Hardest Dental Schools To Get Into

In this article, we will look at 16 dental schools with the highest acceptance rates. We will also explore the growth projection of dentistry and the difficulty level of dental schools while looking at the efforts of big companies in ensuring sustainability in the dental industry. If you want to skip our detailed analysis, head straight to 5 Dental Schools With Highest Acceptance Rates.

The Global Outlook of Dentistry

The global dental market had a value of $36.32 billion in 2021 and is anticipated to witness considerable growth in the coming years. It is projected to reach USD 63.93 billion by 2029, with a compounded annual growth rate (CAGR) of 7.4% during the forecast period. This growth is expected to result in around 8,400 additional job openings in the dental field during that period. However, the market experienced a decline of -7.6% in 2020 due to the unprecedented impact of the global COVID-19 pandemic, which led to lower demand for dental products across all regions compared to pre-pandemic levels.

According to data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), dentists in the United States earned a median pay of $163,220 per year or $78.47 per hour in 2021. It is also one of the highest paying jobs in the world. The U.S. has more than 70 accredited dental schools that are responsible for preparing dentists for coming generations.

How Difficult Are Dental Schools?

Dental school is no walk in the park, and it can be just as demanding as medical school. Many students find themselves grappling with the sheer volume of studying they need to do. Not only do they have to memorize a vast amount of dental knowledge, but they also have to apply it in practical settings. One difference between medical and dental school is that dental students get into hands-on practice much earlier. Practical courses kick in within the first couple of years, piling on more stress alongside heavy coursework and challenging exams.

The second year of dental school is often considered the toughest because it serves as a preparation phase for the clinic. During this period, students can expect little free time and a whole lot of stress. To add to the difficulty, dental school acceptance rates are generally low due to the limited number of dental schools. Prospective students need to demonstrate exceptional grades, solid university credentials, and acceptable scores on the Dental Admission Test (DAT) to even stand a chance.

It is worth noting that the average Dental Admission Test (DAT) score for dental students in 2020 was 20.2, and the average GPA was 3.55. Moreover, while DAT is a prerequisite for almost all dental schools across the US, the Workman School of Dental Medicine is one of the few dental schools that do not require the DAT or any degrees. There are no application or supplemental fees involved either.

The competitiveness of dental schools can also be judged from the fact that Tufts Dental School’s acceptance rate is approximately 5% while the NYU College of Dentistry’s acceptance rate is 11%, which are quite low, given that these are not even among the top 10 dental schools in the world.

Data from the American Dental Education Association (ADEA) reveals that in the year 2000, approximately 54.5 % of dental school applicants were accepted and enrolled in a dental school. As of 2019, the acceptance rate had only slightly increased to 55.9%.

Sustainability in Dentistry: Role of the Big Names

In the midst of the challenges faced by dental school students and the limited acceptance rates, companies like Dentsply Sirona Inc (NASDAQ:XRAY), Henry Schein, Inc (NASDAQ:HSIC), and Patterson Companies, Inc (NASDAQ:PDCO) are actively promoting sustainability.

Dentsply Sirona Inc (NASDAQ:XRAY) has recently launched a free Sustainability in Dentistry Resource Kit, providing dental professionals with valuable resources to understand and implement sustainable practices in their practices and labs. Additionally, Dentsply Sirona Inc (NASDAQ:XRAY) also recently participated in the virtual Summit on Sustainability in Dentistry, organized by the FDI World Dental Federation on World Environment Day. The company’s sustainability efforts have also been recognized through its inclusion in Newsweek’s rankings of America’s Most Responsible Companies of 2023.

In terms of corporate social responsibility, Dentsply Sirona Inc (NASDAQ:XRAY) has partnered with Smile Train to support children with clefts. Through equipment donations, fundraising activities, and financial contributions, they have helped provide access to high-quality cleft care. This collaboration has funded over 730 cleft surgeries, and Dentsply Sirona Inc (NASDAQ:XRAY)’s efforts have been acknowledged through its ranking on Newsweek’s list.

Dentsply Sirona Inc (NASDAQ:XRAY)’s dedication to sustainability extends to its educational initiatives. They have launched a comprehensive Sustainability Educational Curriculum, offering free online courses through the Dentsply Sirona Academy. These courses address the knowledge gap in dentists’ understanding of sustainability and provide practical guidance on implementing sustainable practices.

On the other hand, Henry Schein, Inc (NASDAQ:HSIC) has launched the Practice Green global initiative to encourage healthcare practitioners to adopt sustainable practices for a healthier planet. The program provides eco-friendly solutions and support to dental and medical customers in the U.S. and Canada, with plans for expansion.

Apart from their sustainability efforts, Henry Schein, Inc (NASDAQ:HSIC) has announced the acquisition of S.I.N which is a leading dental implant company in Brazil, which will enable the entry of Henry Schein, Inc. (NASDAQ:HSIC) into the Brazilian implant market and complement their dental consumables and equipment business. The acquisition is expected to accelerate S.I.N.’s growth in Brazil and expand its presence in other markets.

Patterson Dental, which is a division of Patterson Companies, Inc. (NASDAQ:PDCO), has also not been inactive with these efforts. By implementing SAP Field Service Management, a cloud-based solution, the company has been able to optimize routing and reduce mileage, resulting in a 5% reduction in miles traveled per day.

This has led to the saving of 40 metric tons of carbon emissions per year, contributing to a more sustainable environment. Moreover, the solution has helped Patterson Companies, Inc (NASDAQ:PDCO) streamline field service management processes, saving time for technicians and improving customer satisfaction.

