Best Dental Schools in Illinois: The field of dentistry is expanding, particularly since the value of excellent oral health is becoming more widely recognized in the United States. In fact, the Bureau of Labor Statistics projects that demand for dentists will increase by around 3% over the next ten years. Additionally, there are a lot of professional advantages to dentistry. Dentists make an average of $164K a year, and many are free to run their own private clinics.
Three of the best dental schools in Illinois provide their students with exceptional educational opportunities while preparing them to deliver first-rate patient care. Dental school admissions decisions are typically made after considering a candidate’s overall achievements, which may include their GPA, the standard of their undergraduate education, the quality of their recommendation letters, and their involvement in volunteer and community service. Additionally, some universities demand work shadowing and interviews, and the majority anticipate applicants to take the DAT (Dental Aptitude Test).
Three of the best dental schools in Illinois provide their students with exceptional educational opportunities while preparing them to deliver first-rate patient care.
Dental school admissions decisions are typically made after considering a candidate’s overall achievements, which may include their GPA, the standard of their undergraduate education, the quality of their recommendation letters, and their involvement in volunteer and community service. Additionally, some universities demand work shadowing and interviews, and the majority anticipate applicants to take the DAT (Dental Aptitude Test).
In order of acceptance rate, the best dental schools in Illinois are given below. Only 4.9% of applicants are accepted at the University of Illinois’s College of Dentistry, which is at the top of the list. Only 6.0% of applicants are accepted at the Midwestern University College of Dental Medicine, which is situated in the Chicago suburb of Downers Grove. 7.9% of applicants are accepted by Southern Illinois University’s School of Dental Medicine, located in the southern part of the state.
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Dentistry in Illinois: Preparation and Requirements
Entry is quite competitive. The best candidates have both a solid academic history and have invested time in creating “the full package.”
Being a dentist requires years of training. The majority of people are aware of the value of having good grades, but they also understand the value of experience in developing the abilities, expertise, and maturity required to work as a healthcare practitioner. A dentist’s choices and deeds have an impact on human life and well-being, much like those of the other members of a healthcare team.
To ensure that every patient receives the best care possible, dentists must be meticulous, uphold the highest ethical standards, interact with patients and other healthcare professionals effectively, keep accurate records, and be knowledgeable about both traditional and cutting-edge dental procedures.
Prerequisites for Dentistry:
Applicants who have studied various levels of biology, chemistry, and physics coursework as well as courses in the arts and social sciences are typically chosen by dental schools. Some dental schools have extra requirements, like English composition and higher-level biological courses like anatomy and physiology, microbiology, and biochemistry. Some people will swap out the second semester of organic chemistry for one semester of biochemistry.
The courses needed for admittance can differ by program, so it is the student’s obligation to investigate each Dentistry program individually. Additionally, students should be aware of the deadlines by which prerequisites must be satisfied in order to be admitted.
The following courses are suggested:
Biological Sciences, 9-18 credit hours:
- MCB 150 & MCB 151 + IB 150 & IB 151 General Biology
- MCB 100 Microbiology
- MCB 354 or 450 Biochemistry
Human Anatomy & Human Physiology, 6-10 credit hours:
- MCB 244 & MCB 245 + MCB 246 & MCB 247
Physical Science: 21-23 credit hours:
- CHEM 102 & 103 + CHEM 104 & 105 General Chemistry
- CHEM 232 + 233 Organic Chemistry
- PHYS 101 + PHYS 102 Physics
Statistics 3 credit hours:
- STAT 100 or MATH 161 or equivalent
Mathematics 3-6 credit hours:
- MATH 220 or 221 Calculus, or equivalent
The study of the arts and social sciences is heavily advised by many schools. Students might also think about enrolling in classes that would improve their manual dexterity. Courses might cover:
Fine Arts 3 credit hours:
- ART 102, ARTS 210, ARTS 230
Social & Behavioral Sciences 3-6 credit hours:
- PSYCH 100, PS 101, ANTH 101, SOC 100, ECON 102
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Knowledge of Self and Profession
You will have to prove your comprehension of the profession, your dedication to become a dentist, and your knowledge of yourself (values, objectives, motivations, strengths, and weaknesses) throughout the application process. You must express in detail how your prior work experience has prepared you to join the profession. Your application should contain proof of your dedication to serving the community and aiding others. You must demonstrate your capacity for teamwork, leadership, and interaction with those who come from diverse backgrounds, have different values, and see the world differently than you do.
