5 Best Dental Schools in California

Best Dental Schools In California – Overview

Deciding to become a dentist is the first step towards achieving your career goals while deciding which dental school is the best is the second step. It takes around eight years of education. You will need to acquire a bachelor’s degree in any field to begin with.

Next, you will need to get a Doctor of Dental Surgery (DDS) or a Doctor of Medicine in Dentistry (DMD) degree. You will also need to pass a few state and national examinations. For this, you will need to have a strong foundation.

A top-ranking dental school in California will help you to equip yourself as a dental student with the right knowledge, skills, and expertise. More than 60 universities in the United States offer advanced courses in dentistry, so make sure to choose the right one.

5 Best Dental Schools In California

The average annual salary for dentists in California is around US$ 180,830, with a median salary between US$ 171,458 to US$ 227,179. However, the specific salary of a dentist in California is determined by several factors, such as education, certifications, years of experience, and additional skills.

Here are the top 5 best dental schools in California for 2022:

Best Dental Schools In California

5 Best Dental Schools In California

1 – University of California – San Francisco (UCSF School of Dentistry)

The University of California, San Francisco School of Dentistry is the oldest dental school in the western US. It is also the only dental school affiliated with a major teaching hospital.

The UCSF dentistry students attend lectures at the UCSF Medical Center. In addition, they receive advanced clinical training in every single dentistry specialty. Students here find unparalleled opportunities to learn from globally renowned researchers and faculty.

UCSF is home to over 1,300 students and 100 faculty members. It has an international reputation for excellence in research and education.

The UCSF School of Dentistry offers a 4-year program to acquire a Doctor of Dental Surgery (DDS) degree. You will also need to give additional two years to complete your accredited residency program or qualifying examination.

For more details, such as eligibility criteria and the application process, feel free to visit the official UCSF website.

2 – University of California – Los Angeles (UCLA School of Dentistry)

According to the Academic Ranking of World Universities, the University of California, Los Angeles School of Dentistry, is the 6th best dental school in the world. It offers the best-in-class academic program, and faculty members are known globally for their skills as leaders, researchers, and teachers.

The UCLA School of Dentistry offers 15 different academic divisions and 13 accredited post-graduate programs. You will find expert faculty and an advanced learning environment, regardless of your specialized interests.

Suppose you are interested in how dental care and communities are interlinked. In that case, you can learn about it and get opportunities to engage with local organizations within the UCLA School of Dentistry’s Division of Public Health and Community Dentistry.

You can simply visit the official UCLA School of Dentistry website to learn the eligibility criteria and the application process.

3 – University of Southern California Herman Ostrow School of Dentistry, Los Angeles

The USC’s Herman Ostrow School of Dentistry is a private, non-profit and non-sectarian research university. It is one of the oldest dental schools in the United States, as it was established in 1880 on the main Los Angeles campus.

Today, USC has become one of the largest and most sought-after universities in the United States and for students from abroad. The university boasts of distinct diversity in the student body, with nearly 44,000 undergraduate and graduate students enrolled at a time.

The university has 20 different schools, including the USC School of Dentistry. This dental school offers full-time learning programs that help you to get a Doctor of Dental Surgery (DDS) degree. In addition, it also offers part-time evening learning programs that can help you to acquire a Master of Science in Oral Biology (MSB).

You can also choose to enroll in an accelerated 3-year program which helps to acquire both these degrees. The dental school is renowned worldwide for its high-quality clinical education, outreach initiatives, and research activities in the local community.

You can find more details about eligibility criteria and the admission process at this university by visiting the official website.

4 – Loma Linda University (Loma Linda School of Dentistry)

The Loma Linda University’s School of Dentistry is a private dental college in Loma Linda, California. It is affiliated with the Seventh-day Adventist Church. It is one of the only two schools in the United States operated by the denomination. It is a private, non-profit institution that has been operating since 1908.

The school is divided into two components – the School of Basic Sciences and the School of Clinical Sciences.

The Basic Sciences program includes courses in Oral Anatomy, Oral Histology, Physiology, and Biochemistry. The Clinical Sciences program includes courses in Operative Dentistry, Restorative Dentistry, and Prosthetic Dentistry.

The school offers seven different programs, including an associate degree in Dental Hygiene, a Baccalaureate of Science degree in General Dentistry, a Master of Science in Endodontics, a Master of Science in Orthodontic (MSO), an Advanced Certificate in Periodontics, and two  Doctorate degrees, one in Oral Biology/Dentistry (DSC) and the other in Oral Biology (Ph.D.).

You can check the university’s official website to get more information on the application process and admission criteria.

5 – University of Pacific Arthur A. Dugoni School of Dentistry, San Francisco

The University of Pacific’s Arthur A. Dugoni School of Dentistry is among the top 5 best dental schools. It is also one of the few dental schools in the US that offers courses in all four dental specialties – General Practice, Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery, Orthodontics, and Pediatric Dentistry. This university also offers a Post-Baccalaureate Dental Hygiene Program and an Advanced Standing Dental Hygiene Program.

This is another old university that provides high-quality education that combines well with academic excellence and clinical training.

You can visit the official website to find more details, such as admission criteria and the application process for this dental school.


The top 5 best dental schools in California are listed above. These have been selected for their high quality of education, research, and learning opportunities. Check the official website of each university or dental school to ensure that you fulfill their criteria before applying for admission.

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