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Montgomery County’s Trusted Dentist
When you schedule a visit to the dentist, you might notice that some dentists have ‘DMD’ (Doctor of Dental Medicine) and others have ‘DDS’ (Doctor of Dental Surgery) after their names. At Highpoint Dental Medicine, we understand that these different designations can be confusing. Are they different degrees? Does one imply a different level of education or expertise? Let’s clear up these common questions.
Understanding DMD and DDS
The truth is, there’s no difference in the level of education or training between a DMD and a DDS. Both degrees represent the same education and qualifications and are awarded to dental professionals upon completion of the same types of programs. The distinction comes down to which title the university offering the dental program chooses to use.
1. Historical Perspective
The DDS degree is the older of the two, originating with the first dental school in the world, Baltimore College of Dental Surgery, which was founded in 1840. As dental education evolved and expanded, some universities decided to use ‘Doctor of Dental Medicine’ (DMD) to reflect an expanded dental curriculum that includes more medical training.
2. Education and Training Requirements
Both DMD and DDS degrees require the same level of education and training. This typically includes:
- A bachelor’s degree with a strong emphasis on sciences.
- Four years of dental school, which include both classroom (covering topics like health and dental sciences) and clinical training.
- Passing national and state licensing exams.
3. The Curriculum
The curriculum for both DMD and DDS degrees is virtually identical. Both include studies in:
- General anatomy and dental anatomy.
- Biochemistry and pathology.
- Pharmacology specific to dental practices.
- Clinical practice, including diagnostics, surgical procedures, and patient care.
4. Scope of Practice
Dentists with either a DMD or DDS degree have the same scope of practice. They can diagnose and treat oral health issues, perform surgeries, and prescribe medications related to dental problems. Both are equally qualified to practice all aspects of dentistry, from general care to more specialized procedures.
Why the Distinction Matters (Or Doesn’t)
In reality, the distinction between DMD and DDS degrees is more about the history and policy of the universities that grant these degrees than any difference in skill, expertise, or training. When choosing a dentist, the degree (DMD or DDS) should not be a major factor in your decision. Instead, look for a dentist’s experience, approach to patient care, reputation, and the range of services they offer.
Contact Your Local Montgomery County Dentist Today
Whether a dentist holds a DMD or DDS degree, they are required to undergo the same rigorous education and training. At Highpoint Dental Medicine, we believe what truly matters is the quality of care we provide. Our team, whether DDS or DMD, is committed to offering the highest standard of dental care, ensuring our patients receive the best possible treatment for their oral health needs. Schedule your appointment today!