What is the Difference between DDS and DMD?

What is the difference between a dentist with DDS after his name and a dentist with DMD after his name?

Often, we get asked what the meanings of DDS and DMD are. Is one designation better than the other?

According to the American Dental Association (ADA), there is no difference between the two degrees. Dentists with either degree have graduated from an accredited dental school and are highly trained professionals in their fields. They have the same type of training and both fulfill the curriculum requirements set by the ADA. It’s up to the universities to determine what degree is awarded, either DDS (which stands for Doctor of Dental Surgery) or DMD (which stands for Doctor of Medicine in Dentistry).

Why should you go to a prosthodontic dental specialist?

We often get asked the question—why should I go to a prosthodontist, or a dentist that specializes in replacing missing teeth? This is a very good question. There are many dentists out there that claim to be specialists in prosthodontics. But a closer look is required.

The fact that the dentist took a weekend seminar in restoring implants does not make him/her a prosthodontist.  The American Dental Association does not recognize cosmetic dentistry or implantology as dental specialties. Dentists who advertise as cosmetic dentists or implantologists may not have any additional formal training beyond four years of dental school.  In fact, continuing education in ‘cosmetic/implant dentistry’ is largely unregulated. Patients should understand that there is a significant difference between residency trained specialists and dentists who have taken a weekend course on reconstructive dental work.


The specialty practice of prosthodontics is one of the nine recognized specialties within the American Dental Association [ADA]. Prosthodontists have at least three years of advanced training following their dental school education. Prosthodontists are trained to replace missing teeth, gum tissues and bone in the mouth.

Most importantly, prosthodontists are trained to offer you all of your restorative options. Every patient is unique—there is no cookie-cutter solution. Prosthodontists specialize in the restoration and replacement of teeth.  Treatment can range from replacing a single tooth, multiple teeth or all of the teeth in the mouth.  Prosthodontists are the architects of your smile and often the ‘quarterbacks’ of your dental treatment plan, coordinating with your general dentist and other specialists to achieve optimal outcomes for your unique dental needs.

While many dentists can do some of these treatments, prosthodontists are the specialists trained for restoration and replacement of your teeth.  Because of their extensive training, prosthodontists can advise you of all of your options when it comes to tooth replacement, including the most complex full-mouth reconstruction cases!

Dr. Gulbransen and Dr.Recksiedler are both residency trained prosthodontists and would be happy to perform a thorough examination and advise you of your dental options.  Please contact our office for an appointment.

ACP Logo