Dental Schools in Tennessee with Degree Overviews

There are two schools in Tennessee that offer dental programs. Read an overview of these schools' programs, requirements and tuition info to find out which school is the right one for you.

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Essential Information

In the state of Tennessee there is one private not-for-profit college and one public university offering dentistry education. One option is a Doctor of Dental Surgery program, which requires four years of study and combines lectures, labs and clinical experiences. Dual study options are available, including one that combines a Ph.D. with Doctor of Dental Science degree.

Master's degree programs in pediatrics or endodontic dentistry are also available and may be combined with a specialized certificate. Stand-alone professional certificate programs, which take approximately two years of study, are also available in such specialties as oral and maxillofacial surgery and endodontics. Completing a residency is another option for dentistry training.


Meharry Medical College

This college is located in Nashville and enrolls approximately 772 students, all of whom are graduate students. The school offers a Doctor of Dental Surgery (D.D.S.) program through its School of Dentistry. During the first two years of study, students in this 4-year program attend lectures and complete lab work in basic science and pre-clinical dental sciences. During the final two years of study, students gain hands-on training in dentistry in a variety of areas. A dual Doctor of Philosophy/Doctor of Dental Science program is also offered.

The college also offers residency programs in general dentistry and oral and maxillofacial surgery. The general dentistry program instruction occurs in clinics and private offices. Topics covered in this program include anesthesia, implant dentistry and oral surgery. Students also receive instruction in the dental specialties. The oral and maxillofacial surgery program requires 48 months of study.

The University of Tennessee

The University of Tennessee is located in Knoxville. UT's College of Dentistry is the oldest dental college in the South. It offers a Doctor of Dental Surgery program that requires four years of study. During their first two years in the program, students complete coursework in the basic and biomedical sciences, including microbiology, pharmacology and histology; the second two years consist of clinical work.

The school also offers a 1-year Advanced Education in General Dentistry Program in conjunction with the Lutheran Medical Center of Dental Education in Brooklyn, NY. This program provides D.D.S. holders with extended diagnostic and treatment skills in fields such as anesthesia, endodontics and implantology. An optional second year of the program is also offered to interested students.

Students may also complete a residency in oral and maxillofacial surgery leading to a Certificate of Proficiency. The first year of this 4-year program includes coursework in head and neck anatomy, radiography and physical diagnosis. The final three years in the program include clinical rotations. The school also offers a 6-year Doctor of Medicine program in this field to interested students.

A Certificate of Proficiency and a Master of Science in Pediatric Dentistry are also available. The former requires 24 months and the latter 36 months of study. Students in these programs learn about child growth and development, genetics, nutrition and pediatric dental lab techniques.

Dual Master of Dental Science and Certificate of Proficiency programs are offered in the fields of orthodontics, prosthodontics and periodontology. The orthodontics program requires 34 months of study and includes coursework in topics such as the history of orthodontics, biostatistics and craniofacial anomalies. The prosthodontics program requires 36 months of study and focuses on examining, diagnosing and reconstructing oral components. The periodontology program requires 36 months of study and includes coursework in pharmacology, oral pathology and research methodology.

The school also offers a Certificate of Proficiency in Endodontics that requires two years of study. Classes in this program cover topics in clinical endodontic practice and implant dentistry. A Master of Dental Science in Endodontics is also available. This degree program requires three years of study and includes the same two years of coursework included in the certificate program with the addition of a thesis.

Career Requirements

Dentists in Tennessee must be licensed through the Board of Dentistry in order to practice in the state. To earn licensure as a dentist, an individual must graduate from a dental program accredited by the Commission on Dental Accreditation (CODA) of the American Dental Association and pass an exam. The two profiled schools offer CODA-accredited programs.

School Information: At a Glance

School Name School Type & Setting Dental Programs Offered Graduate Tuition & Fees (2015-2016)
Meharry Medical College 4-year, private not-for-profit; large city Doctor of Dental Surgery,
Doctor of Philosophy/Doctor of Dental Science,
Residency programs in general dentistry and oral and maxillofacial surgery
$28,515*
The University of Tennessee 4-year, public; midsize city Doctor of Dental Surgery,
Advanced Education in General Dentistry Program,
Certificate of Proficiency in Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery,
Certificate of Proficiency or Master of Science in Pediatric Dentistry,
Certificate of Proficiency or Master of Dental Science in Endodontics,
Dual Master of Dental Science/Certificate of Proficiency in Orthodontics, Prosthodontics or Periodontology
$12,356 for in-state students;
$30,544 for out-of-state students*

Source: *College Navigator, National Center for Education Statistics

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