Updated at: 07-04-2023 - By: Eden Wise


In the past, we haven’t given much thought to our teeth. Meanwhile, its significance in modern times is comparable to that of our general medical health. Because of this urgent need, we have listed Illinois’ top dental schools below. So, you can browse the options and determine which dental school is the best fit for you.

Nonetheless, you may be wondering things like, “Why specifically Illinois dental schools?” Does Illinois have any respectable dental schools? How do I go about pursuing a career in dentistry? Where do I start in Illinois to get dental schooling? If I wanted to go to dental school in Illinois, would I be eligible for any financial aid? We compiled this article in response to the aforementioned inquiries, as well as many others.

So, read this article thoroughly to get your questions about Illinois dental schools answered. This article is also useful if you’re not planning on becoming a dentist but are interested in learning more about the top dental schools in Illinois.

You will get information on the tuition and enrollment processes for dental schools in Illinois. We have put together a unique package for anyone thinking about enrolling in a dental school in the state of Illinois. Read it all the way through, please.

Best dental schools in illinois

Southern Illinois University School of Dental Medicine (Alton, IL)

Southern Illinois University School of Dental Medicine (Alton, IL)

Alton, home to Southern Illinois University’s School of Dental Medicine, provides students with a rural setting that’s still only 30 minutes from St. Louis. Furthermore, it is the only dental school in Illinois outside of the Chicago area and the only dental school within a 200-mile radius of this major metropolitan center.

The Doctor of Medical Dentistry program at SIU is highly affordable for many reasons. First, among Illinois’ dental schools, its costs are the lowest. There are only about 200 students in total, and the average incoming class size is around 50, so there is a low student-teacher ratio. Finally, at SIU’s Main Dental Clinic in Alton, students have access to the most cutting-edge oral health technology on the market today.

Students who enroll in SIU’s School of Dental Medicine will have numerous opportunities to gain experience treating a wide range of patients. Although first and second year students begin their training in the Simulation Lab, third and fourth year students participate in clinical rotations with a wide variety of patient populations. Third-year students, for instance, get hands-on experience at SIU’s Special Need Clinic and get to go off-campus to help people with developmental disabilities and Special Olympics athletes.

Students at SIU have had an impact on local communities through virtual dental education outreach even during the COVID-19 pandemic. For instance, in February 2021, during National Children’s Dental Month, 38 dental students from seven local elementary schools virtually met with 600 students to discuss proper dental hygiene. In this way, SIU challenges its students to innovate in the face of existing challenges in public dental health.

The faculty at SIU continues to support their former students long after they have graduated. Students with a keen interest in academia can, for instance, join summer research programs. About half of the SIU DMD grads who have gone into private practice did so after starting their own practices. The remaining 25% attended post-graduate specialty programs at institutions outside of their home institution. Finally, about a quarter of SIU’s dental school grads went into the military, academics, or public health.

Residents of Illinois are given priority enrollment due to the school’s reliance on state funding. The vast majority of dental students at SIU are locals from Illinois. Applicants need only have 90 semester hours of undergraduate coursework as long as they meet certain science and English prerequisites; however, a bachelor’s degree in a science (such as biology or chemistry) is preferred. In addition, you must complete all of your prerequisites at a school in the United States or Canada.

University of Illinois at Chicago College of Dentistry (Chicago, IL)

University of Illinois at Chicago College of Dentistry (Chicago, IL)

College of Dentistry at the University of Illinois at Chicago is committed to being a leader in oral health research and education and providing the best dental care to the surrounding community, earning it a spot among the best dental schools in Illinois. Students have the option of pursuing a Doctor of Dental Medicine (D.M.D. ), Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.), Master of Science (M.S.) in Oral Sciences, or another advanced specialty degree. In addition, the School of Public Health at the University of Illinois offers a combined degree program leading to a Doctor of Medical Medicine and a Master of Public Health in Community Health Sciences. U of I’s dedication to being a leader in the health care industry is reflected in the variety of degree programs offered.

The College of Dentistry at U of I is also significantly larger than any of Illinois’ other dental schools. More than 430 students are enrolled in the college’s various degree programs. More than 30,000 patients a year receive dental care from the university, making it the largest provider of its kind in the state.

Researchers make up a large portion of the faculty at U of I. The College of Dentistry is now officially recognized as a top-tier research university. Only those schools in the country with well-funded research agendas that are having a significant impact on their respective fields are eligible for this designation. The significant impact that U of I is having in the fields of dentistry and allied health is reflected in the annual funding of approximately $5 million distributed to approximately 40 faculty members in the college.

In addition, the university is a part of several groundbreaking research projects that will alter the course of dental medicine forever. The Center for Wound Healing and Tissue Regeneration, for instance, is researching solutions for chronic oral wounds that can result in tooth loss. Treatments for cancer and other oral diseases that affect millions of Americans are also being improved. Researchers are also looking into how biomaterials and bioengineering can be used to regrow teeth, which would have a major positive impact on patients’ health and well-being.

