Although it is not possible to major in dentistry at the undergraduate level, pre-dental advising is available for bachelor's degree students. Graduate-level dental degrees are available at many schools, including Ohio State University, University of Florida, and University of Minnesota - Twin Cities. Because dental programs are doctoral degree programs, dentistry is not offered as an undergraduate major. Still, students should begin preparing for dental school as undergraduates. They might seek a school that offers a pre-dental advising program, or students might pursue a bachelor's degree in biology, chemistry, or another scientific field. Regardless of the major they choose, aspiring dentists should complete certain courses in the sciences, including chemistry, physics, biology, anatomy, and math.
Colleges with Dentistry Programs
To become a dentist, a student must complete a Doctor of Dental Surgery (DDS), a Doctor of Medical Dentistry (DMD), or a Doctor of Dental Medicine (DDM) program at a dental school accredited by the Commission on Dental Accreditation (CODA), which is associated with the American Dental Association (ADA). There were over 60 schools recognized by CODA as of 2015.
Ohio State University (OSU)
Located in Columbus, OSU serves over 66,000 students as of 2016. The OSU College of Dentistry offers a DDS program, which can be completed in four years. Topics of study include anatomy, pharmacy, anesthesiology, orthopedics, and oral pathology. According to the school's website, they are the fourth largest public dentistry school in the nation, and they pride themselves on offering a wide variety of clinical experiences to their students.
University of Florida
The University of Florida's College of Dentistry (COD) offers a DMD program. Students take courses in infectious diseases, pediatric dentistry, oral health management, oral pathology, oral medicine, and pharmacology. The school's COD also features a dental simulation laboratory for students of all college levels.
University of Minnesota - Twin Cities
The Twin Cities campus of the University of Minnesota offers a DDS program through its School of Dentistry. Students have access to the school's dental simulation clinic, where they can build their eye-hand coordination and dental skills while working on mannequins. The school also features an advanced simulation clinic, which uses on-screen textbooks and virtual reality technology to evaluate student performance in real time. Courses include biochemistry for dental students, psychomotor skill development, periodontology, operative dentistry, oral radiology, and endodontics.
Undergraduate dentistry majors are not available, but after completing a bachelor's degree and meeting undergraduate training requirements, individuals can enroll in graduate-level programs that provide comprehensive dental education.