Cosmetic Dentistry Schools in the U.S.

Jan 02, 2019

Cosmetic dentistry is a specialized form of dentistry one can gain knowledge in after completing a Doctor of Dental Surgery (DDS). Certain schools offer a few doctoral classes in cosmetic dentistry but no actual degree programs. Students can choose from many opportunities for post-doctoral study.

Although there are no dedicated cosmetic dentistry schools, there are schools that offer cosmetic dentistry courses. Cosmetic dentistry is a specialty that can be pursued by those who have already graduated from dental schools.

10 Schools with Cosmetic Dentistry-Related Programs

The following schools offer programs that include study in cosmetic dentistry. Tuition listed does not include additional fees.

College/University Location Institution Type Degrees Offered Tuition
University of Michigan - Ann Arbor Ann Arbor, Michigan 4-year, Public Master's, Doctoral, Graduate Certificate Year 1 $76,400, Year 2 $57,300** (2015-2016)**
University of Washington - Seattle Campus Seattle, Washington 4-year, Public Master's, Doctoral, Graduate Certificate Resident $30,000, Non-resident $39,000 (2016-2017)**
University of Southern California Los Angeles, California 4-year, Private Doctoral, Graduate Certificate Years 1-3 $87,804, Year 4 $58,536 (2016-2017)**
Boston University Boston, Massachusetts 4-year, Private Master's, Doctoral, Graduate Certificate $72,000 (2016-2017)**
University of Iowa Iowa City, Iowa 4-year, Public Doctoral Residents $42,513, Non-residents $66,533 (2016-2017)**
Nova Southeastern University Fort Lauderdale, Florida Doctoral, Graduate Certificate 4-year, Private Residents $62,350, Non-residents $62,850 (2015-2016)**
University of Illinois at Chicago Chicago, Illinois 4-year, Public Master's, Doctoral, Graduate Certificate Residents $15,890, Non-residents $28,590 (2016-2017)**
Columbia University in the City of New York New York, New York 4-year, Private Doctoral, Graduate Certificate $42,280* (2015-2016)
Tufts University Boston, Massachusetts 4-year, Private Doctoral $70,712 (2017-2018)**
University of Rochester Rochester, New York 4-year, Private Graduate Certificate $1,538/Credit Hour (2016-2017)**

Sources: *National Center for Education Statistics **School websites

School Selection Criteria

Cosmetic dentistry is a specialized field, and there aren't any schools specifically devoted to it; this is because it isn't a specialty recognized by the American Dental Association (ADA). Consider the following if you are looking to study cosmetic dentistry:

  • When looking for a dental school, aspiring cosmetic dentists should comb through the course offerings to see if there are any classes that relate to cosmetic dentistry so they can start their training early.
  • Post-doctoral opportunities vary in length and focus, so students should choose a plan that suits their career goals and academic interests.
  • Residencies in prosthodontics are available for students who want to go beyond cosmetic procedures into complex reconstructive techniques.
  • Consider available stipends and financial aid that may decrease the cost of further training after dental school.

Doctor of Dental Surgery (DDS) Programs

After earning a bachelor's degree, aspiring dentists must earn a Doctor of Dental Surgery (DDS) degree. These programs provide a combination of scientific coursework and clinical training in order to prepare students for licensure so that they can practice in the field. They include an introduction to all nine dental specialties, one of which is prosthodontics. This specialty covers the cosmetic aspects of dentistry, such as replacing missing teeth and correcting orofacial defects.

Post-Graduate Certificate Programs

After earning a DDS, aspiring prosthodontists must spend at least three years in a post-graduate prosthodontics training program. At some schools, these are called residency programs. These programs confer graduate certificates and provide the focused theoretical and clinical experience that trained dentists need in order to focus their careers on cosmetic dentistry. Students learn about implant dentistry, implant surgery and facial disorders, among other advanced topics.

Dual Certificate/Degree Programs

It is important to note that some programs offer their prosthodontic certificate programs in dual-degree formats, allowing students to simultaneously earn a research-based master's or doctoral degree. In addition to the clinical and classroom-based coursework required for the graduate certificate, students who choose one of these options may complete a master's thesis or doctoral dissertation on a specific topic related to cosmetic dentistry. In total, these programs take 4 to 7 years to complete.

Cosmetic dentistry courses are sometimes included in DDS programs, and graduates who want to specialize in the fields can find relevant programs in prosthodontic dentistry. Programs are available at four-year universities and specialized oral science schools.

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