When you begin searching for a dentist, you will likely notice that some hold the designation DDS while others are designated as DMD. It might also leave you wondering what these acronyms mean and how they impact your dental care.
The answer is, both DDS and DMD mean that the dentist graduated from an accredited dental school, and has been awarded one of the two degrees based on completion of the same curriculum requirements. DDS stands for Doctor of Dental Surgery and DMD stands for Doctor of Dental Medicine, however, there is no difference in the two degrees.
A dentist with a DDS or a DMD degree has generally had three or more years of undergraduate education as well as four years of dental school to become a general dentist. After graduation, a DDS or DMD also must pass a national written exam and a state clinical licensing exam in order to practice. Specialists such as an orthodontist, periodontist or oral surgeon complete more training in their area of specialization.
All dentists, whether their degree is a DDS or a DMD require years of training and continuing education required to practice.