When "D.M.D" appears after a dentist's name, it stands for "Doctor of Dental Medicine," according to Simon W. Rosenberg, D.M.D. Indy Dental Health explains that the letters "D.D.S" appear after the names of some dentists, which stands for "Doctor of Dental Surgery."
Both the D.M.D and the D.D.S. designations refer to the names of the degrees the dentist earned. According to Indy Dental Health, each dental school decides on the name of the degree it confers. The requirements and training for both the D.M.D. and D.D.S. degrees are the same. Before they are permitted to practice dentistry, all dentists must pass the National Board Dental Examinations, Parts I and II, as well as a regional or state dental board examination and a state ethics exam.
The American Dental Association is aware that the different degree designations cause confusion. It has sought to rectify the issue, according to Indy Dental Health. Finding a compromise has proven difficult, however, due to the emotions surrounding school pride and tradition.