with advanced and unique subjects lends Columbia an environment that's inviting for their student population. Columbia is an expensive dental school though, ranking as the 8th most expensive dental school. With a strong reputation and excellent student life, Columbia rounds off the Top 10 List of the Best Dental Schools for 2008.
ATTENTION: Readers should note that that these rankings are simply a "road map" to what top-tier dental schools are able to offer to their students. Essentially, this ranking list simply outlines the unique characteristics of each of these schools. ALL US/CANADIAN DENTAL SCHOOLS ARE EXCELLENT INSTITUTIONS PROVIDING SUPERIOR AND ACCREDITED DENTAL EDUCATION. We suggest that dental students consider all aspects of a dental school including, but not limited to cost of attendance, safety of location, and availability of patients before selecting their final choice. Cost of attendance is in our opinion what the astute dental applicant would consider as their primary determinant in applying for and agreeing to attend any given dental school.