Individuals in Missouri interested in attending dental school have few options available to them. Students may complete a bachelor's, master's, or doctoral degree program, or choose from a number of graduate-level certificates. For all programs save the bachelor's program, applicants must hold a baccalaureate degree or higher for admission. Such dental programs include practicum in addition to curriculum requirements. Because of the limited schooling options, competition for entrance into dental programs in Missouri is very stiff.
Currently, there are two accredited dental schools in Missouri. Below is an overview of each of these schools and a table comparing what they have to offer.
A.T. Still University of Health Sciences
Kirksville-based A.T. Still University of Health Sciences' Missouri School of Dentistry and Oral Health is a private, not-for-profit dental school that is accredited by the CODA. Construction of the school's 61,000-square-foot facility began in March 2012. The Doctor of Dental Medicine (DMD) curriculum is modeled after the university's Arizona School of Dentistry and Oral Health, which is accredited by the Commission on Dental Accreditation. Students can expect to spend their first two years studying at the university's Kirksville campus, followed by two more years of clinical education based in St. Louis.
University of Missouri - Kansas City
The School of Dentistry at the University of Missouri in Kansas City is the only public dental school in the state. It is accredited by the American Dental Association's Commission on Dental Accreditation and offers eight dental programs, including a Doctor of Dental Surgery (DDS) and a dual DDS/PhD program that combines research with dentistry. In addition to its degree programs in oral and craniofacial sciences, dental surgery and dental hygiene, UMKC's dental school also has graduate certificate programs in advanced education in general dentistry, endodontics, orthodontics, pediatric dentistry, periodontics and oral and maxillofacial surgery.
The 4-year DDS program is open to college graduates with a bachelor's degree and college students with 90 hours or more of college credit. Students in the dental surgery program can expect to spend the first two years completing biomedical and preclinical courses and working on a clinical team at the university's dental clinic. The clinic, with its state-of-the-art equipment, serves about 100,000 patients every year and provides care to underprivileged patients. Students begin as assistants for upper-level students, with increasing responsibility and independence every year.
The School of Dentistry receives more than 11,000 applications every year, and it only has 4,500 open seats. The more competitive applicants tend to have extensive community service experiences, a record of hands-on experience in a dental environment, strong academic records and personable interviewing skills.
All dentists in Missouri are required to be licensed, which involves completing an educational program that is accredited by the American Dental Association's Commission on Dental Accreditation (CODA). After completion of the program, graduates must pass written and clinical exams.
School Comparison: At a Glance
|School Name||School Type & Setting||Dental Degree Programs Offered||Graduate Tuition & Fees (2018-2019)*|
|A.T. Still University||4-year, private not-for-profit; remote town||Doctor of Dental Medicine||$29,166|
|University of Missouri - Kansas City||4-year, public; large city|| Bachelor of Science in Dental Hygiene,
Master of Science in Dental Hygiene Education,
Master of Science in Oral and Craniofacial Sciences,
Doctor of Dental Surgery,
Graduate Certificates in Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery, Advanced Education in Dentistry, Endodontics, Orthodontics, Pediatric Dentistry and Periodontics
|Undergraduate; $8,178 in-state
$20,207 out-of-state Graduate; $10,605 in-state
Source: *NCES College Navigator