The Real Truth About Dental Schools: England vs USA

Countries operate within their own rules and regulations as it should. The same applies to study programs, processes to apply and even the curriculums. We are going to compare two countries on their differences when it comes to study programs. Many customs are also different when it comes to oral hygiene. It seems as if Americans are more teeth conscious than the Brits. The Brits may not come up with many missing teeth solutions as they aren’t as passionate about the subject as the Americans.

USA prerequisites according to the American Dental Association

  • Biology with lab should amount to 8 hours
  • 8 hours of Physics
  • 8 hours of English
  • General chemistry with lab should amount to 8 hours
  • Organic chemistry with lab should also amount to 8 hours
  • It is also recommended to complete a year of college courses in biology as well as organic chemistry before taking the DAT.

The admissions committee will look at the following

  • Results from the Dental Admissions Test
  • You should have a good Grade Point Average
  • Letters of recommendation
  • Personal Interviews
  • Dental Office Shadowing
  • Personal statement for dentistry

In the USA it is advised to apply for dental school at least a year in advance. With tons of students applying, you have to make sure your dental statement stands out. Everything else is pretty routine based, but you are allowed to shine and express yourself in your statement.

Application Process according to the American Dental Education Association

  • Take the dental admissions test administered by the American Dental Association.
  • Submit your application form via ADEA. Most dental school applications are sent through ADEA AADSAS. Your application will be verified, processed and delivered to the school of your choice. It is important to note that the ADEA does not have any say on approval. This can only be done by the school you applied to.
  • Each school has their own process but you need to make sure all additional materials asked for, is included in your application.
  • You will need to go through an interview process as part of the process.
  • Pay the application fee.


For the first two years in dental school most that is covered falls within the basic biology and structure and function of the human body genre. The following classes are often done.

  • Anatomy
  • Physiology
  • Biochemistry
  • Microbiology
  • Pharmacology
  • Dental-oriented

Now let’s look at how England does things

England prerequisites according to the University of Bristol.

So in England things work a bit different from the USA. We list their direct entry courses.

  • Diploma in Dental Hygiene
  • Diploma in Dental Therapy
  • Foundation Year of Arts and Humanities
  • Certificate in Companion Animal Welfare and Behaviour Rehabilitation
  • There are restrictions on applicants who had to re-sit a A-level exam
  • A levels need to be attained in the following subjects
  1. D1
  2. D2
  3. D3
  4. M1
  5. M2
  6. M3
  7. P1
  8. P2
  9. P3

Application Process according to the American Dental Education Association

  • Supply full details of qualifications taken before applying
  • Supply full details of courses you are currently taking
  • Submit your UCAS application form
  • Interview will be done before approval of application


The following are mandatory modules for dental school in England

  • Health Sciences – Anatomy
  • Health Sciences – Biochemistry
  • Health Sciences – Physiology
  • Personal and professional development

As you can see these two countries are very different in their dental school application processes, curriculums and prerequisites. This is because their views on dentistry is just as different. From the information supplied, it seems as if it is more difficult to get into a USA dental school than it is to get into one in England.

According to a study done in 2015, posted in the Guardian, British teeth are no worse than those of Americans. This is surprising seeing as Americans are more worried about dental health, but as with many things, this may just be hear say. Dentistry is becoming more popular in the UK lately and that makes this a great time for the Brits to become qualified dentists.

Dental care in the USA is more expensive than in England. British people also do not go for the cosmetic dentist appointments as much as Americans. This is why the NHS pays the dentist a minimum fee, despite of the specific treatment. Although the UK has cheaper dental care, the options and quality is no more than those in America.

Even though the industry is different in both countries, dentistry is still a great profession to pursue, no matter where you are located. People are becoming much more conscious of dental health so you can be assured of a job after qualifying.