Top 10 Universities to Study Dental Health in Nigeria

Nigeria has a growing population with increasing healthcare needs. Dental health is an important aspect of overall health and well-being. Studying dental health provides career opportunities in caring for patients’ oral health and treating dental issues. This article explores the top 10 universities in Nigeria to study dental health based on their reputation, facilities, research quality and graduate success.

Top 10 Universities To Study Dental Health In Nigeria

1. University of Lagos Faculty of Dental Sciences

The University of Lagos, located in Idi-Araba, Lagos is renowned for its Faculty of Dental Sciences. Established in 1964, it is the oldest dental school in West Africa. The university has excellent infrastructure including modern laboratories and equipment. Students get exposure to various specializations through its departments of Oral Pathology, Preventive Dentistry, Restorative Dentistry and Dental Therapeutics. UNILAG alumni include reputed dental surgeons in Nigeria and abroad.

2. Obafemi Awolowo University College of Health Sciences

The OAU College of Health Sciences located in Ile-Ife offers a high-quality dental program. Established in 1975, it was Nigeria’s third dental college. The university has a student-friendly environment and qualified faculty. Notable alumni include the past Vice-Chancellor of Adekunle Ajasin University, Professor Nahzeem Olufemi Mimiko. The college provides opportunities for research through its collaboration with the Ife Dental Research Clinic and Hospital.

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3. University of Ibadan College of Medicine

The University of Ibadan established in 1948 was Nigeria’s first university. The College of Medicine has a reputed Faculty of Dentistry. Notable alumni include writer Chinua Achebe. The curriculum covers fields like oral surgery, preventive dentistry, and community oral health. Students get clinical experience at the UI Teaching Hospital. The college promotes research through publications in peer-reviewed journals.

4. University of Benin College of Medical Sciences

Located in Benin City, the University of Benin is known for its College of Medical Sciences. The college’s Faculty of Dentistry was established in 1970. It has well-equipped laboratories and a skilled faculty. The International Association of Dental Research has recognized the college’s dental research quality. Alumni hold leadership roles in government dental agencies and private practices.

5. University of Lagos College of Medicine

Established in 1962, UNILAG’s College of Medicine is reputed across West Africa. The college admitted the first dental students in Nigeria in 1964 under its Faculty of Dentistry. Departments cover areas like community dentistry, operative dentistry and pediatric dentistry. Students are trained using modern equipment at UNILAG Teaching Hospital. The college participates in oral health projects and conferences.

6. Bayero University Kano Faculty of Dentistry

The Bayero University Kano established in 1975 caters to northern Nigeria’s education needs. Its Faculty of Dentistry provides comprehensive training in fields like oral surgery, periodontology, and community dentistry. Students gain clinical experience through rotations at AKTH Dental Centre. The faculty participates in oral cancer screening camps and dental health promotion activities in rural communities.

7. Lagos State University College of Medicine

The Lagos State University established in 1983 admits students to its College of Medicine. The college’s Faculty of Dentistry offers specializations in oral diagnosis, dental public health, and pediatric dentistry. It is known for providing hands-on training using advanced equipment at LASUTH. The college has conducted various outreach programs on oral hygiene practices.

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8. University of Nigeria Enugu Campus College of Medicine

The University of Nigeria’s Enugu campus College of Medicine was established in 1960. Its Faculty of Dentistry has departments covering areas such as oral biology, oral radiology, and rehabilitation. Clinical rotations are done at UNTH. The college organizes continuing education programs for dental professionals and has undertaken dental missions across Nigeria.

9. University of Port Harcourt College of Health Sciences

The University of Port Harcourt founded in 1975 is known for its College of Health Sciences. The college has a Faculty of Dentistry with departments of pediatric dentistry, preventive dentistry, and oral radiology. Students gain clinical experience through rotations at UPTH. The college works closely with the Oral Health Unit of Rivers State Ministry of Health on various oral health initiatives.

