What Do the Letters “DDS” Stand for After Your Sunnyvale Dentist’s Name


As you search for a Sunnyvale dentist, you may notice that each one has either “DDS” or “DMD” behind their names. These initials represent the degree the dentist earned after finishing dental school.

“DDS” stands for Doctor of Dental Surgery. “DMD” stands for Doctor of Medicine in Dentistry or Doctor of Dental Medicine. While the degrees sound quite different, they are actually the same degree. It just depends on where the dentist graduated from as to which acronym appears after his name.

A Little DDS/DMD History

According to the American Dental Association (ADA), Baltimore College of Dental Surgery was the first to grant the DDS certification in 1840. Harvard University, on the other hand, began its dental school in 1867 and called their degree Dentariae Medicinae Doctorate or Doctor of Medicine in Dentistry. Despite the difference in their names, both degrees have the same educational requirements.

Rigorous Training for DMD and DDS Sunnyvale Dentists

These days, most universities grant DMD degrees after several years of rigorous training. Aspiring dentists must complete four years of undergraduate training, after which, they go on to dental school for four more years of classroom education, clinical training, and dental laboratory training.

After completing dental school, a dentist must acquire licensing to practice in the state, which requires passing a written exam called the National Board Dental Examination as well as a regional board exam, and then a jurisprudence exam on the laws in that state.

With such strict educational and examination standards, you can be sure both DMD and DDS Sunnyvale dentists are highly qualified to treat your dental concerns.

Education Beyond DMD and DDS Degrees

Many dentists practice general dentistry, but some go on to specialize in a specific area of dentistry. Specializing in a particular area of dentistry can require anywhere from 2 to 6 additional years of education and clinical training. Some specialty areas include orthodontics, endodontics, prosthodontics, periodontics, pediatric dentistry, and oral surgery.

So, whether you see DMD or DDS behind your Sunnyvale dentist’s name, you can be sure he has received rigorous training and will be able to provide the care you need. Be sure to choose a Sunnyvale dentist who communicates effectively, provides outstanding customer service, and offers the types of services you need.