Why Is Dental School So Expensive?

Dental schools are some of the most difficult to get into for several reasons, and the price is only one of them. Of course, being a dentist can be very challenging, and choosing the right school is certainly important.

But what about the price?

Why are dental schools so expensive?

Dental schools are expensive and they can guarantee a good future but they require lots of hard work over the years.

So, are dental schools worth the cost, the investment, and the years passed studying?

In this article, we will go through everything you need to know about dental schools, why they’re so expensive and much more.

Good Dental Schools VS Bad Dental School

Is there such a thing as good or bad dental schools? Well, not really. However, there are better schools that offer better programs and courses than others.

To start with, all schools provide the same education to their students, just in different ways. More patient examinations, more lab work, and a higher price at a stake are usually what describe the “better schools”.

Obviously, some dental schools are undeniably excellent such as the Harvard School of Dental Medicine or the New York University College Of Dentistry. But, these schools will leave an enormous student debt on your shoulder and that’s something to consider.

Besides, it’s important to consider the requirements to get into dental school. Some will require a higher GPA, some others will want higher research requirements, and some others will simply ask you for more semester hours.

Now, will you become a bad dentist if you don’t spend 4 years at Harvard? No, as mentioned previously, all schools give the same education, just in different ways to build their students’ education and career.

How Much Do Dentists Earn On Average?

As mentioned previously, the student for dental schools can be astronomic. However, the salary makes it worth it, so, how much do dentists earn on average?

According to Forbes, dentists can earn as much as $264,440 in Delaware. On the other hand, the lowest average salary for a dentist would be in Kentucky and would be $154,230.

Needless to say, these are above-the-average salaries that will certainly make your dental degree be worth it over the years.

Why Is Dental School So Expensive?

Dental schools are some of the most expensive ones in the world and for understandable reasons. High employability rates, high salaries, and more.

Let’s go through the main reasons why dental schools are so expensive.

1. A Large Number Of Students Want To Get Into Dental School

Dentists are very much in demand and the unemployment rate is incredibly low. In addition to this, and apart from the fact that it will offer a bright future to students, there aren’t enough seats for all applicants.

According to the U.S. News and World Report, only 55.3% of applicants got into one of the 66 accredited dental schools in the United States during the year 2018-2019.

Furthermore, most dental schools have high requirements such as a GPA higher than average, specific courses completed, and numerous semester hours.

Getting into dental school, other than being expensive, is not easy and they receive many applications every year which certainly plays its role with the cost.

2. Dentist Is One Of The Best Professions In The USA In 2022

Dentistry is one of the greatest career paths one can follow. You help people get better, improve their quality of life, you earn a good salary, and you’ll most likely always find a job.

According to the U.S. News report, the dental profession is the 9th best job in America in 2023 with an overall score of 7.5/10 and an unemployment rate of 0.2% which is incredibly low.

To sum up, dental school is so expensive simply because it can get you not only a dream job but also one of the overall best jobs one can have.

3. Dental Schools Require You To Buy Your Own Equipment

This is certainly another point to consider when applying for a dental school. In fact, most schools will require you to buy their kit.

Sure, this certainly isn’t wasted money and you’ll spend endless hours working on their equipment, hence why it’s all worth it.

Unfortunately, you won’t have any other choice than to buy it. For instance, to study at the New York University College, the instruments’ cost will set you back $6,304 yearly, which adds a significant $25,216 to the final bill.

4. Dentists Earn A Good Salary On Average

As mentioned previously, dentistry salaries are usually high and, therefore, make dental schools worth it.

According to the American Dental Association, as of 2019, the average debt in dental schools was $292,159. Though, in 1990, it was $55,00 only. The same study finds that 64% of graduates have a debt of over $200,000.

Now, why is it connected to the dentists’ salary and to the dental school cost? Simply because the more you earn and the more quickly you will repay your debt.

To conclude, the future salary that you will get as a dentist justifies the price of the dental school.

5. Quality Of Life As A Dentist Is High

Another reason why dental schools are so expensive is simply that the quality of life as a dentist is very high.

According to a report by the National Institutes of Health, and even if further research is needed, dentists have, generally speaking, high quality of life.

Dental schools are expensive and you’ll need to work hard to eventually get your degree. However, this often means that your quality of life after university will be high.

What Is The Most Expensive Dental School?

Dental school is expensive, but how pricey?

While there are numerous dental schools in America and Canada, prices vary and don’t always match each other’s level. But what is the most expensive dental school?

New York University College Of Dentistry

Admission requirements:

  • Bachelor’s degree from an accredited American or Canadian university or college or a GPA of 3.5 and 90 completed or more credits at the time of matriculation
  • Dental Admissions Testing
  • 3 letters of evaluation, 2 of which must be from science faculty members.
  • 100 hours of dental shadowing minimum is recommended

New York University offers a 4-year degree program and the total cost per year is close to $100,000, without indirect costs such as the room and board and transportation. In total, according to their prices in 2023, and all costs included, expect to spend $559,077 for the 4 years.

Furthermore, the New York University College of Dentistry was voted the 14th best dental school in the world.

To sum up, if you’re willing to join one of the best dental schools in the world and guarantee yourself a bright future, New York University is certainly the best choice.

Do You Know: 9 Cheapest Dental School In The World (US, Canada, And Europe)

Is Dental School More Expensive Than Medical School?

Most dental schools will require their students to invest in their own equipment.

According to Shemmassian Academic Consulting, during the 2019-2020 academic year, medical schools cost from $37,556 (for public – in-state) to up to $62,194 (public but out-of-state).

In addition, for private medical schools, the average cost was $60,665 for in-state and $62,111 for out-state.

Now, let’s talk about dental schools. In research by Student Debt Relief, the average cost to get into an American dental school and study for 4 years in 2019 was $251,233 for residents and $321,575 for non-resident applicants.

Of course, all doctor degrees are expensive. However, if we compare both dental and medical schools, there is actually a big difference.

To sum up, dental schools are in general much more expensive than medical schools, but, of course, for all good reasons.


Dental schools are certainly expensive and will set you back thousands of hundreds of dollars for only 4 years. Also, you most likely will need to repay your student debt for a few years after starting to work.

That is to say, this was everything you needed to know about dental schools, why they are so expensive, the best schools you can get into, and the general requirements.

Also Read: The 10 Easiest Dental Schools to Get Into (2022)

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