9 Accredited Dental Assistant & Dental Schools in Houston

Houston is one of the most diverse cities in the country, with a population that is made up of people from around the world. 

This city is also home to many organizations such as NASA’s Johnson Space Center, which provides an enormous number of jobs within its community. 

But that’s not why you are here; just in case you were wondering, Houston is home to the top dental schools in the United States.

Due to these factors and others, Houston has become one of the top places for people looking to pursue higher education.

If you are part of this crowd seeking credible information on the top dental schools in Houston, then strap in and let us tell you everything you need to know in this article.

Overview of Houston Dental Schools

Houston is one of the largest cities in the United States (by land mass) and a major center of the oil industry. Home to 24 Fortune 500 companies listed in 2022, Houston is also known as “Space City” due to its role as NASA’s home base. Some of these top companies include Phillips66, Hewlett-Packard, ConocoPhillips, Sysco, etc.

What this means for you is that this cosmopolitan city has great opportunities for you, should you choose to study in Houston.

In terms of the performance of dental schools in Houston, The University of Texas at Austin School of Dentistry has historically been ranked 4th best public dental school by US News & World Report.

Houston’s diverse demographics make it an ideal location for dental students who wish to practice in multicultural settings.

The city’s population includes more than 100 different ethnic groups, including Chinese Americans, Hispanic Americans, African-Americans, and Vietnamese Americans.

Studying in Houston: Entrance Requirements of Dental Schools in Houston

  • The average GPA for dental schools in Houston is 3.50. A GPA of at least 3.0 is usually required (but students applying to dental schools in Houston with a 3.0 GPA are not considered ‘competitive’), with some schools requiring 3.6 or even higher. For example, the University of Houston’s average GPA score of its 2022 dental students is 3.62.

  • Most dental school applicants take the Dental Admission Test (DAT) and have their scores sent directly to the schools they are applying to.

    This exam is a standardized multi-choice test that dental schools use as a metric to measure students’ ability and preparation for a dental career. See the DAT Guide to learn more.

The test accesses a student’s ability in natural sciences, reading comprehension, quantitative reasoning, and perceptual ability.

It typically lasts 4 hours 30 minutes and is scored from 1 to 30, with the average score being 17.

Although top dental schools in Houston don’t mention it on their websites, only the highest-performing students in the top percentile (with DAT scores of 22 or higher) are selected during intakes. Thus, dentistry is a competitive profession.

  • Accredited dental schools will also look at other parts of your application; these include recommendations from teachers and doctors who know you well, personal statements about why you want to be a dentist (or why dentistry is important to you), work experience in healthcare settings such as hospitals or clinics where you can show that you’re interested in helping others through hands-on activities like volunteering or shadowing before college classes begin.

There are still some specific requirements that may be required of you to enroll in dental schools in Houston.

Some of these include certain prerequisite courses and DAT scores. You can take a look at University of Houston’s requirements to get an idea of how to prepare yourself.

How to Become a Dentist in Houston

The process of becoming a dentist in Houston is a long and arduous one, similar to the path of an Optometrist. Here is the abridged version of how to go about becoming a dentist in Houston:

  • Complete prerequisite courses and earn your bachelor’s degree.

  • Take the Dental Admission Test in your junior year.

  • Choose which dental schools in Houston you want to enroll in.

  • Apply to dental schools in Houston online.

  • Complete the first two years of coursework in a dental school. This will typically involve biological science courses.

  • Work with patients during the last two years of dental school.

  • Complete your dental education and earn a doctorate degree – typically a Doctor of Dental Surgery (DDS) or Doctor of Medical Dentistry (DMD) depending on your school.

  • Pass a Texas-approved exam to obtain your license to practice.

  • Obtain a dental license.

  • Find a job as a dentist.

If you are already practicing as a dentist in another state, or you are a foreign student, there may be extra layers you need to know about becoming a dentist.

Related: 23 Accredited Optometry Schools in the United States

Employment Outlook for Dentists in Houston

As of now, the demand for dentists is quite high. There is a shortage of dentists in the US, and Houston is no exception.

The number of new jobs will increase by 8 percent between 2020 and 2030 (as fast as average), while the number of job openings will increase by 11,100.

If you are looking to enter this growing profession, one way to do so is through an accredited dental school in Houston.

Salary of Dentists in Houston

Do you want to be a dentist? Do you know what it’s like to earn over $100,000 per year?

Well, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the average dentist’s salary in Houston is $163,220 (2021). 

