How Much Does Dental School Cost?

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    Dentistry is an important profession that has higher than average job growth potential. Dentists have the responsibility of diagnosing problems with the mouth, and providing information and techniques for preventing such issues from developing. There is a social demand for dentistry, but the path to becoming a dentist is long and intensive. Dental school cost can be upwards of $150,000 for the four years of study required. However, this does not include the cost of an undergraduate degree, which you must first obtain before enrolling in dentistry school. There are many other costs to consider when obtaining any type of education, such as housing needs, books and materials, and the basic cost of living. These expenses will differ from person to person and should be calculated and addressed along with the cost of dental school tuition.

    Average Cost Of Dental School

    Dental school cost is variable by the institute that is offering the program. The average cost for four years of dental school is in the area of $200,000. However, the cost of advanced programs like these are often covered by scholarships and/or grants, as students cannot likely hold a job at the same time as performing these studies. These costs may include residency as well, but they certainly do not cover the $50,000 or so that is needed to first gain an undergraduate degree. Other costs that are not included in the average are application fees, book fees, and extracurricular activity expenses.

    How Much Does Dental Assistant School Cost?

    There are options other than dental school if you wish to work in a dentist’s office without being directly involved in work on the patients’ mouths. The responsibilities of a dental assistant include making the patient comfortable, performing office duties, and doing lab work such as taking x-rays. The education required to become a dental assistant lasts around one year, and is extremely affordable in comparison to dental school cost (under $5,000 in most cases). It is much easier to be accepted into dental assistant school, as the only requirement is a high school diploma. Following the completion of dental assistant school, the taking and passing of a certification exam may be required, though this requirement differs from state to state.

    How Much Does Dental Hygienist School Cost?

    There is a way to be directly involved in dental work without having to deal with the high cost of dental school.

    While a dental assistant may assist a dentist in an administrative and sometimes clinical form, they are not permitted to work on the patients’ mouths. In order to be allowed to perform actual dental examinations and light work, an associate or bachelor degree will have to be obtained in the study of dental hygiene. These programs typically last two and four years respectively. The average cost of an associate degree in dental hygiene is $5,000 or so for tuition alone, while a four-year degree will total in the area of $25,000. A dental hygienist faces stricter testing requirements after their schooling, and they will need to obtain a license before they can legally practice with a dentist. This employment path is not exactly inexpensive, but it is certainly less than dental school cost.

    How To Pay For Dental School

    Attending a post-secondary institution always means there is a price to pay. The first four (or more) years it takes to earn an undergraduate degree can easily deplete any savings that you may have for furthering your education. Dental school cost can be immense ($150,000 to $300,000 for four years), but luckily it is often paid for through scholarships and/or grants from the institution. The intense nature of dental studies makes it practically impossible to maintain a job at the same time. It is for this reason that schools offer such large incentive packages. Ideally, the school will also pay for your residential needs. Of course, it is very difficult to be accepted into but the cost of dental school should not be a huge concern if acceptance does occur. If for some reason funding is not available directly from the institution, there is the possibility of finding funding sources through government programs.

    Getting Into Dental School

    Taking care of dental school cost is not the only concern when pursuing the career.

    Applying to dental school is a very competitive process. Firstly, you must possess an undergraduate degree. Those with a degree will need to pass some standardized testing before a dentistry school will consider them. After the required tests are passed, only the most impressive candidates are likely to claim a seat in a dentistry program. The cost of dental school must then be addressed if you are one of the few to be accepted.

    Requirements For Dental School

    Even without the consideration of the high cost of dental school, the program is still difficult to get into, as the requirements are quite daunting. You will not even be considered for dental school if you have not already acquired a Bachelor’s degree from an accredited institution. However, an undergraduate degree will not guarantee you admission. Standardized (and sometimes school specific) tests will need to be studied for, taken, and passed before you apply. At this point you may apply to dental school, but you will not have a good chance of being accepted if you did not receive exemplary grades during your previous venture into post-secondary education. If you meet all of these standards and are accepted into dental school, you will then need to address the high dental school cost.

    How Long Is Dental School?

    Obtaining a dental degree is a long and expensive process. Initially, you must complete an undergraduate degree (not included in most estimates of dental school cost). This usually takes 4 years, but it could be longer if you decide to explore options while pursuing the degree.  Following the completion of this initial degree, you must pass some tests before you can be considered for dental school. You may choose to write these tests as soon as possible, or you may take some time to study and/or explore other options. Once a person has been accepted into dental school, it will usually take four years for the completion of their dental degree. In total, the time needed to become a dentist will be at least 8 years, and dental school cost will be the biggest financial consideration during this time.


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