There are a number of professional degrees in dentistry offered by dental schools in various countries around the world.


Degrees acknowledged worldwide across North America, Europe, and Asia are:

  • Doctor of Dental Surgery (DDS)
  • Doctor of Dental Medicine (DMD)
  • Bachelor of Dental Surgery (BDS)

Post-graduate degrees

There are a number of post-graduate degrees in dentistry as well.

  • Master of Science (MS or MSc)
  • Master of Science in Dentistry (MSD)
  • Master of Medical Science (MMSc)
  • Master of Dentistry (MDent)
  • Master of Dental Surgery (MDS)
  • Doctor of Clinical Dentistry (DClinDent)
  • Fellow College of Physician and Surgeons (FCPS)
  • Doctor of Dental Science (DDSc)
  • Doctor of Medical Science (DMSc)
  • Doctor of Dentistry (DDent)
  • Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)


In some universities, especially in the U.S., some post-graduate programs award Certificate only.

  • Certificate, GPR/AEGD/Dental Anesthesiology
  • Certificate, Oral & Maxillofacial Pathology/Endodontics/Prosthodontics/Periodontics/Orthodontics/Dental Public Health/Pediatric Dentistry/OMS (CODA-recognized specialty programs)

Commonwealth post-nominals

In Commonwealth countries, the Royal Colleges of dentistry (or Faculty of Dentistry of the College) awards post-nominals upon completion of a series of examinations.

  • Fellow of Dental Surgery of the Royal College of Surgeons (FDSRCS)
  • Membership in Faculty of Dental Surgery of the Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons of Glasgow [MFDS RCPS(Glasg)]
  • Membership in Faculty of Dental Surgery of the Royal College Surgeons (MFDS RCS)
  • Fellow of Royal Australasian College of Dental Surgeons (FRACDS)
  • Membership in Royal Australasian College of Dental Surgeons (MRACDS)
  • Membership in Orthodontics, Royal College of Surgeons (MOrth RCS)
  • Fellow of Royal College of Dentists of Canada (FRCD(C))
  • Member of Royal College of Dentists of Canada (MRCD(C))
  • Fellow of College of Dental Surgeons of Hong Kong (FCDSHK)
  • Member of College of Dental Surgeons of Hong Kong (MCDSHK)
  • Fellow College of Physician and Surgeons, Bangladesh (FCPS)
  • Fellow College of Physician and Surgeons, Pakistan (FCPS)

In the U.S., most dental specialists attain Board Certification (Diplomate Status) by completing a series of written and oral examinations with the appropriate Boards. e.g. Diplomate, American Board of Periodontics.

Each fully qualifies the holder to practice dentistry in at least the jurisdiction in which the degree was presented, assuming local and federal government licensure requirements are met.

Dental specialties

In addition to general dentistry, there are about 9 recognized dental specialties in the US, Canada, India and Australia. To become a specialist requires one to train in a residency or advanced graduate training program. Once residency is completed, the doctor is granted a certificate of specialty training. Many specialty programs have optional or required advanced degrees such as a master’s degree: (MS, MSc, MDS, MSD, MDSc, MMSc, MPhil, or MDent), doctoral degree: (DClinDent, DChDent, DMSc, PhD), or medical degree: (MD/MBBS specific to maxillofacial surgery and sometimes oral medicine).

  • Orthodontics: 2–3 years
  • Endodontics: 2–3 years
  • Oral and maxillofacial surgery: 4–6 years (additional time for MD/MBBS degree granting programs)
  • Periodontics: 3 years
  • Prosthodontics: 2–3 years
    • Maxillofacial prosthodontics 1 year (a prosthodontist may elect to sub-specialize in maxillofacial prosthodontics)
  • Oral and maxillofacial radiology: 3 years
  • Oral and maxillofacial pathology: 3–5 years
  • Pediatric dentistry: 2–3 years
  • Dental public health: 3 years

The following are not currently recognized dental specialties in the US:

  • Anesthesiology (programs currently undergoing CODA accreditation and ADA review): 2–3 years
  • Oral medicine: 2–4 years
  • Special needs dentistry 3 years
  • Cosmetic Dentistry – ranges from a weekend course to a 1-year course depending on the certificate issuing agency.

