Best Dental Schools in Tennessee 2022

Schools of dentistry in TN are spread across counties such as Nashville and Knoxville, knowing how much each school cost before enrollment is key to making an informed decision.

Dental schools are opened to train you strategically on all you need to become a dentist.

Courses offered in schools of dentistry are categorized at different stages to give you a fitting to explore the profession upon graduation.

However, a lot depends on the school that trained you.

Hence the essence of this article.

Here in this guide, we have leveraged on quality information to bring you details on the best dentistry schools in Tennessee.

Also, we have specified how much each dental school will cost for tuition as well other expenses.  

We have also made references to some of the TN dental schools in Nashville and Knoxville which are some of the popular counties in Tennessee.

Let’s get started!!!

ALSO READ: Top 10 Best Dental Hygiene Schools in Tennessee 2022

What Is Dentistry and What Does A Dentist Do?

A dentist is trained professionally to treat oral health by attending to the teeth and gums. 

Dentists are at the frontline of good oral health. 

Basically, dentists work with communities to prevent and treat dental/oral disease, correct dental irregularities and treat dental/facial injuries.

They remove decay, repair damaged teeth, and examine x-rays to diagnose problems.

Because there is a dental hygienist who does the superficial work of oral care, most people think that the job of a dentist is limited to extraction and insertion of teeth. 

Dentistry goes beyond that.

Dentistry is the medical study of teeth and oral health. 

It involves the treatment of diseases and other conditions that affect the teeth and gums, especially the repair and extraction of teeth and the insertion of artificial ones.

Dentistry consists of the study, diagnosis, prevention, and treatment of diseases, disorders, and conditions of the oral

This course has a wide variety of branches.

Hence anyone interested in becoming a dentist should consider the aspects of dentistry in which they want to specialize.

And outside of practicing dentistry, dentists can go into research or teach students.

Is Tennessee A Good Place To Study Dentistry? 

Tennessee is a good place to study in the USA.

Tennessee institutions offer a variety of outstanding ESL Programs, large universities, community and private colleges with numerous extracurricular activities that interests both local and international students.

If you’re looking to pursue a degree, gain experience, and learn about the US southern culture, Tennessee is a great place for international studies.

However when it comes to dentistry, the state of Tennessee has just one private not-for-profit college and one public university offering dentistry education.

And as with its custom, the dental schools in Tennessee offer quality education but each school has much its dental program cost.

What is The Job Outlook For Dentists in Tennessee?

Dentists are highly in need across the United States, Tennessee inclusive.

Currently there are over 2,500 dental practices and around 6,800 practitioners in Tennessee.

The demand for dentists will continue to increase as the population ages and research links oral health to overall health.

Are There Schools of Dentistry in Tennessee?

Absolutely, there dental schools in Tennessee spread across Nashville, Memphis, Knoxville and other counties in TN.

These schools are focused on dental research and clinicals so that students can get hands-on education, preparing them to become licensed dental practitioners.

In the whole of Tennessee, prospective dental students have just two school options to choose from.

You will find the list below;

Whatever be the case, you will find the best schools for dental programs in Tennessee.

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What Courses Will I Study in TN Dental Schools?

Like we earlier stated, the course: dentistry cuts across many areas and specializations.

Before you decide to enroll for Dentistry in any of the TN dental schools in Nashville or in Knoxville Tennessee, you should have known what path of the dental profession you want to specialize in.

Knowing what path to take in dentistry will help you make a good choice of school tailored to fit your academic and career needs. 

Here are some of the career paths in dentistry you should know before you specialize;

#1. Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery

Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery focus on research, identification, and diagnosis of mouth, teeth and diseases surrounding such regions.

#2. Dental Public Health 

This course promotes good dental health and the prevention of dental diseases in specific communities.

#3. Dental Anesthesiology

Dental anesthesiology is a specialty of dentistry that deals with the advanced use of general anesthesia, sedation, and pain management to facilitate dental procedures.

#4. Oral Medicine Dentistry

This specialty of dentistry is focused on providing oral health care to patients with chronic, recurrent, and medically related disorders of the oral and maxillofacial region and with their diagnosis and non-surgical management.

#5. Orofacial Pain Dentistry

Orofacial pain describes symptoms of pain or a dysfunction in the head and neck region as it affects oral health.

#6. Periodontics

This is an aspect of dentistry that involves the diagnosing and treating diseases of gum tissue and bones supporting teeth.

#7. Prosthodontics

This involves restoring natural teeth or replacing missing teeth or oral structures with artificial devices, such as dentures.

#8. Endodontics

Endodontics is one of the courses you will take in school of dentistry in Tennessee.

This course involves preventing and treating diseases and injuries of the dental pulp and surrounding tissues; performing root canals.

#9. Oral and Maxillofacial Radiology

Diagnosing and managing oral diseases and disorders using x-rays, other forms of imaging.

#10. Pediatric Dentistry

Diagnosing and treating the oral health care needs of infants and children through adolescence. 

Read Also: The Best Dental Schools In New York City 2022

Important Factors You Must Consider When Choosing Dental Schools In Tennessee.

Although you don’t have too many options to choose from when it comes to schools of dentistry in Tennessee, you still have to know what you are looking for or apply to other dental schools in other states of the US.

If the school of dentistry in TN cannot provide you with the best education for your career then you can look out for other options in other states of the US.

So, to assist you in making an informed decision, we have compiled a few pieces of information that will serve as a reference while selecting dental school.