10. University of Maiduguri College of Medical Sciences

The University of Maiduguri established in 1975 is located in Maiduguri city. Its College of Medical Sciences offers training in dentistry. The college has fully equipped departments covering oral pathology, oral surgery, and periodontology. Students complete clinical rotations at the UMTH. The college runs regular dental outreach programs in rural Borno State to promote awareness of oral healthcare.

4 Key Points About Studying Dental Health in Nigeria

  • The basic requirements to study dental health include 5 credits including English Language, Mathematics, Physics, Chemistry and Biology at O/Level and A/Level qualifications with relevant science subjects.
  • The duration of the Bachelor of Dental Surgery (BDS) program ranges from 5-6 years depending on the university.
  • Practical clinical training through hospital rotations is an important part of the curriculum to develop hands-on skills in different dental specializations.
  • Research opportunities exist through various student projects, programs, conferences and journal publications to advance knowledge in the field.

Admission Requirements

Admission requirements for dental health programs in Nigerian universities:

  1. O-Level Requirements: 5 credits must be obtained in Core Subjects including English Language, Mathematics, Physics, Chemistry, and Biology at SSCE/GCE/NECO level.
  2. UTME Subjects: English Language, Physics, Chemistry, and Biology are compulsory subjects for UTME. A minimum aggregate score is usually 180-200 out of 400.
  3. Subject Combination: Students are required to have relevant science subject combinations for UTME which include English Language, Physics, Chemistry, Biology, and either Mathematics or Additional Mathematics.
  4. A-Level Subjects: For direct entry into 200-level, 3 A-Level credits are required including Chemistry, Biology/Zoology and Physics with minimum grades.
  5. Cut-off Marks: Different universities set minimum UTME scores. For instance, UNILAG requires 180-200 while BUK’s cutoff is 190-200. Cut-offs are usually higher for programs like Dentistry.
  6. Age Limit: Applicants must be within the ages of 17-25 years as of October 31st of the year of admission for all Nigerian universities.
  7. Medical Screening: Shortlisted candidates need to undergo a medical examination checking physical fitness to study dental health course.
  8. Interview/Aptitude Test: Some top schools hold post-UTME interviews, and aptitude tests checking suitability for the career.
  9. English Language Requirement: A credit pass in English Language at SSCE is mandatory though schools may demand higher scores.
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Frequently Asked Questions

1. What is the admission process for dental health programs?

Students must write the Unified Tertiary Matriculation Examination (UTME) conducted by JAMB and obtain the minimum UTME cut-off scores/requirements set by the respective university to qualify for the degree program. Shortlisted candidates may additionally need to take part in post-UTME screening tests and interviews.

2. Which are the top specializations in dental health?

Some popular specializations studied include orthodontics, pedodontics, oral surgery, prosthodontics, community dentistry, and dental public health. Advanced programs lead to Master’s and Ph.D. degrees as well.

3. What are the career prospects after graduation?

Qualified dental surgeons have opportunities to work in private dental clinics and hospitals, government oral health centers, research organizations, public health programs, dental product companies and academic institutions as faculty members.

4. What is the average salary of a dental health graduate?

A recent graduate can expect to earn between ₦300,000 to ₦600,000 per annum working at a private clinic or hospital in Nigeria. Salaries tend to increase with more experience and specialization attained over the years.

5. What are the requirements for postgraduate dental programs?

Candidates must hold a BDS/Bachelor’s degree in Dental Surgery from a recognized university with a minimum CGPA. Work experience, research publications, recommendation letters and qualifications in tests like DAT may also be required depending on the specialization and university.


The Top 10 universities discussed in this article offer comprehensive dental health training with international standards of education. Their strong reputation is built on areas like curriculum, faculty, infrastructure, research and career success of alumni contributing to oral healthcare in Nigeria. Students should additionally research funding options, campuses, programs and admission criteria of different institutions to identify the best-fit option for achieving their academic goals. A postgraduate degree can further augment career prospects in dental surgery and associated specializations.


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