The World’s Top Dental Schools: 2017 Edition

Dentistry Today


Quacquarelli Symonds (QS) has released its 2017 list of the top 51 dental schools in the world, with the University of Hong Kong Faculty of Dentistry taking the top slot for the second year in a row. The University of Michigan School of Dentistry was the top American school and number 2 overall, also for the second year in a row, followed by Tokyo Medical and Dental University, King’s College London Dental Institute, and Harvard School of Dental Medicine in the top 5.

QS scored each school’s academic reputation, employer reputation, and research citations per paper on a scale of zero to 100 and averaged these totals for each final score. Surveyed academics and employers identified up to 10 domestic and 30 international institutions they considered excellent, while QS used Scopus to determine the citation tallies. QS has been ranking the world’s top dental schools since 2011. 

University of Hong Kong

“Last year, I told staff and students that being ranked number one in the world was a once in a lifetime achievement. I was wrong!” said Thomas Flemmig, DMD, MBA, dean of the Faculty of Dentistry at the University of Hong Kong. “The ranking is a wonderful recognition of the outstanding achievements of our staff and students and a testament to the excellence of our research, teaching, and service. It demonstrates what we can achieve together.”  

In September 2016, the Faculty of Dentistry increased its bachelor of dental surgery (BDS) program by 40% to address the shortage of dentists in Hong Kong. The school also offers postgraduate programs in community dentistry, endodontics, orthodontics, oral and maxillofacial surgery, pediatric dentistry, periodontology, and prosthodontics.

Plus, the school recently launched its Institute of Advanced Dentistry, designed to be a center of excellence for the management of complex oral conditions. It will provide multispecialty advanced dental care and serve as a referral for practicing dentists. The school also says that it will foster clinical innovation, support translational and clinical research, and provide postgraduate and professional dental education.

University of Michigan

With an emphasis on strong links between clinical teaching and research, the University of Michigan retained its hold on the number 2 slot in the QS survey. More than 2,100 students applied for the 109 seats in 2016’s incoming class. Additionally, its faculty published 223 articles last year in more than 100 scientific journals. National and international awards, grants, fellowships, and appointments all bring in millions of dollars for research, too.

“We’re proud that we’ve consistently been recognized among the leaders in dentistry over our 142-year history,” said Laurie McCauley, DDS, MS, PhD, dean of the school. “We’ve been able to achieve that because we have faculty, students, and staff who strive to continually improve dentistry, teaching, and research. That commitment produces an environment of excellence that we’re always working to improve.” 

King’s College London

The Dental Institute at King’s College London is the top dental school in Europe, with a strategy designed to integrate education with research, clinical approaches, and patient care. It serves more than 700 undergraduates, 140 graduate taught students, 300 distance learning students, and 110 graduate research students with more than 85 academic staff members. Plus, it cares for more than 300,000 patients each year.

The school comprises 4 research divisions—craniofacial development and stem cell biology, mucosal and salivary research, tissue engineering and biophotonics, and population and patient health—all established to complement the school’s teaching and clinical service initiatives. Clinical training is provided at Guy’s and St. Thomas’ hospitals.

“Rising to first in Europe in the global rankings reaffirms our position as a world-class institution and reflects the dedication, commitment, and innovation of our academic and professional staff, our students, and our alumni,” said interim executive dean Mark Woolford, BDS, MA, PhD.  

Other US Schools

“Harvard School of Dental Medicine is delighted to be ranked among the top 5 dental schools in the world in the recently released QS 2017 rankings. This honor is especially noteworthy as the school is celebrating its 150th anniversary this year,” said R. Bruce Donoff, MD, DMD, dean of the school, which serves more than 25,000 patients during more than 57,000 dental visits each year.

“As the first US dental school affiliated with a university and its medical school, and the first to confer the Dentariae Medicinae Doctor (DMD) degree, we celebrate a proud history along with this significant achievement,” Donoff added. “We would also like to recognize and thank our dental school peers around the world who are united in the mission to advance dental education, research, and clinical care.”

In total, 14 schools from the United States made the list. Other schools included:

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