Here are some things to think about when looking for dental schools in Tennessee in cities such as Nashville and Knoxville TN;

#1. Type of Dentistry Program 

Most dental schools offer bachelor’s degrees at the undergraduate level and a doctorate program at an advanced level.

There are also certificate programs in dentistry which serve as an alternative to diploma and degree programs in dentistry.

So, you have to find out what degree the school is offering and if that suits your academic needs.

#2. The School Academic Reputation

You should look out for a school that is in good academic stand over the years.

When it comes to selecting colleges, a high academic reputation is a crucial thing to consider.

You can judge a school’s reputation from rankings and its ability to deliver a great education that prepares you for your job.

Therefore, you have to check through the years what the school represents in the field of dentistry. 

Also, you can read the alumni reviews. 

#3. Cost Of Dental Education

How much does a dental school cost in Tennessee?

The tuition costs of dental schools should be the first things in consideration when selecting a school from the list of dental schools in Tennessee.

You should know how much it will cost you to attend the dental school in TN from beginning to completion.

#4. Duration of Dental Program 

Like we have earlier stated, dentistry programs last 8- years, with 4-years  earning a bachelor’s degree as an undergraduate and 4 years earning a DDS or DMD in dentistry schools.

This is a crucial consideration when selecting a school for dental training because it also impacts how much you can spend on tuition.

ALSO READ: Best Schools For Dental Hygienist In Missouri 2022

Best Dental Schools in Tennessee 2022

Without further ado, here is the list of dental schools in Memphis, Nashville and Knoxville Tennessee (TN);

#1. University of Tennessee Health Science Center College of Dentistry.

  • Founded: 1878
  • Location: Memphis, TN

In the southern United States, University of Tennessee Health Science Center College of Dentistry is the oldest  dental college and one of the first nationwide. 

University of Tennessee Health Science Center College of Dentistry has a track record in providing top-tier professional, graduate, and post-graduate education. 

Dentistry in University of Tennessee Health Science Center College of Dentistry is laced with practical experiences in state-of-the-art dental research and public service.

Dental Courses Offered in University of Tennessee Health Science Center College of Dentistry

In the first year at University of Tennessee Health Science Center College of Dentistry students study basic sciences such as!

  • Anatomy.
  • Pathology
  • Histology
  • Biochemistry
  • Microbiology

 In the following years, students will learn more advanced topics such as

  • Pain control
  • Oral radiology
  • Clinical courses

Many love the University of Tennessee Health Science Center College of Dentistry because of the outstanding curriculum and how students are allowed to provide dental services to patients under faculty supervision. 

This allows students to develop essential technical and interpersonal skills. 

Also, students learn using the latest technology such as DentSim, an advanced dental simulator.

Furthermore, dental students at University of Tennessee Health Science Center College of Dentistry work in a group of 40 workstations containing high-speed handpieces, suction tips, and patient mannequins. 

Students who have a need for financial aid can apply for a wide range of financial resources. 

In the University of Tennessee Health Science Center College of Dentistry there are over 75 student awards, need-based and otherwise. 

#2. Meharry Medical College School of Dentistry

  • Location Nashville, TN

Meharry Medical College School of Dentistry in Nashville TN is one out of the two best dental schools in Tennessee. 

The school is dedicated to excellence in teaching, research, and service which has put them at the forefront of the quest for quality healthcare for everyone. 

Each year, the dental program at Meharry Medical College School of Dentistry receives nearly 2,000 applications and admits just 60 students. 

This means that the dental program at Meharry Medical College School of Dentistry is a highly competitive one.

As an extension to studies, every Meharry student has opportunities and an encouraging environment, faculty, and campus who are dedicated to their success. 

Dental Courses Offered in Meharry Medical College School of Dentistry

In the first year at Meharry Medical College School of Dentistry of Dentistry students study basic sciences such as!


  • Pathology
  • Histology
  • Biochemistry
  • Microbiology

 In the following years, students will learn more advanced topics such as

  • Pain control
  • Oral radiology
  • Clinical courses

While studying, the dental students at Meharry Medical College School of Dentistry learn using a practical approach to come to terms with how to perform surgery etc.

At Meharry’s Nashville campus there are patient clinics, research laboratories, teaching facilities, and educational programs; that readies students to provide oral health care for many Tennessee residents.

Good news about Meharry Medical College School of Dentistry is the availability of funding for Endodontics, orthodontics, pediatric dentistry, restorative dentistry, oral and maxillofacial surgery, and oral diagnostic sciences research.

Read Also: Best Dental Hygienist Schools in Chicago 2022

Frequently Asked Questions About Dental Schools In Tennessee

How Much Do Dentists Earn in Tennessee?

As a result of the extensive education and training required to practice dentistry, these professionals earn a median annual salary of $164,000. 

How Long Does Dental Schools Take To Complete in Tennessee?

Dental schools take 8 years to complete before you are considered a full-fledged dentist.

First 4 years for a bachelor’s degree in any field. 

Then 4 years again for a doctorate degree either a Doctor of Medicine in Dentistry (DMD) or a Doctor of Dental Surgery (DDS) degree. 

Can I Do a Graduate Level Dental Program in Tennessee?

Tennessee offers graduate level programs in the dental field at both private and public schools. 

So the two dental schools in Tennessee offer graduate level dental programs.

Before you enroll, find out how much each of the dental school cost.


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