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Point of curiosity...

Discussion in 'Dental' started by OldManDave, Apr 16, 2000.

  1. OldManDave

    OldManDave Fossil Bouncer Emeritus Moderator Emeritus 10+ Year Member

    Feb 26, 1999
    Lafayette, IN
    I have no desire to kick-off any debates...but, I am very curious. What is the difference between a DDS and a DMD?

    'Old Man Dave'
    KCOM, Class of '03

    Nothing Risked, Nothing Gained!!
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  3. DentalDi

    DentalDi Member 10+ Year Member

    Sep 16, 1999
    CT, USA
    There currently is no official difference between the two degrees other than the initials. Historically, I don't know. Schools can give out either degree after 4 years of dental school, and they mean the same thing.

    At one point, I thought that a DMD might mean a more medically oriented curriculum, but this is not necessarily so, since a school that I've applied to w/such an emphasis gives the DDS. So, this is NOT a valid distinction between DDS and DMD!

    You must do the thing you think you cannot do.
    --Eleanor Roosevelt
  4. Joe

    Joe Junior Member 10+ Year Member

    Jan 24, 2000
    I've been told by a dentist that the only difference between DMD and DDS degrees are the location of the schools. Ones in the east usually are DMD and ones in the the west are DDS.
  5. DentalDi

    DentalDi Member 10+ Year Member

    Sep 16, 1999
    CT, USA
    I'm not sure why schools choose to give one degree over the other, but I can say that I know of quite a few schools here in the east that award the DDS. So, I don't know if the east/west distinction is completely reliable, but a good try.

    The only thing I can say is that DDS means "Doctor of Dental Surgery" while DMD means "Doctor of Dental Medicine." Perhaps the school founders or people who decided on the degree to award chose one or the other based on historical reasons or the implications at the time (pain control?? thinking of dentist as surgeon or medical specialist??). I wonder if DMD is a newer designation than DDS.

    You must do the thing you think you cannot do.
    --Eleanor Roosevelt
  6. Materials Faculty

    Materials Faculty New Member

    May 16, 2000
    Jackson, MS
    I am a faculty member at a dental school and asked the same question when I was hired, since we award a DMD. I was told that the DMD signified that the students followed a modified medical school curriculum and were more qualified to handle medical emergencies in the office as well as having a more complete medical education behind their dental skills education. It was also my understanding that DMD could only be offered at schools associated with medical schools while a DDS could be offered even if a school were not affiliated with a medical school.

    This could all be wrong but this is waht I was told.
  7. Yazoal2K

    Yazoal2K Junior Member 10+ Year Member

    May 10, 2000
    Falls Church, Va 22041
    I think there are no difference, but historically The first Dental School in the world which was The Baltimore College of Dental Surgery, awarded the DDS, because back then dentistry was integrated in Medicince, to be more precise Suergery, and as we all know Dentistry is a form of Surgery, and even in forign countries a degree of BDS is awarded, because of the foucous on Surgical Aspect of Dentistry, but as many said DMD came because of intergration of Medical School and Dental School currucuillum in the pre-clinical years, but this is not always the case, but even those school that awarded DMD use to call their degree DDS, It also has to do with the states law regarding titling dentist, it is funny to know that one of the Dentist I worked with had his DMD from Pittsburg but when he came to Virginia to practice, the Virginia Board wrote a DDS on his liscnce
  8. turtleboard

    turtleboard SDN Advisor 10+ Year Member

    Jun 3, 1999
    New York, New York
    I believe the first dental school in this country was the University of Pennsylvania's Dental School (which awards a DMD).

    It was suggested in another thread quite some time ago that the change by the dental profession to a DMD was to make it more recognizable, being that an MD is the most recognized medical degree in the US. But that reasoning doesn't fly because DDSs have been around since dentistry was an established profession in the US, and therefore would be more recognizable than a DMD.

    The debate goes on... Oh well.

    I bet the answer can easily be found in a book entitled, "The Excruciating History of Dentistry." I haven't read it, but plan to in about EIGHT DAYS.

    Tim of New York city.
    (8 DAYS UNTIL MS2)
  9. nextup

    nextup Junior Member

    May 24, 2000
    Good question.

    I BELIEVE the first school to award the DMD was Harvard. It came about when they revamped their dental school sometime back in the 40's. They changed their Dental curriculum so that Dental students did their first two years of study in the same classes as Medical students (a progressive idea at the time). Their focus was to formally establish Dentistry as a specialty of Medicine, hence the DMD.

    It seems that the DMD was the "new wave" in Dentistry, so many schools established after Harvard's changes granted DMD's, and some older schools changed from granting the DDS to the DMD. Still, there is no BIG philosophical difference ala MD vs. DO.

    As for practical differences, I've had work done by both DMD's and DDS's and I can't tell any difference.

    Interesting topic.

    Anyway, that's my $0.02.

    [This message has been edited by nextup (edited 05-30-2000).]

    [This message has been edited by nextup (edited 05-30-2000).]

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