The discipline of dentistry is expanding and always in demand. It offers great income and the chance to specialize in around a dozen different subfields.
According to the American Dental Association (ADA), there were more than 201,000 dentists employed in the United States in 2020. The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics anticipates that number to rise by 8% between 2020 and 2030.
Recently, that trend has also been noted in Utah. According to a state survey, the number of dentists in Utah who are licensed to practice their profession increased by almost 12% between 2012 and 2017.
A four-year graduate program that combines clinical work and classroom study is necessary to become a dentist.-
While earning their doctorate of dental medicine (DMD), students acquire practical experience at a range of dental facilities where they learn to treat patients of diverse ages and backgrounds, according to the American Dental Education Association.
However, it may be worthwhile in the long run to put up with the demanding study and practice schedule that comes with dental school. The average net income for dentists in private practice in 2020 was $170,160.
According to Salary.com, dentist earnings in Utah range from over $141,000 to almost $188,000, which is comparable to the national average.
Beyond regular dentistry, dentists have a wide range of alternatives for their profession. The ADA also recognizes 12 dental specializations that practitioners can select from, including prosthodontics, pediatric dentistry, and endodontics.
In 2020, dental specialists made even more money than those who worked in private practice; their average net income exceeded $323,000 in that year.
We’ll examine the two institutions in Utah that offer dental programs in greater detail below, including their courses, student life, and everything in between, as well as how to apply.
Dental Schools in Utah
Roseman University of Health Sciences College of Dental Medicine (South Jordan, UT)
One of the most recent dental programs in the US was established at Roseman University of Health Sciences in Nevada in 2007 and transferred to its South Jordan location in 2011.
In the Salt Lake City suburbs, Roseman offers instruction to undergraduate and graduate students interested in a career in healthcare. The university has possibilities for more advanced dentistry studies in addition to its DMD degree.
This comprises continuing education programs for professionals seeking extra training, an orthodontics residency program, and the Advanced Education in General Dentistry (AEGD) residency program.
Five “themes,” or areas of study, are presented to DMD students, spanning from fundamentals of biology to clinical expertise to patient assessment.
Roseman also employs an interdisciplinary method of instruction, allowing dental department staff and students to collaborate on research projects with colleagues from other faculties, such as nursing and pharmacy.
In their fourth and final year of study at Roseman, students put what they’ve learned into practice at community oral health clinics and the Roseman CODM Primary Care Clinic, where patients without insurance or with inadequate insurance can receive critical care.
The students are supervised by faculty members who hold Utah dental licenses. This comprehensive approach to teaching guarantees that graduates leave the school with knowledge of both how to operate a dental business successfully and ethically, in addition to how to care for patients.
Beyond the clinic, students can have an impact on the neighborhood. The institution hosts oral health-related activities every year, including “Give Kids A Smile” and “Back to School Brush-Up,” and students are also involved in supporting local charities and other causes.
The neighborhood gives back by taking part in an annual golf tournament that generates money for university scholarships. Students can literally take a breath of fresh air after a long day of studying by taking advantage of some of the outdoor activities available close to campus, like skiing and hiking.
By joining one of the ten student organizations offered by the dental institution, these future dentists can further their studies and even have fun while doing so. With options to join organizations like the Academy of Latter-day Saint Dentists, the Hispanic Dental Association, and Tau Sigma Military Dental Club, the range of groups reflects the diversity of the campus.
National organizations with chapters in Roseman include the American Student Dental Association and the American Dental Education Association.
University of Utah School of Dentistry (Salt Lake City, UT)
The second dental school in Utah is similarly situated in the Salt Lake City region, this time in the center of the state’s capital.
The university’s PhD dentistry program was established in 2013, hence it is relatively new.
However, the university’s history in dental education dates back to the early 1980s, when it started providing a cooperative dental education program through a collaboration with other universities. After the new School of Dentistry was accredited in 2012, the cooperative dental education program was discontinued.
The University of Utah does have a Doctor of Dental Surgery (DDS) degree, while not having a DMD program.
Although DMD and DDS degrees have different names, prospective students shouldn’t be concerned because, according to the American Dental Association, graduates of both institutions receive an equivalent education.
Students at the University of Utah complete the majority of their graduation requirements in three years, with the fourth and final year being devoted to clinical training.
The Ray and Tye Noorda Oral Health Sciences Building, which the school’s dean describes as a cutting-edge, purpose-built facility, is where these future dentists learn their trade. The main dental clinic for the institution is located in this building and contains 80 patient chairs.
The dentistry department is a part of University of Utah Health, which serves not only Utah but also a number of neighboring states. During their hands-on clinical training, dental school students perform procedures like teeth cleanings and fillings on actual patients under the supervision of licensed dentists and faculty members from the dental college.
Patients receive cheaper care in exchange, which is advantageous for people who must pay out of cash or do not have dental insurance.
Due to the university’s support of multidisciplinary research, dentistry students can also take part in research initiatives.
Two research labs are housed there, one of which focuses on dental materials among other things. Even former students have presented their research findings at conferences around the world.
Additionally, Utahns benefit greatly when it comes to funding the DDS program. In-state tuition and fees for the 2019–20 academic year was little over $50,000 as opposed to more than $86,000 for out-of-state students.
The dentistry school provides general practice residency (GPR) programs and continuing education courses in addition to the DDS degree. The institution also operates training clinics for participants in the GPR program in the Utah towns of Midvale and Montezuma Creek, in addition to the dental clinic in Salt Lake City.
How to Get Accepted into Dental Schools in Utah
Both Utah institutions have comparatively identical admission standards.
The Associated American Dental Schools Application Service, a centralized software, is used by Roseman University and the University of Utah to accept applications. Candidates who are applying to various schools can apply more easily with our service because they just need to submit one application.
Students’ undergraduate transcripts, exam results, and a personal statement are all included in the application.
Some colleges demand that prospective students complete job shadowing before applying to make sure they are aware of what a career in dentistry might entail. Candidates at the University of Utah are required to complete 80 hours of shadowing.
The Dental Admission Test (DAT), which can be taken at particular testing locations throughout the year, is a prerequisite for anyone seeking to enroll in a dental school and earn a doctorate degree.
The minimum score required by Roseman is 17 in four categories, including comprehensive science and reading comprehension.
When making an admissions decision, Roseman considers an applicant’s whole educational history, including undergraduate and credential degrees. Additionally, it demands that dental students have a solid foundation in the sciences; they must have passed 13 courses in subjects like biochemistry, physics, and organic chemistry. Before becoming accepted, interested candidates must additionally pass two communications-related classes. Additionally, candidates must have at least a 3.0 GPA in science classes.
Additionally, if their undergraduate institution has a health professions advisory committee, applicants for the Roseman program must get two “letters of evaluation” from the committee. If this is the case, pupils will require three letters, two of which must be from scientific teachers.
The University of Utah takes applicants’ GPAs, DAT results, and grades in science subjects into account, but it also takes into account their overall character.
It considers their level of dedication to the university’s ideals and mission as well as the field of dentistry and the concept of inclusivity.
This is even taken a step further by the institution, which mandates that applicants take CASPer, a “situational judgment test” that evaluates applicants’ interpersonal abilities.
Roseman invites a few candidates to interviews after the application window closes; this procedure takes a while. Interviews for prospective students at the University of Utah are similarly by invitation only and begin in the fall.
Due to COVID-19, which has altered some candidates’ eligibility to take the DAT or job shadow, some admission standards are still subject to change. Interested students should continue to check with each school to find out the most recent requirements.