Which Is Better, DDS or DMD?

December 15, 2023

DDS stands for Doctor of Dental Surgery while DMD is a short form of Doctor of Medicine in Dentistry. While both are different abbreviations, both of them mean the same and direct towards a similar educational background. Essentially, it is one degree that goes by two names or is recognized by two different terminologies – DMD and DDS.

Unlike medicine, dentistry has only a singular accreditation known as the Commission on Dental Association. This board requires all the schools that operate in the United States to follow mutually agreed and similar standards in both academic and clinical training of students. Not only that, students in both degrees have to pass the same National Dental Board Exams. It is just upon the university what it wants to call the program. Otherwise, both DDS and DMD follow the same educational format and clinical pattern. It is that students graduating from either of these programs behold the same set of education and skills in order to stay relevant in the field of dentistry.

The only difference is the university that students belong to and however they want to spell out their degree as an institution. However, both of these degrees hold exactly the same value and will be licensed to practice the same dentistry by the state licensing board, as the board recognized both degrees as the same without any difference.

If Both Are Same, Why Are They Named Different?

It is natural for the following question to be – If both degrees hold the same curriculum and practice, why are they named differently in the first place? The reason being that the first dental school was first built in 1840 as the Baltimore College of Dental Surgery which is now known as the Maryland School of Dentistry. This birthed the dental dissertation as Doctor of Dental Surgery (DDS).

However, later in 1867, Harvard School of Dental Medicine, renamed this degree to be Doctor of Dental Medicine (DDM) in the pursuit of finding a more suitable Latin translation of their dental degree. This is because Harvard grands all degrees in Latin and it is to do justice to the translation of the degree name.

Since this time of modification, all universities have had the choice to call the degrees as per choice.

Additional FAQs

Is DMD more expensive than DDS or vice versa?

Speaking in light of the price POV, the tuition fee greatly depends on the school you are going for. Whether it is public or private. Hence, it is subject to the institution’s reputation.

Which degree is difficult to get enrolled in?

Similarly, it is the institutional requirements that may affect the competitiveness of any program and degree.

Are there any salary differences?

No, both degrees aim at providing similar job opportunities and market standing.


Blending the right expertise of academia and vocation, IHDS is here to provide the right balance of both. Dial us at (713) 589-9603 for additional information and queries.

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