Ontario has nearly 9,000 licensed dentists practising in the province.
While all of those dentists had to go through dental school, not all received the best dental education they could get. And that education is what ultimately separates good dental work from the mediocre.
If you’re considering a career in the world of dentistry, you should carefully consider where you’ll attend school. But how do you know what makes a great school of dentistry?
Keep reading to find out.
Graduation and Employment Rates
One way to figure out how good a school is is by looking into their graduation and employment rates.
The graduation rate reflects the number of students who completed their education and received their certification from that particular school. A high graduation rate often reflects a rigorous selection process and a great school. It means that they only allow dedicated, enthusiastic students into their program that they can be sure will finish the program.
Employment rates are just as important. This reflects the number of students who find gainful employment after graduating from their program. A high employment rate is indicative of a school that employers are seeking graduates from.
Licensing and Accreditation
You definitely want to find a dental school that has the right licensing and accreditation. Some of the regulatory bodies that should be governing dental schools in Ontario are:
- CDAC: Commission on Dental Accreditation of Canada
- MAESD: Ministry of Advanced Education and Skill Development (formerly MTCU)
- PCC: Private Career Colleges Branch
- CDHO: College of Dental Hygienists of Ontario
- NDHCB: National Dental Hygiene Certification Board
- NDAEB: National Dental Assisting Examining Board
While learning through lectures and textbooks is important, good dentistry really comes down to how you perform work on a patient. Anybody can read a lesson and recite that information in an assessment,but not everyone can perform the actual procedures in a proficient way.
A great dental school will give you the opportunity to work on patients. Look for a school that has its own clinics, or that gives you the opportunity to work in affiliated clinics and practice your skills.
Taking that one step further, the best dental education means working with the latest and greatest technologies. You should also have the opportunity to perform a wide variety of procedures in a diverse community of patients. The more clinical experience you have, the more you can learn and bring with you when you’re on the job.
The Student to Faculty Ratio
An important part of learning is receiving individualized attention when you need it. Not all of these concepts will come easily, and you should have the chance to ask questions and engage with your teachers when necessary. And if you’re easily distracted or uncomfortable speaking in front of large groups, the size of your class will also have an effect on your ability to learn.
This is where the student to faculty ration comes in. In a classroom of 30 students, you won’t receive the same individualized experience as you would in a classroom of 10 or 15.
Look for this information on the school’s website or call them for an understanding and explanation of their class sizes.
The Best Dental Education at Southern Ontario Dental College
Choosing a school to pursue a career in the dental world can be tricky. You’re making a huge investment in terms of both time and money, and you want to make sure you get it right. To find the best dental education out there, you should look at items like licensing and accreditation, graduation and employment rates, as well as how much hands-on experience you’ll receive.
At the Southern Ontario Dental College, we train dental hygienists with a 99% graduation rate and a 95% employment rate. Check out the academic programs we offer here.