Philippines Universities & Colleges Guide

Doctor of Dental Medicine in the Philippines

Dentistry is one of the most prestigious courses offered in the Philippines, and is regulated and supervised by the council on dental education. At present, there are less than 20 schools providing dental education nationwide. The Board of Dentistry of the Professional Regulation Commission (PRC) regulates the proper practice of dentistry in the Philippines.

What are the admission requirements for dental studies in the Philippines?

  1. Must be a holder of a bachelors’ degree on any course
  2. Must pass the Colleges’ pre-dental entrance examination
  3. Must be of good moral character
  4. Must provide a copy of transcript of records (TOR) with CHED special order

How long does it take to complete dental education in the Philippines?

Dental education in the Philippines takes 6 years to complete. It includes 2 years of pre-dental courses and 4 years of dental proper which is embodied in Republic Act (R.A) No. 4419 known as Philippine Dental Act of 1965.

What exam do I need to take to practice dentistry in the Philippines?

To be able to practice dentistry in the Philippines, you need to pass the Dental Licensure examination. This is held in Manila at least twice a year - usually on the months of May and December.

What are the requirements for admission to the Dental Licensure Examination?

  • Must be a Filipino Citizen
  • Must be of good moral character
  • Must have finished 2 years of pre-dentistry course
  • Must be a holder of a degree of either Doctor of Dental Medicine or Doctor of Dental Surgery from a college duly recognized by the government

What are the career opportunities for graduates of dentistry in the Philippines?

There are many career opportunities waiting for you once you pass the Dentists’ Licensure Examination. Here’s a list of dental jobs available in the Philippines that you can apply for:
  1. Dental Assistant
  2. Associate Dentist in private dental clinics
  3. Dental Office Manager
  4. Dental Hygienist
  5. Dental Consultant
  6. Orthodontist
  7. School Dentist

What are the best dental schools in the Philippines?

The following dental schools are rated based on their performances in the licensure examinations. The top performing schools in the most recent dental licensure examination held on June 2009:
  • Schools with 5 – 25 examinees:
    1. University of the Philippines (Manila) – 100%
    2. Lyceum of Batangas – 100%
    3. University of Baguio – 100%
    4. Our Lady of Fatima University (Valenzuela) – 89%
    5. Centro Escolar University (Malolos) – 88%

  • Schools with 100 or more examinees:
    1. University of the East (Manila) – 98%
    2. Centro Escolar University (Manila) – 53%

What are the national passing rates of dental schools in the Philippines?

  • May 2010 - 71.17 % (242 out of 340)
  • May 2009 - 44.44 % (264 out of 594)
  • May 2008 - 43.52% (356 out of 818)
  • December 2008 - 41.80% (296 out of 708)
  • December 2007 - 36.06% (317 out of 879)
  • December 2006 - 33.08% (393 out of 1,188)
  • May 2005 - 34.88% (458 out of 1,313)


Reviews of Doctor of Dental Medicine graduates:

E. M.
Studied Doctor of Dental Medicine
at University of the Philippines Manila , Manila
Graduated: 2012

About my college education:
My education is difficult and challenging but definitely worth it. If you enjoy situations where you are exposed to pressures, this is definitely the right course for you. I’m not scaring you or anything, I’m just being plainly honest.

In this course, it is not enough that you understand theoretical area of the course. If you’re good in memorizing but lack skills using your hands, this is not good for you. Basically, what I’m trying to say is that you must have dexterity. Since we are dealing with the small structures inside the mouth, we must be delicate enough not to hurt the patient when doing the treatments. Sometimes, the students forget that patients are also human beings that can feel pain and they are not just like your laboratory mannequins that can open their mouth 180 degrees.

When restoring the teeth with a filling, you’ll feel like you’re a sculptor since you are required to shape the tooth back to it's original form. You’ll also feel like an engineer when constructing dentures since it requires principles like you’re making a bridge.

Moreover, your social skill is also important. You must make the patients feel that they are in good hands; that you care for them. You must not let your patient be affected by your problems. You must always be polite even if the patient comes late and you only have an hour to finish the dental treatment. Everything you do in the clinic requires patience.

But all in all, it’s all about the effort and hard work. As long as you believe that you can succeed in this career, anything is possible.

My current job:
I am an associate dentist for a private clinic located at Manila.

Am I using what I learned in college:
Definitely yes. Everything that I learned in college are valuable for the growth of my career as a dentist. The skills such as problem solving skills, analytical skills, clinical skills that I have learned helped me manage the complaints of my patient.

In addition, it may seem that, as a dentist, I am only concerned with the oral cavity and it's associated structures but we, the dentists, may also be the one to first diagnose a medical condition of the patient. This is evident because of the fact that dental students must have an understanding of the basic sciences. In other words, we are required to understand all the body systems and the associated diseases. Because of the strong basic science training stressed in our first two years, it definitely provided us a solid foundation for professional growth. Moreover, this knowledge made us well prepared to critically review and analyze dental literature to help us manage to keep up with the latest dental trends.

How long did it take to find a job after graduation:
Since I graduated from the premiere school of the Philippines, it wasn’t difficult to find a job. It just took me less than 2 weeks to find a stable and satisfying career.

Do I recommend studying Doctor of Dental Medicine:
I would definitely recommend my course to other people. Why? Because there are a lot opportunities for a dental graduate. You can practice in many different settings by being a general practitioner in all areas of dental medicine or maybe as a specialist. You can build your own private practice or enter the government as a community dentist. You may also apply for an externship in hospitals like the Philippine General Hospital and the Philippine Children Medical Center. Moreover, the dental graduate may also apply to become a dental researcher, teacher at a dental school or as a health-care administrators. There are a lot of career opportunities waiting for you after graduation.

You may also enrich your career by taking up postgraduate studies and many universities in the Philippines are providing these. If you want a very exciting career, I definitely recommend the study of forensic dentistry. I think, this specialization is only offered outside the country.

In terms of income, you will definitely have a higher salary rate compared to an average salary man because aside from the basic pay that you’re receiving from your employer, you will also be receiving commissions that may extend up to 40%. This means that if the total amount of treatments you did for the month is 50k, 40% of it will be yours. If you have your own clinic, you’ll definitely earn more.
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