DDS or DMD: Which Is the Right Dentist for You?

January 14, 2019

Health Care & Medical

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All doctors have a clinical title after their name, and dentists are no exception. When choosing a local dentist, patients will be able to choose from those labeled as a DDS and those who are a DMD. Which one is a better choice for patients?


The very first dentists were given the title Doctor of Dental Surgery upon graduating dental school. This is shortened to the acronym DDS. Dentists with this title are trained to perform preventative care, dental surgery, restorative dentistry and cosmetic dentistry.


The very first DMD degree was granted from Harvard in 1940. This acronym stands for Doctor of Dental Medicine. A DMD is a generally trained dentist who can also perform all of the same procedures as a dentist who is a DDS. In fact, they don’t do anything more or less.

What does this mean?

Patients are often confused when they have to choose between a DDS and a DMD. It’s common to find a dentist who is a DDS in the same office as a DMD. However, only the titles are different. Both dentists are fully trained and licensed to perform the exact same procedures.

In order to become either a DDS or a DMD, a person must complete a four year degree at an accredited dental school. The title is determined by the school from where they graduate. The DDS title has been around longer, but many schools are now changing the title to DMD.

The American Dental Association recognizes both titles as being equal. There is no difference in education or training. Both a DDS and a DMD have the exact same qualifications. The only difference is acronym following the dentist’s name.

Which one is right for you?

Since a DDS and DMD are both dentists who are trained to perform the same procedures, choosing the right one depends on what works best for you. Try to find a clinic that is close to either your home or work. If possible, schedule a consultation to ensure the personality of the dentist is a good match for you.

The title DDS and DMD shouldn’t have any bearing when it comes time to select a local dentist. If you want to know all about the specialized care every dentist is trained to provide, you can learn more here.