Through improved coordination and scheduling, the company has achieved savings of two to five minutes per job for coordinators which has further allowed them to serve more customers. Patterson Companies, Inc (NASDAQ:PDCO) is one of the largest dental companies in the world.

You can also check out our lists of colleges with the highest and lowest acceptance rates here and here, respectively. With that said, let’s head over to the list of dental schools with highest acceptance rates.

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To rank the dental schools with highest acceptance rates, we have relied upon data from the Bemo Academic Consulting Acceptance Rates in 2023. We have made every effort to ensure that the information is up-to-date and accurate. We have also compared the acceptance rates in 2023 from those of 2019 to watch out for a trend in acceptance rates. The list is in ascending order.

16.Indiana University School of Dentistry

Acceptance Rate: 8.58%

In 2022, IU Bloomington students accepted to at least one dental school had an average cumulative GPA of 3.75. Among the matriculants to the IU School of Dentistry in the same year, the average cumulative undergraduate GPA was slightly lower at 3.62. Generally, maintaining an average cumulative GPA of 3.6 or higher is considered a good benchmark for admission. This relatively lower benchmark makes it one of the easiest dental schools to get into. Compared to the rankings of acceptance rates for dental schools in 2019, there is not much of a difference, as in 2019, the acceptance rate for this school stood at 8.4%.

15. University of Nebraska Medical Center College of Dentistry

Acceptance Rate: 8.81%

The University of Nebraska Dental School has an average GPA requirement of 3.67 for admission. Prospective students are also expected to achieve a DAT Academic Average score of 20.1, with a cumulative GPA of 3.67 and a science GPA of 3.58. The school is highly regarded, known for its excellent dental education programs and rigorous academic standards. It provides comprehensive training in various dental specialties and offers a strong foundation for aspiring dentists. Based on our report on Dental Schools With Highest Acceptance Rates in 2019, the acceptance rate for this school was substantially lower at 7.2% back in 2019.

14. The University of Iowa College of Dentistry & Dental Clinics

Acceptance Rate: 9.3%

The University of Iowa College of Dentistry & Dental Clinics is highly regarded in the field of dentistry. As of 2021, the college had a strong in-state enrollment of 54.74%, indicating its popularity among local students. Moreover, the out-of-state enrollment stood at 3.80%, reflecting the college’s reputation beyond its immediate region. There is an insignificant increase of 0.1% in the acceptance rate from 2019, when it stood at 9.2%.

13. LSU Health Sciences Center School of Dentistry

Acceptance Rate: 9.33%

The LSU Health Sciences Center School of Dentistry had an in-state enrollment of 35.40% and an out-of-state enrollment of 3.08%. With a DAT academic average of 21.5 and cumulative GPA of 3.64 (science GPA: 3.55), it offers a solid academic program. It is considered one of the easier dental schools to gain admission to, making it highly attractive for aspiring dentists.

12. University of Detroit Mercy School of Dentistry

Acceptance Rate: 9.4%

The University of Detroit Mercy School of Dentistry is a highly esteemed institution for its quality dental education. It offers a comprehensive curriculum and thus, has a strong reputation in the field. In 2019, the acceptance rate was substantially low at 8.2%.

11. University of Puerto Rico School of Dental Medicine

Acceptance Rate: 10%

While the School of Dental Medicine of the University of Puerto Rico does require completion of an additional subject of Spanish, it remains accessible. As a prominent academic institution, it serves as a leading center for doctoral and post-doctoral dental education in Puerto Rico, the Caribbean, and Latin America. In 2019, the acceptance rate was 11.7%; however, it has since decreased to 10%, which reflects the relatively competitive nature of admission to the program.

10. University of Washington School of Dentistry

Acceptance Rate: 10.08%

The University of Washington School of Dentistry, the sole dental school in Washington, is highly prestigious. In 2021, it had a 25.67% in-state enrollment and a 3.36% out-of-state enrollment. It is one of the best dental schools with highest acceptance rates.

9. University of Minnesota School of Dentistry

Acceptance Rate: 10.21%

The acceptance rate for University of Minnesota School of Dentistry is also observed to have increased from 9.4% in 2019 to 10.21%. The school offers six ADA recognized specialties such as Endodontics, Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery and Pediatrics. It is also one of the best and easiest dental schools to get into.

8. University of Utah School of Dentistry

Acceptance Rate: 10.44%

The acceptance rate for this school stood at 11% which has now decreased by a very low difference at 10.44%. With a focus on continual improvement, the school offers competitive educational and training programs. By integrating research with clinical experience, it provides students with an enhanced learning environment. The school provides opportunities for graduate degrees and residency programs, further enriching the educational experience for aspiring dentists.

7. New York University College of Dentistry

Acceptance Rate: 11%

The NYU School of Dentistry is renowned as one of the most prestigious universities globally that receives more than 4000 annual applications for just 379 available seats. It has an exceptional research program, recognized for its high activity and impact. With nearly 1,900 students enrolled in various pre- and postdoctoral programs, the college provides a comprehensive educational experience. The acceptance rate for NYU College of Dentistry has increased from 9% in 2019 to 11% in 2023.

6. Dental College of Georgia at Augusta University

Acceptance Rate: 11.3%

Since its establishment in 1969, the college has successfully graduated approximately 2,500 dentists. Augusta University prioritizes early patient exposure in dental education, allowing students to begin treating cases as early as their sophomore year. The acceptance rate for this college has increased from 9.6% in 2019 to 11.3% in 2023.

Click here to read about the 5 Dental Schools With The Highest Acceptance Rates.

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Disclosure: None. 16 Dental Schools With The Highest Acceptance Rates is originally published on Insider Monkey.