DDS vs. DMD: A Dental Degree Breakdown

two doctors with stethoscopesIf you are looking for a dentist in Ballwin, you may have picked up on the fact that there are two types of dental degrees: DDSs and DMDs. Perhaps you’ve noticed that there are far more of one than the other or maybe they are split 50/50. Either way, you’re probably wondering what the difference is and how it will affect your dental care. We at the office of Kevin F. Postol, DDS love to spread the news about all things dental, so here are the facts, straight from Dr. Kevin Postol.

The Difference between DDS and DMD

You have the right to know what training your health care professionals have received so that you can pick the best fit for your needs. Most Ballwin folks know that specialties in dental medicine, such as orthodontics (braces), but what about the degrees? Dr. Kevin Postol has even known dentists that are confused about this matter.

What’s the difference between these two degrees? Exactly one letter. Both D.M.D. and D.D.S. indicate that an individual is a doctor of dental medicine. Although there are subtle differences in curriculum within and between the two degrees, the American Dental Association considers them identical. Anyone with a D.D.S. or D.M.D. is qualified to practice general dentistry.

Why Are There DMD’s and DDS’s?

Now that you know the shocking truth about degrees in dental medicine, you might be asking: Why go to the trouble of causing all this confusion? Harvard is to blame. Before 1867, the D.D.S (doctor of dental surgery) was the only dental degree available. However, Harvard only offers degrees in Latin, so they came up with Dentariae Medicinae Doctor (doctor of dental medicine) when they opened a dental school that same year.

Whether you are searching for a dentist or just wanted to know, we at the office of Kevin F. Postol, DDS hope that this article has quenched your thirst for dental degree knowledge. If you have any questions or would like to vent about the silliness of DDSs vs. DMDs please give us a call!


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