D.M.D. or D.D.S.?

Posted on

Is There a Degree of Difference?

We all want the best dentist for our needs and often when you are looking for a new dentist, you will notice some dentists have a DDS in their signature while others have a DMD. Dr. Brock Thomas is a DMD, so perhaps you’d like to know some history about the difference between a DDS and a DMD, and how a DMD dentist’s approach to dentistry can benefit you!

First a little background, as even dentists find it confusing to have to explain to patients why there are two degree designations for their field of medicine. The main difference between D.M.D. and D.D.S. lies in the fact that some dental schools grant a D.D.S. (Doctor of Dental Surgery) degree while other dental schools award the D.M.D. (Doctor of Dental Medicine) degree. This divide in degree designation has roots in early American history, where — according to Dr. Simon W. Rosenberg — Harvard University, which had established that all its degree designations be in Latin only, added a dental school to its degree offerings in the late 1800s. Prior to this dentists were always awarded with a D.D.S. degree. Schools of dentistry were not necessarily part of any medical schools or universities before Harvard added its school of dentistry. We could therefore blame the confusion on an Ivy League school or on Latin, but the discordance continues today. The ADA and other dental associations have reviewed the matter but there are no signs that any resolution is on the horizon, at least not before you next need to visit a dentist.

What we’d like you to know is that the training of dentists is very similar no matter which degree designation a dental school awards. So in many ways the degree designation itself, whether DDS or DMD, could be thought of as similar as well. Because curriculum at dental schools is generally standardized, the real measure of success for attaining a dental degree lies in the work each aspiring dentist does, the real-life training they receive as they’re entering the dental field, and the growth in diagnostic and clinical skills they make as they create and build their practice.

Benefits of Dr. Thomas’ DMD to You

Brock Thomas DMD in Santa Rosa CAFor Dr. Thomas, what matters is the time and talent he devotes to learning and growing in his practice and the personal care he provides for his patients. Because he is a D.M.D., his practice emphasizes a more medically centric approach, gathering information and determining a course of treatment before he creates a dental plan. His dental practice, in other words, takes a holistic approach to dentistry.

It is his approach to dental care that distinguishes Dr. Thomas. He takes into account his patient’s medical history, overall health, and the patient’s specific needs. His comprehensive examinations can also identify any medical concerns his patients may have, such as oral cancer, as well as systemic diseases, such as diabetes or high blood pressure.

In addition, during a patient’s exam Dr. Thomas also assesses periodontal health for gum recession or disease, examines the teeth for decay, bite functionality, and any orthodontic issues or problems with jaw mechanics. From thorough dental exam to diagnosis, Dr. Thomas develops a health-conscious partnership with his patients, where they work together to determine the treatment needed. Dr. Thomas will also take time to discuss options for sedation or sleep dentistry. Having patients be actively involved in their dental health, just as a primary care provider or family physician works in concert with their patients on maintaining overall health, helps patients make long-term changes that lead to better oral health for their lifetime.

Whether a dentist is a DMD or a DDS, what you want to look for in your dentist is someone who has your whole health, not just your dental health, in mind when you are at the dentist office. We hope you consider making an appointment with Dr. Thomas. His holistic approach and personal caring manner, combined with his top-notch staff of professional hygienists, means you have a team who will strive to take care of all your dental needs.