DMD vs. DDS

You may have noticed that in the state of North Carolina most dentist have a “DDS” after their name and that Dr. Reece has “DMD” after his name.  You may ask yourself what is the difference?

The answer is that the only difference is the school from which they graduated.  Dr. Reece attended the Medical University of South Carolina College of Dental Medicine and most other dentist in the state went to  The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill College of Dental Medicine.  Each of the dental schools across the United States either offer a DMD or DDS upon graduating.   No matter which one your dentist has, the fact that he has one, means that they graduated from an ADA accredited Dental School.

DMD stands or Doctor of Dental Medicine.   And you would be astute to notice that it should read DDM.  However, Harvard University was the first school to offer a Doctor of Dental Medicine and since all their degrees are given in Latin.  They didnt like the way that “Doctor of Dental Surgery” sounded in Latin.  They thought “Dentariae Medicinae Doctor”, which translated means Doctor of Dental Medicine sounded better and it stuck.  So that is where the “DMD”comes from.

DDS stands for Doctor of Dental Surgery.

Regardless of which degree your dentist holds, both have to go through the same rigorous National Board written exam and Clinical State Exam in order to earn their license to practice dentistry and continue to earn Continuing Education Credits to maintain  that license.