Robert Wood Johnson University Hospital

Oral Health / Dental Specialists

Oral Health / Dental Specialists

What is a general dentist (DDS or DMD)?

Upon graduation from dental school -- to become a general dentist -- a dentist is awarded either a DDS or a DMD degree:

Picture of several different dental instruments

There is no difference between the two degrees -- both dentists have received the same education and completed the same curriculum requirements set by the American Dental Association's Commission on Dental Accreditation. The difference is merely semantics -- some institutions award a DMD degree, while others award a DDS degree. Generally, three or more years of undergraduate college education plus four years of dental school are required to graduate and become a general dentist. State licensing boards accept either degree as equivalent, and both degrees allow licensed individuals to practice the same scope of general dentistry.

Specialized areas of dentistry

Additional post-graduate training is required to become a dental specialist. Dental/oral health specialists include the following:

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