Though the two different titles may cause some confusion, both receive the same dental school training, and both are highly qualified to practice general dentistry. Learn more about the similarities between DMD and DDS degrees.

History Behind the DMD vs. DDS Title Difference

Medicine was once divided into 2 different groups:

  1. People who treated injuries through surgery
  2. People who treated disease using medicine

DDS stands for Doctor of Dental Surgery and was established by the world’s first dental school in 1840 at the Baltimore College of Dental Surgery. This school has since merged with the University of Maryland. Consequently, in early America dentists often were cast into the first group, making DDS the blanketed dentistry title.  

In 1867, Harvard administrators disliked the latin translation of the title “Doctor of Dental Surgery” and decided to change the program name to something more latin friendly. DMD (Doctor of Dental Medicine/Dentariae Medicinae Doctor) was the title they chose.

Feeling that the DMD title better represents dentistry overall, many universities followed Harvard’s lead and adopted the title for their dental programs. Today, slightly more dental schools award the DDS degree.  Regardless, there is no difference between a DMD and a DDS degree.