GPA and Major
Finally, there is no “optimal major” for students preparing to become dentists. ANY major is acceptable, and you can still be accepted to dental school. Your GPA will be evaluated by admissions staff from a variety of angles… science/math GPA, cumulative GPA, and prerequisite GPA. Choose a major that you will enjoy, which will enable you to finish the required and advised courses and obtain experience outside of the classroom. Recognizing that students frequently alter their majors and career goals numerous times as they learn more about themselves and their possibilities, think about choosing a degree that will give you a variety of job options.
The prerequisite classes listed can be included into any campus major. Some majors might overlap more than others, while others might be more adaptable. Pick a major that suits your needs!
Best Dental Schools in Illinois
These are the best dental schools in Illinois:
3. The School of Dental Medicine at Southern Illinois University (Alton, IL)
The School of Dental Medicine at Southern Illinois University provides students with a rural setting while still being only 30 minutes from St. Louis. It is situated in the small town of Alton. In addition, it is the only dental school in Illinois outside of the Chicago region and the only one within a 200-mile radius of this significant metropolis.
The D.M.D. program at SIU offers outstanding value for a number of factors. First of all, it charges the lowest tuition among Illinois’ dentistry schools. Second, the low student-teacher ratio is ensured by the small student body, which numbers only 200 overall students and an average entering class size of 50. Finally, students take advantage of the latest advanced dental technology at the SIU Main Dental Clinic in Alton.
The School of Dental Medicine at SIU offers students numerous opportunities to hone their abilities in a variety of patient care settings. Third and fourth year students rotate through clinical experiences working with various population groups, though first and second year students initially work in the simulation lab. For instance, third-year students have the opportunity to work in the Special Needs Clinic at SIU and to treat local patients with developmental disabilities and Special Olympics athletes off campus.
Through virtual dentistry education outreach, SIU students have continued to have an influence on the neighborhood even during the COVID-19 outbreak. For instance, 38 students from the School of Dental Medicine electronically met with 600 elementary-aged children from seven local schools during the National Children’s Dental Month in February 2021 to discuss how to take care of their teeth. In this way, SIU inspires its students to develop fresh approaches to issues relating to dental health in the community.
Faculty at SIU are committed to their students long after they graduate and actively support them in achieving their professional objectives. Students who are especially interested in academic research, for instance, can take part in summer research programs. About half of SIU alumni who graduated from the D.M.D. program successfully started their own private practices. 25% more continued on to post-graduate specialization programs at other colleges and medical centers. Finally, around 25% of SIU’s dentistry graduates went on to work in the armed forces, research, or public health.
Illinois natives are given entrance precedence because the school is state-funded. In reality, Illinois residents make up around 98% of SIU’s dentistry student body. Furthermore, candidates only need to have 90 semester hours of undergraduate coursework as long as they complete certain science and English criteria, even though bachelor’s degrees in one of the sciences (such as biology or chemistry) are favored. Additionally, all prerequisite courses must be taken in universities in the United States or Canada.
2. Midwestern University College of Dental Medicine (Downers Grove, IL)
The D.M.D. dental school at Midwestern University, which was established in 1900, as well as other health-related fields like medicine, pharmacy, optometry, and psychology, are well-known. Actually, the entire university is committed to preparing tomorrow’s healthcare workers through a program that blends academics with chances for research and service. In addition to preparing students for jobs in dentistry, the College of Dental Medicine also prepares them for adjacent fields including dental administration and teaching.
The College of Dental Medicine at Midwestern University adheres to the One Health Initiative’s guiding principles, just like all of its other academic departments. Fundamentally, this ideology, which forms the basis of the school’s interprofessional curriculum, emphasizes the interconnectedness of all life, from people and animals to the environment. Consequently, what affects one affects everyone.
In order to get a more comprehensive understanding of contemporary dentistry and healthcare, Midwestern’s faculty is aware of the necessity of collaborating with peers in related fields of research and medicine. Students should therefore anticipate taking part in possibilities for outreach and interprofessional research.
In addition, The Scientist magazine ranked Midwestern University as the sixth greatest non-profit and academic research institution in the nation on its list of the “Best Places to Work in Academia.” Additionally, the faculty’s grant research has a wide range of funding sources, including organizations like the American Heart Association and the American Physical Therapy Association as well as the National Institutes of Health and the National Science Foundation.
