5 cheapest countries in the world to study dentistry
Dentistry is one of the most high demand areas of study with a high employability rate. Source: Oscar Del Pozo / AFP

As exciting as going to university may be, it can be expensive — more so for those studying medicine and dentistry.   

This is because training someone to aave lives takes up a lot of resources. Not only do unis have to pay for highly skilles professors, they have to invest in state-of-the-art facilities, simulation centres and clinical science buildings too.

There are other factors that are not related to the costs to provide or produce a medical education. This includes increased demand for doctors or dentists and for the education to realise this.

During the 2021 to 2022 academic year, there were 26,228 students enrolled in predoctoral dental education programmes. The average annual cost of the first year of dental school ranges from US$11,400 to US$84,630 for students attending private or out-of-state dental schools. 

Enrolling in a dental school may cost you a few hundred to hundreds of thousands of dollars just to complete the four years of education. However, things don’t have to be that way. 

There are cheaper dental schools you can attend to get a good degree. You just have to choose the right country.

Here are five of the cheapest countries to study dentistry:

1. Belgium

Belgium is home to one of the most affordable dental schools in the world for international students. The university of KU Leuven is Belgium’s highest-ranked university.

Its Department of Oral Health Sciences is ranked 11th in the QS World University Ranking for Dentistry.

The tuition fees for most bachelor’s and master’s programmes remain relatively low here, starting at US$934.10 per year.


Dentistry graduates can work in hospital emergency rooms, conduct research, educate future dentists, and travel the world with international health organisations. Source: Damien Meyer / AFP

2. Switzerland

Switzerland is a great place to study dentistry due to its beautiful landscape, mountains and natural wonders which attract thousands of tourists every year. Students from all over the world are attracted to Switzerland because of the increasing number of dental schools offering programmes in English. Despite being a small country, Swiss universities have been known to rank among the best in the world. Universities in Switzerland are renowned throughout the world for their commitment to high-standard education and research. 

Established in 1833, the University of Zurich is a 187 years old university located in the city of Zurich and is the largest university in Switzerland. The Centre of Dental Medicine is one of the cheapest dental schools around, with tuition fee starting at US$2,453.85 per year.

The Centre of Dental Medicine at the University of Zurich is 12th in the QS World University Rankings for dentistry.


3. Japan

Aside from being known for sushi, Mount Fuji and yakuzas, Japan is known as one of the cheapest countries in the world to obtain a dental degree.

Located in Yushima Bunkyo-Ku is the Tokyo Medical and Dental University –  one of the cheapest in the country with an annual tuition fee of US$3,329.95 per year.

The university prides itself on graduating scientists who are intellectually curious in their effort to seek out new information about already existing procedures and find new ones.

The Faculty of Dentistry at the Tokyo Medical and Dental University ranks sixth in the world and is the first in Japan according to the QS World University Rankings 2022.

4. The Netherlands

Medicine is taught differently in the Netherlands, which makes it one of the top countries worldwide for studying dentistry. Courses are taught in Dutch as well as in English. However, if students choose to study in English they would still need to learn Dutch as the final year of training requires them to work in Dutch hospitals. 

The Faculty of Dentistry is located in the Academic Centre for Dentistry Amsterdam (ACTA) in the southern district on the campus of the VU University Medical Center. It was formed when the University of Amsterdam and the Vrije Universiteit combined their dentistry schools in 1984.

Ranked number two in the QS World University Rankings for dentistry, the uni charges an annual tuition fee of around US$8,478 to US$9,449 per year.

5. Puerto Rico 

Though not a common choice, Puerto Rico is home to one of the top-ranked dental universities in the world. The University of Puerto Rico School of Dental Medicine is the only dental school in Puerto Rico. It is located at the University of Puerto Rico, Medical Sciences Campus in San Juan.

Accredited by the American Dental Association, the university’s School of Dental Medicine offers an Advanced Placement Programme for internationally trained dentists and upon completion, they will earn a Doctor of Dental Medicine degree.

This university has welcomed students for about 40 years, and its cost is less than other schools of dentistry by 54%. Aside from being the oldest and largest university in the country, it is also the cheapest. The schooling fee charged by the university for international students is around US$10,100 to US$12,400 per year.