If you are looking for a dentist in Portland, you may have picked up on the fact that there are two types of dental degrees – DDS and DMD. 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 this will affect your dental care. At Family Dental Health, we love to spread the word about all things dental, so here are the facts, straight from Dr. David Case.
The Difference Between DDS and DMD
You have the right to know what training your health care professionals have received so that you can choose the best fit for your needs. Most Portland folks know there are specialties in dental medicine, such as orthodontics (braces), periodontics (gums), and cosmetics, but what about the degrees? Don’t worry, Dr. David Case has even known dentists that are still confused about this.
So what is the difference between the two degrees, anyway? The short answer is…exactly one letter. Both DMD and DDS indicate that an individual is a certified 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 DDS or DMD is qualified to practice general dentistry.
Why Are There DMDs and DDSs?
Now that you know the shocking truth about degrees in dental medicine, you might be asking – why the distinction if they’re exactly the same? Another short answer…Harvard. Before 1867, the DDS (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, or DMD) when they opened a dental school that same year.
The Take Away
Now you know, there is no difference between a DDS and DMD dental degree, the distinction only lies in the hands of the university from which the doctor received their degree. Good to know!
Whether you are searching for a new dentist, or your curiosity just got the best of you, we 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 DDS versus DMD degrees, please give Family Dental Health a call at (503) 433-3737!