Each dentist has a unique set of letters after their name. In the same dental practice, one dentist holds a “DMD,” while another holds a “DDS.” The difference between a DMD and a DDS may be of interest to you if you’re considering a career in dentistry. You may also wonder whether the prospects for employment, salary, and other perks between the two degrees differ.

We’ll explain the differences between a DMD and a DDS degree in this guide to assist you. Also, we’ll address some of the most often-asked issues before demonstrating that the critical distinction between the two degrees is considerably smaller than you would have imagined.


The abbreviations for the degrees that dentists receive upon completing dental school are DDS and DMD. What do DMD and DDS stand for in dentistry? DMD can stand for either a Doctor of Dental Medicine or a Doctor of Medicine in Dentistry. DDS stands for Doctor of Dental Surgery. The American Dental Association (ADA) states that despite the different titles, they stand for the same education. Both degrees have the same criteria, though specific colleges may award DMDs to dental graduates, and others may award DDSs.

According to the ADA, the first Doctor of Dental Surgery degrees were created in 1840 at the Baltimore College of Dental Surgery. Because Harvard University employs Latin names for its degrees, when its dental school opened in 1867, its degrees were known as Dentariae Medicinae Doctorate (Doctor of Medicine in Dentistry).

Are DDS and DMD similar to MD and DO in medicine?

You may be aware of a situation similar to this if you consider a healthcare career. Just as dentists can choose between having a DDS or a DMD, physicians can choose between receiving an MD or DO degree. Both degrees ultimately provide individuals with the license to exercise medicine, but there are significant distinctions between them in terms of entry requirements, training requirements, and potential career options.

Therefore, it is useless to extrapolate the MD vs. DO argument onto the subject of DMD vs. DDS dentists. Although there are substantial variations between the two degrees in medicine, there is only one degree in dentistry; it merely goes by two different names: DMD and DDS.

Do DDS and DMD programs differ in terms of training or accreditation?

In contrast to medicine, dentistry only has one certifying agency, the Commission on Dental Accreditation (CODA). To instruct students academically and clinically, dentistry schools in the United States must adhere to CODA criteria.

This implies that a DDS graduate has the same clinical skills and expertise as a DMD graduate. Additionally, all dental students enrolled in both programs must pass the same National Dental Board exams.

Is Getting a DMD or DDS More Expensive?

Instead of the name of the degree awarded, tuition differences across dental schools are determined mainly by a school’s status as a private, public, or out-of-state institution. Generally speaking, private schools and out-of-state residency result in higher tuition costs.

Which program, DMD or DDS, is more difficult to get into?

Once more, there is no connection between the degree type and the admissions difficulty. Some DMD programs are more competitive than others, and vice versa is true for some DDS programs. In the end, the school’s reputation rather than the degree set one program apart from another.

DMD Vs DDS; Which is Better?

Is one better than the other? The answer is fairly simple: there are no distinctions between the two degrees of oral health. Degrees in both are equivalent. Dentists with a DMD or DDS degree receive the same education. Therefore, there is no difference between the two degrees that would make one of them better or superior.

Which Degree Should You Pursue: a DDS or a DMD?

You shouldn’t let the response to this query determine where you choose to attend dental school. Instead, investigate several programs and pick the colleges depending on more important aspects like tuition, the school’s curriculum, location, and reputation.

When you receive your acceptance, choose the program you want to attend the most because it will have the degree you need.

Education After a DDS or DMD

The majority of DMD or DDS dentists pursue general dentistry. However, after receiving their degree, some people choose to focus on a particular specialty of dentistry. Based on the specialization field, training courses may last between two and six years. Endodontics, orthodontics, periodontics, prosthodontics, oral surgery, and pediatrics dentistry are among the important fields. The ADA can assist you in locating a dentist with the right expertise for you.

To be able to practice, dentists must complete a demanding education plan and pass several exams. Regardless of whether they are a DDS or DMD, you should pick a dentist based on their qualifications, services offered, conversational skills, and professionalism.


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