DDS vs DMD
If you have ever needed the services of a dentist, chances are you must have had a look at the degree displayed by the doctor. As far as dentists are concerned, two degrees are common around the country and these are DMD and DDS. Some people cannot make out the difference between these degrees and thus remain confused as to which of the two degrees is better or superior. This article will remove all doubts in the minds of both patients as well as those desirous of pursuing a career in dentistry.
For starters, both DDS and DMD are equivalent degrees with same curriculum and syllabus and there is basically no difference in the qualification of doctors possessing a DDS or a DMD. It was only DDS degree that was awarded to doctors who studied dentistry. There were independent schools not affiliated with a university and treated the course as a sort of apprenticeship. It was when a heavyweight like Harvard University decided to have a dental school of its own. DDS stood for Doctor of Dental Surgery which Harvard did not like as they awarded degrees in Latin only. After much deliberation and consultation with a Latin scholar, Harvard came up with the name of the degree as DMD which contained the alphabets MD standing for Doctor of medicine. DMD stands for Dentariae Medicanae Doctor, which for all practical purposes, is same as DDS being awarded by other schools of dentistry in the country.
American Dental Association knows about the confusion created by different names for the same degree but is unable to eliminate either of the degrees. It even thought about eliminating both creating a brand new degree but could not do so because of the pride students felt with the degree they received from their colleges.
It is a funny situation in places like New York where DDS is the more common of the two degrees and people think only DDS as being dental doctors. Here even those who have received DMD write DDS against their name to convince people about their qualifications.
There are different perceptions about one of the degrees being better than the other one both among doctors as well as patients. Some patients prefer to be treated by DDS just because they think these are doctors specializing in the surgery aspect of dentistry (inclusion of surgery in their degree called DDS). Others feel that DMD is better as it is a degree containing the alphabets MD signifying Doctor of Medicine.
Probably more important than trying to find out differences between these two qualifications that are same is the fact of better diagnosis and treatment of dental ailments and problems with gums and teeth.
• DDS and DMD are equivalent degrees for dental doctors across the country
• Despite perceptions of differences in these two degrees, they are one and the same
• The difference in nomenclature has more to do with the tradition of awarding degrees in Latin in Harvard University.