How long is Dental School? (Major tips)

To be a dentist, you ought to go to a dental school. A dentist is a person who cares for teeth. He or she treats, diagnoses and helps in preventing teeth diseases.

How long is Dental School: Dental Curriculum

The curriculum for dental school differs according to colleges and universities. During the first year, the students learn biological sciences including the following courses:

  • Dental-oriented sciences
  • Oral anatomy
  • Oral pathology
  • Oral histology
  • Anatomy
  • Physiology
  • Biochemistry
  • Microbiology
  • Pharmacology

The dental curriculum is always changed from time to time in order to meet the needs of their various patients.

Dental school and its training varies throughout the world, but I will be talking about how it is done in various countries.

United States:

In the United States, dentistry is a course taken by students who have done a professional course. There exist limited opportunities to study this course as there is no improvement at all in this field.

The American Dental Association has failed to improve this aspect of medicine, as a result of that, the course is expensive and unsubsidized by the government.

Students going to the dental school can acquire either a D.D.S. (Doctor of Dental Surgery) or D.M.D. (Doctor of Dental Medicine) degree.

These degrees are equal and recognised as the same. It takes about 8 years to finally be a dentist in countries like the US, Canada, Australia etc.

In the dental field, there just 9 dental specialties that has been recognized world wide. They include:

  • Endodontics (root canal treatment)
  • Oral and Maxillofacial Pathology
  • Oral and Maxillofacial Radiology
  • Pediatric Dentistry
  • Periodontics (gums)
  • Prosthodontics (complicated dental reconstruction)
  • Orthodontics (moving teeth)
  • Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery (surgery of the mouth and face)
  • Dental Public Health.


Dental care is provided in the private and public sectors and is free for everyone 20 years and below.

Students that graduate from a dental school in Sweden normally graduate with D.D.S (University Degree in Dental Surgery) but in 2013, it was changed from D.D.S to Degree of Master of Science in Dental Surgery.


In association with the ministry of health, a group of people help to regulate dental work. It has been recorded that dentistry in Egypt started a long time ago which is as far back as 3000 BC.

Graduates from dental schools can participate fully in their occupation if they register under the dental syndicate.

In addition, most government dental schools give the degrees of Bachelor, Master’s degree & PhD in most dental fields.

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After high school graduation, dentistry is offered through a 5.5 year Licenciate of Dental Medicine (DMD or DDS) course.

During the first phase of dental school, it starts with a unified 2-year pre-clinical training which is normally done for dentists and physicians alike but clinical training last for the next 3 years.

In Finland, PhD is really important and might last for the next 4 – 6 years.

Hong Kong

Dental schools here last for a period of 6 years during which you must complete the course Dental Surgery (B.D.S.) course at the University of Hong Kong.

When the students have graduated from school, they can choose either to do a general practice or specialise in a specific area.


In the year 1888, the first dental school to be established is the Universidad de Chile. We also have other universities in Chile that prove dental education.

They include:

  • Universidad Austral de Chile
  • Universidad de Concepción
  • Pontificia Universidad Católica de Chile
  • Universidad de Valparaíso
  • Universidad de la Frontera
  • Universidad de Talca
  • Universidad Finis Terrae
  • Universidad Nacional Andrés Bello
  • Universidad Mayor
  • Universidad de los Ande
  • Universidad Diego Portales
  • Universidad del Desarrollo
  • Universidad San Sebastián
  • Universidad de Antofagasta.

Most dental schools have been well established and have undergone rigorous transformation even in the colleges and universities as well.

They were influenced by the Europeans which has brought a lot of research work going on at the various colleges.

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National Dental Association Examination Board of Canada (NDAEB) oversees the practice of dentistry in Canada but the specialization aspect is overseen by the Royal College of Dentists.

There is a rapid growth of dentists in Canada. The canadian health care system does not provide dental services for their citizens like other countries like France does. It has also been said that the cost of going to a dentist is quite expensive.

How long is Dental School?

Dental school takes about 6 to 8 years. The time duration depends on whether you choose to specialize or not and on these factors:

  • The program involved: You have four years as an undergraduate, then the next four years or thereabout in a dental program.
  • Choosing to specialize can make you take a longer time or not.
  • Going to a dental school may not be that easy: You need a very good CGPA and recommendations from your lecturers or professors.

Duties of a dentist:

  • They care generally for the teeth.
  • They promote good dental health.
  • A dentist cleans the teeth and prevent diseases.
  • They mold teeth to replace the ones that have been removed.

Advantages of being a Dentist

  • The profession is well honoured.
  • You are able to help people and save them from lots of pain.
  • The job is stable as it has the lowest unemployment in the world.
  • As a good dentist, you can earn a lot of money

Disadvantages of being a Dentist

  • The period of study is very long.
  • The job can be very exhausting and can be time tasking.
  • There are lots of competition involved here.
  • As a dentist, you are prone to get infected every day.
  • There is no cure for some diseases.
  •  It is emotionally demanding in a way especially if your patients do not like your way of treatment.
  • Most dentists end up being self-employed and that might be difficult for some that do not have any knowledge whatsoever about business.
  • It might be a bit difficult for a self-employed dentist to go on a break.

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Obiorah Esther
Obiorah Esther
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