Difference Between DDS and DMD Degrees in Dentistry

dmd vs dds

When going to our dental office at 172 NYC Dental you can be assured that all the dentists have received an accredited degree to practice dentistry.  The degree will be stated right after their name. It will be represented as DDS or DMD. So what is the difference? The answer is that there is absolutely NO difference in the degrees.

Let’s discuss the identical requirements for the degrees. They are not only completely similar they are congruent.

  • Four years at an accredited college or university-taking all science prerequisites such as chemistry, biology, physics, and calculus.
  • Four years at an accredited dental school.
  • Passing the arduous National Board of Dental Examiners
  • Passing individual state boards, both clinical and academic
  • Two-year internship to get the license in general dentistry
  • Three to Five years post-Doc Study to be board certified in a specialty of dentistry I.e. periodontics, endodontics, prosthodontics

With simple addition, one can see that to obtain a DDS or DMD degree takes a minimum of ten years of study after high school. Thirteen to Fifteen years of study to be a board-certified specialist in dentistry. Anyone working at 172 NYC Dental is imminently qualified from a credential standpoint. We carefully select the best of the best to work as a team in our office.  



We must look at the history of dental schools in the U.S. to uncover this mystery. The first dental school in our country was the Baltimore College of Dental Surgery established in 1840. Their degree was DDS, Doctor of Dental Surgery.  In 1867 Harvard established a dental school. Harvard granted their degrees in Latin; Dentariae Medicinae Doctorate. This translates into Doctor of Medicine in Dentistry, DMD. Let it be noted that the clinical and academic requirements for these degrees were and are exactly the same. It’s simply bureaucratic rhetoric by the board of governors, of the universities, as to how they want to label their degree in dentistry.

As of now, about 33% of the dental schools in America grant a DMD degree, while the other 66% grant a DDS degree.


Schools that grant DDS

  1. New York University College of Dentistry
  2. University of Southern California School of Dentistry
  3. University of Washington School of Dentistry

Schools that grant DMD

  1. Harvard School of Dental Medicine
  2. Tufts University School of Dental Medicine
  3. University of Pennsylvania School of Dental Medicine 

As you can see there are a plethora of brilliant prestigious dental schools. Their academic requirements for entry are equal and may exceed those needed for acceptance to medical school. At 172 NYC Dental academically and clinically brilliant doctors are axiomatic. What sets us apart is the stuff not taught in dental school. It’s our ability to bond with our patients, form long-lasting relationships based on trust and clinical excellence. Come see the difference not in some whimsical letter degree but rather how you are treated as a whole person and simply a dental procedure. Consultations are complimentary. Call us at 646-921-5541 to make an appointment today. 

About Dr. Benjamin Ahn

Meet Dr. Benjamin Ahn, a top-rated general, and cosmetic dentist and one of the best Invisalign dentist practicing at 209 NYC Dental, a multi-specialty dental practice in Midtown East Manhattan.

Questions? Contact us online or give us a call at 646-921-5541 today!
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