The objective of this study was to compare dental graduates' perceived preparedness for practice after being educated in a problem-based learning (PBL) curriculum with those who graduated from a traditional undergraduate curriculum, both at the University of Hong Kong. A cohort of graduates from the traditional dental curriculum (1997-2001) and a cohort of graduates from the PBL curriculum (2004-08) rated their self-perceived preparedness for dental practice in fifty-nine aspects of dentistry across nine domains. Perceived preparedness for dental practice was compared at domain and item levels (accounting for multiple comparisons) using chi-square statistics. Both cohorts felt well prepared for the "bread and butter" aspects of dentistry, but less so for specific specialty disciplines. There was no significant difference between PBL and traditional graduates' self-perceived preparedness in eight of the nine domains of dental practice (P>0.05). However, in the area of orthodontics, both cohorts felt ill-prepared for practice and more so among the PBL cohort (P<0.01). For the most part, regardless of curriculum design, these dental graduates perceived themselves to be well prepared for dental practice.