Graduates of the College of Dentistry at U of I are prepared for rewarding careers in the dental field because of the university’s commitment to research and rigorous academics. As an example, every single graduate I know of has passed their board exams. Additionally, they perform significantly above the national average on other science and clinical exams.

The College of Dentistry at the University of Illinois has a rigorous admissions process for prospective students. Undergraduates who want to stand out from the crowd should take a number of upper-division science courses, including anatomy, physiology, and microbiology. There is no required minimum DAT score, but applicants are strongly advised to take the exam the year before they apply. The most competitive applicants will have volunteered previously and spent at least 100 hours shadowing a dentist in the United States because of the school’s emphasis on community service.

Midwestern University College of Dental Medicine (Downers Grove, IL)

Midwestern University College of Dental Medicine (Downers Grove, IL)

Midwestern University is well-known not only for its medical, pharmacy, optometry, and psychology programs, but also for its D.M.D. dental school, which was founded in 1900. In fact, the entire institution is dedicated to training the healthcare professionals of the future through a curriculum that integrates classroom instruction with opportunities for independent study and community service. The College of Dental Medicine does more than just train dentists; it also prepares its graduates for careers in dental administration and dental education.

Midwestern University’s College of Dental Medicine follows the same tenets as the rest of the university in supporting the One Health Initiative. This philosophy is the cornerstone of the school’s interdisciplinary program, which stresses the interdependence of all living things. Therefore, what affects one, affects all.

Midwestern’s faculty recognizes the importance of collaborating with peers in related fields of research and medicine to gain a more in-depth understanding of modern dentistry and healthcare. Therefore, students should be prepared to take part in outreach and interprofessional research opportunities.

In addition, on its list of the “Best Places to Work in Academia,” The Scientist magazine named Midwestern University the sixth best non-profit and academic research institution in the United States. Many different agencies, such as the National Institutes of Health and the National Science Foundation, support the faculty’s grant research. These agencies include the American Heart Association and the American Physical Therapy Association.

Even though there are only 130 students in the D.M.D. program, they use a team-based, multidisciplinary approach to hands-on learning. In other words, the college’s faculty believes that students will develop their leadership skills through participation in experiential learning opportunities. Furthermore, the faculty’s dedication to their students’ education is reflected in the college’s perfect graduation rate. Even more impressive is the fact that every single program alum has gone on to pass their national board exams.

In addition to clinical rotations at community-based clinics, students must take courses in the behavioral sciences. Technical writing courses are also important for preparing graduates to communicate effectively with patients and other healthcare professionals.

Midwestern University’s D.M.D. program has strict admissions requirements, including a minimum GPA of 3.0 (on a 4.0 scale) in all undergraduate science courses taken together and for the undergraduate degree as a whole. In addition, it is recommended that you achieve a total DAT score of at least 110, with sectional scores of 18 or higher. One of the two required letters of recommendation should come from a medical professional (someone with a D.O., M.D., D.D.S., or D.M.D. degree is preferred, but not required). Finally, all applicants must submit to fingerprinting and pass a criminal background check because the college places a premium on ethical standards in the dental industry.


In Illinois, how many dental schools are there?

Three dental schools can be found in the state of Illinois. Dentist jobs are projected to grow by 3% from 2019 to 2029, which is about as fast as the average for all occupations.

Are dentists richer than doctors?

Dentists in some parts of the country actually make more money than doctors do. The average hourly wage for a dentist in the United States is $69.60, according to a 2012 article published in The Journal of the American Medical Association, while the average hourly wage for a physician is $67.30.

How Much Does It Cost To Enroll In Dental Schools In Illinois?

While it’s great to take advantage of what Illinois’ dental schools have to offer, it’s also important to factor in the state’s relatively high cost of living and tuition. When compared to other parts of the country, the cost of living in Illinois is relatively low.

Furthermore, there are many opportunities for financial aid at dental schools there for students from low-income backgrounds. Or those students who have shown themselves to be academically exceptional. Therefore, you should visit each institution individually to learn more about the scholarships they offer.

How To Enroll In Dental Schools In Illinois?

To begin, you’ll need to have finished a conventional proposal to enroll in any dental school in Illinois. As a result, getting into dental school requires the right kind of credentials. Therefore, this also includes graduating from high school. You should have taken some science classes while in high school.

Additionally, you will need to earn a bachelor’s degree in dentistry or a closely related field from an accredited university. An excellent school in Illinois is available for this type of study. The Dental Admissions Test (DAT) is the next step. Students applying to dental schools in Illinois must take this exam to demonstrate their scientific literacy and aptitude.

However, if you do well on the exam, you’ll be accepted into any dental school in Illinois. You can also become legally qualified to practice dentistry in your state after graduating from our dental school.


In the end, it all comes down to trusting our own judgment. This way we can avoid feeling guilty for not making an effort. So, don’t hesitate to apply to any dental school in Illinois if doing so is in your best interest.

Even so, Illinois’ dental schools have a learner-centered approach to their curricula, helping to guarantee that graduates will be at the top of their fields. So, while the sun is shining, let there be hail.