cheap dental care
Within the United States and Canada, there are over 60 dental schools which provide inexpensive dental treatment. With locations all over the US from Louisville, New York City, Ft Lauderdale, Los Angeles, Omaha, and Chapel Hill it is very likely there is a school nearby. The real secret to getting cheap dental care is kept there.

Reasons to Consider a Dental School for Your Needs

You can go directly to the dental school to save money on your dental needs. Depending on the school nearest you, you’ll be able to capitalize on many of these perks:


Dental schools accept most insurances. It is still a good idea to call the school ahead of time to be sure there are no problems. Going to a school may be a good option if the regular dentist drops insurance coverage.

Expert overseers

You may be thinking, why on earth would I want a student working on my teeth? Well, no dental school allows students to work on teeth without supervision. Professors at dental schools are considered to be expert overseers and will be tracking the entire process of your visit.


Cleanings, crowns, root canals or even veneers are cheaper at dental schools. Treatment is about half as expensive as a regular dental office. Students are good resources for learning about the best values offered at the school. Ask them if there are any procedures that are particularly cheap at the school. Perhaps tooth whitening kits are particularly inexpensive. It depends on the school.

Possibility for absolutely FREE work

To become licensed as dentists, students must pass the National Board exams. This consists of working on patients that have a specific type of cavity under the supervision of a Board examiner. If you qualify as a National Board patient, your student will love you and fix your teeth for free.

Downsides to Going to a Dental School

When you decide to get work done at a school, expect it to take a while. Here’s why:

A couple appointments

Because students are so closely monitored, it normally takes 3 appointments until patients begin treatment. Also, many schools suffer from faculty shortages. Appointments that take 1 hour at a regular dentist office could take 3 hours because the student is waiting for a professor to check their work. Bring a book or something because you might be alone in the chair while the student is waiting for a professor. Sometimes schools even offer evening clinic sessions which offer greater flexibility for patients.

Slow, perfectionist students

Students practice on manikins, plastic teeth, and each other before they are let loose on real human beings. When practicing, good clinical results, not speed, are graded. Students are competent at performing the procedures but they can take a bit more time than professional dentists.

No assistants

Normally students are working solo. So you may be asked to help make the process go faster. Maybe write some numbers or hold the suction in your own mouth. If you can’t handle this or the points mentioned above, you may not want to consider heading to a dental school for your needs.

Dental Schools in the United States

cheap dental care at dental schools
However, it is still a great way to save money and if you can get past the downsides, it isn’t much different than heading to the “regular” dentist. Below is a list of the dental schools in the United States where you may be able to get some work done on the cheap:


  • University of Alabama School of Dentistry


  • Arizona School of Dentistry and Oral Health
  • Mid-Western University school of dentistry


  • Loma Linda University School of Dentistry
  • The University of California, Los Angeles School of Dentistry
  • The University of California, San Francisco School of Dentistry
  • University of the Pacific Arthur A. Dugoni School of Dentistry
  • The Herman Ostrow School of Dentistry of USC
  • Western University of Health Sciences College of Dental Medicine


  • University of Colorado Denver School of Dental Medicine


  • University of Connecticut Health Center School of Dental Medicine

District of Columbia / Washington, D.C.

  • Howard University College of Dentistry


  • Lake Erie College of Osteopathic Medicine, School of Dental Medicine
  • Nova Southeastern University College of Dental Medicine
  • University of Florida College of Dentistry


  • Dental College of Georgia at Augusta University


  • Midwestern University College of Dental Medicine
  • The University of Illinois at Chicago College of Dentistry
  • Southern Illinois University School of Dental Medicine


  • Indiana University School of Dentistry


  • University of Iowa College of Dentistry


  • University of Kentucky College of Dentistry
  • University of Louisville School of Dentistry


  • Louisiana State University School of Dentistry


  • University of Maryland Dental School of the University of Maryland at Baltimore


  • Boston University Goldman School of Dental Medicine
  • Harvard School of Dental Medicine
  • Tufts University School of Dental Medicine


  • University of Michigan School of Dentistry
  • University of Detroit Mercy School of Dentistry


  • University of Minnesota School of Dentistry


  • University of Missouri – Kansas City School of Dentistry
  • Missouri School of Dentistry & Oral Health at A.T. Still University


  • University of Mississippi Medical Center School of Dentistry


  • University of Nebraska Medical Center
  • Creighton University School of Dentistry


  • UNLV School of Dental Medicine also known as the University of Nevada at Las Vegas School of Dental Medicine

New Jersey

  • University of Medicine and Dentistry of New Jersey-New Jersey Dental School

New York

  • Columbia University College of Dental Medicine
  • New York University College of Dentistry
  • The State University of New York at Buffalo School of Dental Medicine
  • The State University of New York at Stony Brook School of Dental Medicine
  • Touro College of Dental Medicine

North Carolina

  • The University of North Carolina School of Dentistry
  • East Carolina University School of Dental Medicine


  • Ohio State University College of Dentistry
  • Case School of Dental Medicine of the Case Western Reserve University


  • University of Oklahoma Health Sciences Center College of Dentristy


  • Oregon Health & Science University School of Dentistry


  • Temple University School of Dentistry, Philadelphia
  • University of Pennsylvania School of Dental Medicine
  • University of Pittsburgh School of Dental Medicine

Puerto Rico

  • University of Puerto Rico School of Dentistry

South Carolina

  • Medical University of South Carolina College of Dental Medicine


  • University of Tennessee College of Dentistry
  • Meharry Medical College School of Dentistry


  • Texas A&M Health Science Center Baylor College of Dentistry
  • The Dental School at The University of Texas Health Science Center at San Antonio
  • University of Texas Health Science Center at Houston School of Dentistry
  • Texas Tech University Health Sciences Center El Paso Woody L. Hunt School of Dental Medicine


  • Roseman University of Health Sciences College of Dental Medicine
  • The University of Utah School of Dentistry


  • Virginia Commonwealth University School of Dentistry


  • University of Washington School of Dentistry

West Virginia

  • West Virginia University School of Dentistry


  • Marquette University School of Dentistry

Remember that if you’d like to get a dental exam or get any dental work done at a school you will need to call ahead for an appointment. As mentioned above, you should also be ready to wait. Some schools require you to walk-in, and others are just busy. However, the money you’ll save will be well worth it.

Check out the video below to learn more about a free dental school at UCSF and get an idea about how dental schools work. 

Image courtesy of completosinmallo