DMD or DDS – What Do These Three Letter Mean?

My dentist told me I need a crown, and I was like, Oh,,, yeah,,, really? I know,,, right?  I mean, I don’t need a crown on my head.

When he told me that he is talking about crowning my tooth, I made it clear to him that I’m not gonna take this until I check his specialty in a degree form.

So, with that said, whenever you visit any dentist, you might have seen these 3 letters written after their name, DMD or DDS.

What is the deal with these dentists and how can you tell what it all means and who you should visit?

Don’t worry; we are right here to make sense of the different sorts of dental practitioners what it means for you as a patient.

General Dental Care – DMD vs. DDS

In most cases when you attend the dental office, you’re seeing the general dentist who’s either a DMD or a DDS.

A dental professional with a DMD earned their Doctor of Dental Medicine degree or Doctor of Medicine in Dentistry; one with a DDS has earned their Doctor of Dental Surgery degree.

Both a DMD and a DDS has 3 or more years of undergrad studies followed by 4 years of dental school to earn those qualifications. 

And of course, they sound the same. The fact is, they are actually, both a DMD and a DDS are usually types of dental practitioners who have exactly the same degrees – the real difference in the title is due to the particular university they attended and the way that university acknowledges the profession.

Each of these types of dental practitioner is usually considered general dental surgeons, and they are your main providers who cater to your general oral healthcare requirements. This usually includes treating or diagnosing problems such as gingivitis, tooth decay, crowns, bridges, and root canals as well as precautionary care, hopefully making it possible for you to steer clear of the need for the next types of dental practitioners – the dental gurus.

3 important Dental Specialists (I call them dental gurus)

Listed here are the most popular types of dental specialists. 

     1. Orthodontist

An affected person is referred to an orthodontist when a general dental professional notices misalignment with the teeth and jaw of both adults and children. If there are missing teeth, extra teeth, or teeth that are congested; an orthodontist can treat the person with solutions such as retainers, braces, and Invisalign. Don’t be blown away if your little one is referred to Orthodontist Normand Bach as early as the age of 7, as he is especially very much kind to kids.

     2. Pediatric Dentist

This type of dentist works specifically with children; they are usually called pedodontists or pediatric dentists.  The majority of their additional training targets building a good relationship between kids and the dentist and it is based on child psychology.

     3. Oral Surgeon

An oral surgeon focuses primarily on the surgical procedure of injuries, disease and functional or esthetic areas of your mouth. They’re the ones who handle dental implant, remove a wisdom tooth, and dubious biopsy spots in the mouth.

As it seems like a hassle to see a dental specialist, it’s to your greatest benefit to doing so whenever referred. It is just like you would not visit any physician for knee joint replacement; a professional has the extra experience and training to provide you with particular treatment that will help you achieve optimal dental health.

Top 13 Dental Implant FAQs

Dental implants are an increasingly popular choice for tooth replacement, and are the most natural looking and natural feeling replacement alternative for missing teeth. More and more people are choosing dental implants as a longer lasting, more viable alternative to crowns, bridges and dentures. Perhaps you are considering dental implants to restore your natural smile to its best? Take a look at the top 11 frequently asked questions about dental implants to help you make up your mind.

  1. What are dental implants?

A dental implant is an artificial replacement for a tooth root. The artificial tooth root, usually made from titanium, is surgically positioned into the jawbone beneath the gum line. The main aim is for bone to grow around and attach to the implant, making it a stable post to support a replacement tooth.

Titanium is generally the material used to make dental implants because it is compatible with and has a bonding ability with bone. The bonding of bone with a dental implant is known as osseointegration.

  1. Who can have dental implants?

Most healthy adults can have dental implants. Dental implants can be used once the jaw has stopped growing, so they aren’t generally suitable for children and adolescents. Poor health, excessive smoking and excessive alcohol consumption can all affect the healing process afterwards, and may also affect the long-term health of the gum and bone surrounding the implant.

Dental Implant dentist chair

  1. Can my regular dentist provide my dental implant?

Dental implants require the expertise of a dentist who has been properly trained in implant dentistry. It’s important that you choose an expert for your dental implants who has sufficient training, experience and competence.

  1. How will the dentist know if I am suitable for a dental implant?

The dentist examining your mouth for dental implants will assess the feasibility of implant treatment before offering you dental implants as a treatment option.

  1. What will an initial assessment for dental implants involve?

You will be expected to answer questions about your medical history. Your dentist will carry out a full examination of your teeth and mouth to assess if there are any other dental problems that could affect your suitability for implants. X-rays will be taken and if treatment is deemed to be suitable your dentist will also take an impression of your teeth.

  1. What happens if I have other dental problems?

It will depend on what your other dental problems are, but in most cases your teeth and mouth should be in a stable and healthy condition before any implant treatment is considered. If you have existing gum or tooth related problems, these may need to be treated, or stabilised, before dental implant treatment can go ahead.

  1. What dental problems will prevent me from having dental implants?

Bad breath and excessive bleeding when you clean your teeth may indicate gum disease (periodontal disease). Gum disease can be a major cause of bone loss in the jaw and this will make dental implants more complicated or not viable at all.

Dental Implant dentist cleaning

  1. How long does the treatment for dental implants take?

The procedure itself usually takes between 1 and 2 hours (longer for multiple implants). In most routine cases the healing time required before a new tooth can be screwed into the root implant is between 6 weeks and 6 months.

  1. Why does treatment take so long?

The tooth root needs to embed into the bone and become stable before a replacement tooth can be screwed onto the artificial root. It takes time for the body to accept and integrate the implant.

  1. Will I need to have a general anaesthetic?

No. General anaesthetic requires a hospital admission and is generally only required for complex multiple implant cases, or where bone grafting is required. Usually local anaesthetic, such as that you may have for a tooth filling, is adequate and is administered by injection. Conscious sedation is also an option and may be offered for more lengthy procedures or for anxious patients. Conscious sedation is an oral medicine, such as Temazepam, which helps you to relax and may make you feel drowsy.

  1. What can I expect immediately following dental implant surgery?

You may experience some discomfort for a few days. You will likely be advised to take painkillers such as paracetamol, and you may be given antibiotics. There may be some bleeding from the site of the implant and some bruising of your skin and gums. There may also be some initial swelling of the gums and face. Be sure to follow all of your dental surgeon’s instructions and contact him/her if you have any concerns after the treatment.

  1. How long will dental implants last?

You will need to look after your replacement teeth, just like any other tooth. With good dental hygiene, there is no reason why dental implants can’t last a lifetime.

  1. Do I need a separate dental implant for each missing tooth?

Not necessarily. Dental implants can be used to replace one or several missing teeth. For a single tooth replacement you will obviously need a single implant. Where more than one tooth is missing, you won’t necessarily have to have one implant per missing tooth. The number of implants needed is determined by bone density. Good bone density will enable more teeth to be supported by a single implant. A gap of three or four teeth may only require two dental implants for example.

Good luck. Remember, always seek advice from a specialist implant dentist.