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The Difference Between DDS and DMD

Two titles that are granted to graduate dentists are DDS and DMD. Have you ever wondered what the difference was? Is one degree held in a higher regard than the other? What do they mean in general?

First, the difference is actually just in the title. DDS and DMD are essentially the same exact title, just with different names. Because of this, they are equivalent. Both dentists with a DDS and a DMD are able to practice the same dentistry, and have passed the same curriculum.

First off, what do they stand for? DDS stands for Doctor of Dental Surgery while DMD stands for Doctor of Medicine in Dentistry. While you may initially believe that the former deals with surgery while the latter deals with medicine, you would be incorrect – they are the same degree!

Who is responsible for the difference? Harvard University. According to Prospective Doctor, When Harvard added a dental school, they decided against the then-standard DDS degree for graduate dentists. This was due to a tradition with Harvard – they offer their degrees via translation from Latin. For example, the translation of DDS into Latin is Chirurgae Dentium Doctoris. This title would result in a degree known as CDD. Harvard then decided to use Dentariae Medicinae Doctoris instead, resulting in a DMD degree.

Nowadays, while both degrees are still used, DDS seems to be the slightly more recurring title.

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