This makes them one of the highest earning healthcare professionals, edging optometrists.

Related: How to Become a Dental Hygienist

Tuition Information of Dental Schools in Houston

Dental Schools in HoustonResident Tuition FeeNon-Resident Tuition Fee
University of Texas School of Dentistry at Houston – DDS Program$17,882$29,474
University of Texas MD Cancer Center Houston$2,300$8,400
Baylor College of Medicine$19,425$32,525

The List of Dental Schools in Houston

# ADEA-Accredited Dental Schools in Houston

In Houston, there is only one dental school accredited by the American Dental Education Association (ADEA), a top organization in the profession whose purpose is to support the dental education, research, and dental health of the general public.

University of Texas School of Dentistry at Houston

The University of Texas School of Dentistry at Houston was established in 1905 and is one of the largest dental schools in the country. Its mission is to provide a high-quality education to its students, as well as continuing education and research opportunities for faculty members.

At UTHealth Houston, students must complete a four-year program that includes two years each in general dentistry, pediatric dentistry, orthodontics, endodontics (root canal treatment), or oral surgery—all leading up to a final year residency program at the Baylor College of Medicine Hospital System Dental Clinic or another accredited hospital system clinic.

The School of Dentistry offers 11 accredited programs, including the DDS, dental hygiene, two primary care general residency programs, advanced education programs in endodontics, orthodontics, pediatric dentistry, periodontics, and prosthodontics, as well as joint certificate programs with MD and dual-degree programs in partnership with the UTHealth School of Public Health and McGovern Medical School at UTHealth Houston. Preceptor programs are also available.

Some of the dental specialty courses offered at UTHealth Houston include:

  • Endodontics

  • Prosthodontics

  • Orthodontics and Dentofacial Orthopedics

  • Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery

  • Periodontics, etc.

All of these special courses are accredited, but studying for a specialty course will take a longer time to complete than usual.

# CODA-Accredited Dental Schools in Houston

The Commission on Dental Association (CODA) is a special accreditation agency solely responsible for accrediting dental schools that meets certain set requirements to be able to offer dental education in the United States.

University of Texas MD Cancer Center Houston

The University of Texas MD Cancer Center Houston is a public research university located in Houston, Texas.

The school was founded in 1945 as part of the University of Texas system and has an enrollment of over 300 students.

The student body consists of undergraduates, master’s degree candidates, doctoral students, and professional students.

In addition to its main campus, it also has branch campuses in Galveston (UTMB-Galveston) and McAllen (UTRGV School of Medicine).

UTMB is accredited by the Commission on Dental Association (CODA) and it offers a specialty dental program in Maxillofacial Prosthetics. It is considered a top dental school in Houston.

Also, the University of Texas at Houston School of Dentistry is CODA-accredited, aside from its ADEA accreditation.

# SACSCOC-Accredited Dental Schools in Houston

The purpose of the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges is to ensure the educational quality of its member institutions – in this case, dental schools in Houston.

Baylor College of Medicine

Baylor College of Medicine is a private medical school in Houston, TX. It is affiliated with Baylor University.

The school offers a program in Geriatric Dentistry in partnership with a slew of top schools like UT School of Dentistry.

The university’s mission is to provide the best possible education to its students so that they can serve patients’ needs at home or abroad.

Students who attend this program will learn from some of the most experienced dentists in their field and will gain valuable knowledge about how to treat patients by learning from these professionals first-hand.

Baylor College of Medicine encourages its students to develop critical thinking skills so that they can make informed decisions about their treatment plans for each patient on an individual basis rather than relying solely on what’s worked before with other similar cases before them.

The Following is a List of Pre-Dental/Diploma Programs

There is also a slew of pre-dental schools in Houston. A pre-dental program is a course of study that helps students prepare for a Doctor of Dental Medicine (DMD) or a Doctor of Dental Surgery (DDS) program.

Some top pre-dental schools in Houston are:

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University of Houston College of Dentistry

The University of Houston College of Dentistry is one of the top pre-ental schools in Houston. The College offers a 4-year program.

The college has highly qualified faculty members and research programs.

The college has been ranked among America’s best medical schools by U.S News & World Report. 

Houston Baptist University

Houston Baptist University offers a pre-dental program that is accredited by the Commission on Dental Accreditation of the American Dental Association (ADA).

This program is offered in a flexible online format and at the Bachelor’s degree level.

Sam Houston State University

Sam Houston State University offers an accredited pre-dental program.

It’s a public university located in Huntsville, Texas, and it has an acceptance rate of 80 percent.

