DMD versus DDS: Is There a Difference?

 “What’s in a name? That which we call a rose by any other word would smell as sweet.”

– William Shakespeare, Romeo and Juliet

One of our website viewers recently asked us why Drs. Capista and Lamb’s names are followed by the “DDS” acronym (Doctor of Dental Surgery), while Drs. Spennato and Shepanski include “DMD” (Doctor of Dental Medicine) instead.

What’s the difference? In a word—nothing. Combined Degree Programs 200

Way back when, Doctor of Dental Science (DDS) was the original name for a dental degree. In 1867, Harvard opened a school of dental medicine and ended up titling their degree (in Latin) “Dentariae Medicinae Doctor” or DMD.

Today, nearly 60 dental schools in the United States, whether they use “DDS” or “DMD,” all demand the same excellence in diagnosis and clinical skills from their graduates. Even the American Dental Association says that both degrees are identical. The organization has suggested creating a new degree title that everybody would use.

Sounds like a plan!