DDS: Doctor of Dental Surgery
DMD: Doctor of Dental Medicine

Many people may wonder what is the difference between a dentist with a DDS and a dentist with a DMD. The history is that all dentists were given the DDS degree in the past, but when Harvard opened their dental college they had to award all degrees in Latin, so doctor of dental surgery would not work. They settled on DMD as an abbreviation for the Latin words, Dentariae Medicinae Doctorae. Since then, other schools have copied this idea. Some schools even allow the dentist to decide which degree he or she would like.

According to the ADA, “There is no difference between the two degrees; dentists who have a DMD or DDS have the same education. State licensing boards accept either degree as equivalent, and both degrees allow licensed individuals to practice the same scope of general dentistry.” There are geographic patterns with the two degrees, depending on which state school is nearby. For example, here in the western Ohio or Dayton, Ohio area, dentists usually have a DDS degree because the Ohio State University and Indiana University award this degree.

Dentists must complete three or four years of undergraduate education before completing four years of dental school in order to become a general dentist. So, most dentists have eight years of college education. In order to become a specialist, a dentist must complete and additional two to six years of post-graduate training.

Source: The American Dental Association