It is accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools.

University of St. Thomas Houston

The University of St. Thomas Houston is a private Catholic university located in the city’s Montrose neighborhood.

It received its accreditation from the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges (SACSCOC), making it one of 9 schools with dental or dental-related programs accredited by SACSCOC in Texas. 

The University of St. Thomas Houston offers a Pre-Dental program that includes general education courses such as chemistry, anatomy, physiology, and microbiology as well as specialized courses like oral surgery training and periodontics specialty training that allow graduates to become oral surgeons or periodontists respectively after graduation if they wish.

Dental Assistant Programs

Houston is home to a number of dental assistant programs. Below are some of the requirements, costs, and length of time for these programs.

Houston Dental Assistant Program Requirements:

  • Must be at least 18 years old.

  • Have a high school diploma or GED certificate.

  • Pass an English proficiency test (or complete one semester of college English).

Dental Assistant VS Dental Assistant Program

A Dental Assistant is a healthcare professional who works with a dentist during operations.

They do a variety of jobs before and during dental procedures, including getting equipment and supplies to the dentist and utilizing suction and other tools to keep patients’ mouths dry and clear.

A dental assistant program is designed to prepare you for an entry-level position as an assistant in a dental office. A dental assistant performs many tasks, such as;

  • Taking x-rays of teeth and jaws.

  • Cleaning teeth using instruments and polishing materials to remove stains and plaque buildup on the surfaces of the teeth.

  • Preparing patients for treatment by providing them with necessary information and equipment, such as mouth guards or goggles.

  • Taking impressions of the patient’s teeth for making molds for crowns or other restorations.

Dental assistants work under the supervision of a licensed dentist who provides direction on how best to perform these duties.

How Does It Differ From a Dental Program?

A Dental Assistant program is different from a dental program. The main difference is that students will learn to assist the dentist in providing care to patients.

They’ll learn how to take x-rays, clean teeth, gums, prepare materials for dentists’ use, take impressions of patients’ teeth, and much more.

The student will also gain skills such as receptionist duties so that he or she can work in an office setting after graduation.

On the other hand, a Dentist is a top medical professional who specializes in oral health. Dental Assistants work under the direct supervision of Dentists.

Employment Prospects of Dental Assistants

Dental Assistants can be found in a variety of settings, including:

  • Dental offices

  • Orthodontic offices

  • Orthodontic laboratories

  • Prosthodontic offices (prosthodontics is the branch of dentistry that deals with the restoration of teeth and replacement parts)

Salary of Dental Assistants in Houston

The average salary for a dental assistant in the United States is $20.89 per hour. But dental assistants in Houston make slightly more than the national average.

The top 10 percent of dental assistants make over $22 an hour, while the bottom 10 percent make less than $18 an hour.

Salaries are dependent on experience, education level, and where you work within the state of Texas.

The average starting salary for a new graduate at one of the following schools is between $45,000 and $70,000 annually.

The Following is a List of Schools Offering Dental Assistant Programs

The following is a list of schools offering dental assistant programs in Houston:


What is the difference between a dental school and a dental assistant program?

A dental school is an institution of higher education that provides training in dentistry, whereas a dentist assistant program is a program that prepares you with the knowledge to help out with basic dental procedures in the field.

Dental assistants are trained professionals who work under licensed dentists as part of their practice. They’re responsible for assisting with dental procedures such as taking x-rays, administering anesthesia, etc.

How long does it take to become a dentist?

Eight years. Four years of undergraduate studies and another four years to complete a doctorate degree (DDS or DMD).

Although, if you plan on taking specialty courses, this may take longer.

Is it difficult to become a dentist?

We won’t say it is “difficult.” But it definitely isn’t easy – like most other professional healthcare courses.

You must work really hard and be on top of your academics to be able to go through.

Being a competitive and highly-rewarding profession (dentists are the fourth best-paid healthcare professionals), the academic standards required by many dental schools and dental education generally, are extremely high.

Final Thoughts

Houston is a great place to study dentistry. There are many accredited dental schools in Houston, and the employment outlook is good for dentists in Houston.

Dental assistant programs are popular in Houston, and the salary of dental assistants is high.

This article has covered various aspects of studying dentistry in Houston, including accredited dental schools and their respective programs as well as job prospects for graduates of these institutions.

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Wrapping It Up

We hope you were able to learn about the dental schools in Houston, and how to become a dentist in Houston.

If you have any questions or concerns, feel free to reach out.

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