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DDS vs. DMD: What is the Difference?


Posted on 3/15/2016 by Robert Leale
A dentist smiling for the camera.Most of us know the difference between different types of doctors, but do you know what the difference is between a DDS and DMD when it comes to your dentist? If not, that's okay. A lot of dental professionals might not even be able to tell you.

First, it is important to know what these acronyms stand for. DMD is a Doctor of Medicine in Dentistry, while a DDS is a Doctor of Dental Surgery. Despite the name difference, there isn't one type of dentist that is superior to another, it's just that different dental schools will award different degrees.

Here's the break down - of the 58 dental schools in the country, 22 award DMD degrees, while the other 36 award DDS degrees. However, there is no difference in education between the two different types. State dental licensing boards will accept either degree, allowing licensure to practice the same type of general dentistry.

Now that you realize these two degrees are basically the same thing, you might wonder why two different options even exist. Well, the DDS came first when the Harvard Dental School was founded in the 1800s. However, this school decided to change it to DMD so that it could be more easily printed in Latin, and while most other dental schools followed Harvard's lead, others continued to award the original DDS degree.

While the American Dental Association realizes that the two different degree options are confusing, it would be difficult to change this issue today, so it appears that the DDS and DMD credentials will continue on.

Regardless of whether your dentist is a DDS or a DMD, their primary goal is to keep your mouth healthy by offering preventative care and treating issues as they arise. If you have questions about our education or credentials - or if you simply need to set up your next appointment - please contact our office today.
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