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How Much Does Dental School Cost?

Dental School Prices

Dental school requires a significant investment of time and money, but the payoff is great. Average salaries range from $90,841 to $147,537, according to payscale.com. Specialized dentists can make upwards of $200,000.

Dental school is a four-year commitment. The first two years are spent doing classroom work and the second two years are clinical studies. Entrance to dental school is highly competitive and prospective students are required to pass the American Dental Association's standardized Dental Admission Test, or DAT. Dental students graduate with one of two degree designations – a Doctor of Dental Medicine, DDM, or Doctor of Dental Surgery, DDS.

If you would like to get your career started earlier you could consider a career as a dental hygienist or dental assistant. Dental hygienist training usually takes about 2 - 4 years for an associate or bachelors program, but these jobs pay more than a dental assistant as they are more involved with the patients care. A dental assistant will only take 9 - 11 months for a certificate.

Cost of Dental School

Dental school is more expensive than most graduate programs, with total costs ranging from about $150,000 to upwards of $400,000. That includes all expenses, such as tuition, fees, room and board, books and supplies, transportation and health insurance.

  • Tufts University School of Dental Medicine tuition for the 2010-2011 school year was $56,700. Adding in fees, students are billed a total of $64,000 to $68,000 each year, depending on the year. The school estimates dental students will spend another $18,000 to $24,000 in living expenses per year.
  • At the University of Buffalo Dental School, in-state tuition for 2010-2011 was $21,420. Adding in living expenses, books and fees, students were charged a total of $48,000 to $54,000 per year. Out-of-state students paid about $25,000 more.
  • The University of Florida College of Dentistry charged in-state students $26,894 for tuition and fees in the 2009-2010 school year. Out-of-state students paid $53,375. Total cost of attendance, including living expenses, was around $50,000 per year for Florida residents and $76,871 for non-residents. Those figures include transportation, books, personal expenses, and even a computer.

Paying for Dental School

As with any graduate program, it's a good idea to pay down as much consumer debt as possible before enrolling. Only borrow what you need in student loans to keep the payments manageable after graduation. Loan options include federal Stafford and PLUS loans, private loans or alternative loans.

There are a variety of scholarship options for dental students, including awards through the American Dental Association, the military and private enterprises.

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