DMD VS DDS: What's The Difference?

Author: Jeff Salmeri

dentist graduate

Your local dentist may be a DDS or a DMD. Did you ever wonder what the difference was? Dentists wonder too!  The acronym DDS stands for Doctor of Dental Surgery where DMD stands for Doctor of Dental Medicine. The training each dentist receives is very similar. 

Originally, in ancient times, medical practitioners were divided into two groups - surgeon and medicine. Surgeons used tools to care for and treat ailments while the medicine providers used pills, ointments, powders etc.

DDS was the only title bestowed upon dentists until Harvard University adopted a dental program. All of Harvard’s degrees are awarded in Latin and translated DDS would be CCD.

The scholars at Harvard found this unsatisfactory so the created a new degree – the DMD. Which schools award which degree?  It depends.  You will find that most schools award the DDS degree. The American Dental Association is well aware on the confusion surrounding the two degrees and has considered getting rid of one. However this was met with resistance form dentists and universities alike. Some dentist are proud to be a DMD as to them it shows who their Alma Mata may be. 

Either way the choice you make when finding a dentist should not hinge on whether they are a DMD or a DDS. All of today’s dentists are trained in schools that emphasize proper diagnosing and treatment. Along with many other factors, (download the guide to choosing the best dentist by going to and clicking the big tooth at the bottom of the home page) you should choose a dentist who you feel comfortable with and has given you the highest quality treatment.   

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Posted in: General and Family Dentistry