The D.M.D. program adopts a team-oriented and multidisciplinary approach to hands-on instruction despite the small class size of only 130 students. In other words, the faculty of the college promotes active learning through real-world experiences and anticipates that students will also grow in their leadership abilities. Additionally, as evidenced by the college’s 100% graduation rate, the faculty is committed to the education of their students. The fact that all program graduates go on to pass their national board exams is even more significant.
Students are required to study classes in the behavioral sciences in addition to clinical rotations at community-based clinics. In order for graduates to effectively interact with their patients and fellow healthcare professionals, technical writing courses are also essential.
The D.M.D. program at Midwestern University has a demanding admissions process, and the university requires that applicants have a minimum GPA of 3.0 (on a 4.0 scale) for both their combined science courses and their overall undergraduate curriculum. Additionally, a DAT overall score of 110 is advised, with sectional scores of 18 or higher desirable. A professional with a D.O., M.D., D.D.S., or D.M.D. degree is preferred for one of the two required letters of recommendation, however it is not necessary. And finally, because the college emphasizes ethical standards in the dental sector, all applicants must submit to fingerprinting and pass a criminal background check.
1. University of Illinois College of Dentistry (Chicago, IL)
The College of Dentistry at the University of Illinois at Chicago, which tops the list of top dental schools in Illinois, is committed to becoming a pioneer in oral health research and education while offering the best dental treatment to the local community.
Students have the option of pursuing higher speciality training programs such as a PhD or Master of Science in Oral Sciences in addition to a D.M.D. Additionally, the University of Illinois offers a combined degree program through the School of Public Health that grants a D.M.D. together with a Master of Public Health in Community Health Sciences. These adaptable degree options highlight U of I’s dedication to being a leader in the healthcare industry.
The College of Dentistry at the University of Illinois is also bigger than the dental schools in Illinois. Over 430 students are supported by the college’s numerous degree programs. Additionally, the institution sees over 30,000 patients annually and is the largest dental care provider in the state.
The University of Iowa faculty is COMMITTED to research. The College of Dentistry has been classified as a Level 1 research institution as a result. Only the schools and universities in the nation with the most robust research programs that are having the greatest influence on their subjects are eligible for this recognition. As a result, over 40 members of the college’s faculty get nearly $5 million in grant money each year, highlighting the significant contribution U of I is making to the fields of dentistry and allied health.
Additionally, the college is involved in a number of original research projects that will alter the course of dentistry. For instance, the Center for Wound Healing and Tissue Regeneration is researching ways to treat persistent oral wounds that result in tooth loss. Similarly, they are enhancing therapies for oral disorders and cancer, which afflict millions of Americans. More research is being done on the regeneration of teeth using biomaterials and bioengineering, which will significantly improve their patients’ quality of life.
When graduates of the College of Dentistry leave the University of Illinois, they are prepared for successful careers due to the university’s commitment to research and academic rigor. As an illustration, all graduates pass the board exams. Additionally, they perform far better than the national average on other science and clinical exams.
Expect a challenging application procedure if you want to apply to the College of Dentistry at the University of Iowa. Students should enroll in numerous upper-level undergraduate advanced science courses, such as anatomy, physiology, and microbiology, in order to be competitive.
Additionally, even though there is no minimum DAT score requirement, candidates are urged to take the exam the year before applying to ensure that their results are current and relevant. The most successful candidates will also have a history of volunteer work and will have spent at least 100 hours working as a dental assistant in the United States, since the school places a strong emphasis on community service.
Frequently Asked Questions
In Illinois, how many dental schools are there?
In Illinois, there are three dentistry schools. From 2019 to 2029, the overall employment of dentists is expected to increase by 3%, which is nearly as fast as the average for all occupations.
What dentistry school is the best in the US?
Ann Arbor, University of Michigan. The University of Michigan-Ann Arbor School of Dentistry enjoys the privilege of being recognized as the best dental school in the entire world, not just the United States.
Are dentists richer than doctors?
In certain regions, dentists are paid so well that they make more money than the average physician. In 2012, The Journal of the American Medical Association published a paper stating that the average hourly income for a dentist in America is $69.60 as opposed to $67.30 for a physician.
Do Americans appreciate dentists?
Despite the fact that many people will jokingly admit that they "hate going to the dentist," according to a 2019 MoneyWise poll, dentists are among the most recognized professionals in the U.S.
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