Dentists who have completed accredited specialty training programs in these fields are designated registrable (U.S. “Board Eligible”) and warrant exclusive titles such as orthodontist, oral and maxillofacial surgeon, endodontist, pedodontist, periodontist, or prosthodontist upon satisfying certain local (U.S. “Board Certified”), (Australia/NZ: “FRACDS”), or (Canada: “FRCD(C)”) registry requirements.


Australia has nine dental schools:

  • University of Sydney, NSW
  • Charles Sturt University, NSW*
  • Griffith University, QLD*
  • University of Queensland, QLD
  • James Cook University, QLD*
  • University of Adelaide, SA
  • La Trobe University, VIC*
  • University of Melbourne, VIC
  • University of Western Australia, WA

(*) indicates new university dental programs that have opened up to aim at increasing the number of rural dental students entering and to return to rural practice. Traditional “sandstone” universities have been Sydney, Melbourne, Queensland, Adelaide and Western Australia.

Sydney (as of 2001), Melbourne (as of 2010) and Western Australia (as of 2013) have switched to 4-year graduate program that require a previous bachelor’s degree for admission.

Post-graduate training is available in all dental specialties. Degrees awarded used to be Master of Dental Surgery/Science (MDS/MDSc), but lately have changed to Doctorate in Clinical Dentistry (DClinDent).

New Zealand

New Zealand has only one dental school:

  • University of Otago, Dunedin

The Faculty of Dentistry grants Bachelor of Dental Surgery (BDS) and Master of Community Dentistry (MComDent) for general wellbeing and group dentistry, and Doctorate in Clinical Dentistry (DClinDent) for the other dental strengths.

The body in charge of enrolling dental experts is the Dental Council of New Zealand (DCNZ).

Trans Tasman mutual recognition

Both Australia and New Zealand perceive the instructive and expert capabilities and concede proficient licenses by means of correspondence indistinguishable to the United States and Canada.

General Dental Council of the UK

The United Kingdom General Dental Council had been perceiving the Australian and New Zealand dental capability as registrable degree until 2000. Graduates who have connected for dental permit enlistment in the United Kingdom presently need to sit the Overseas Registration Exam (ORE), a three-section examination.

Canadian registration

Australia and Canada have a corresponding accreditation assention which permits alumni of Canadian or Australian dental schools to enroll in either nation. Be that as it may, this lone applies to the alumni of 2011 class and does not have any significant bearing to the earlier years graduates.

Royal Australasian College of Dental Surgeons

Imperial Australasian College of Dental Surgeons (RACDS) is a post-graduate body that spotlights on post-graduate preparing of general professionals and pro dental practitioners. Extra post-graduate capabilities can be gotten through the College after the hopeful has finished the Primary Examination (fundamental science examination in Anatomy, Histology, Physiology, Biochemistry, Pathology and Microbiology) and the Final Examination (clinical subjects in dentistry). After the effective fulfillment of the examinations and meeting the College necessities, the hopeful is granted the title of Fellow of Royal Australasian College of Dental Surgeons (FRACDS). For the dental experts, the exam pathway is comparative (Primary Examinations) and after that clinical/oral examinations only preceding finishing the master preparing prompts the honor of the title Member of Royal Australasian College of Dental Surgeons in Special Field Stream (MRACDS(SFS)). For the bustling GP dental practitioners, MRACDS all in all stream is likewise accessible.


A few Universities in Canada offer the DDS degree, including the University of Toronto, the University of Western Ontario, the University of Alberta, and Dalhousie University, while the staying Canadian dental schools offer the Doctor of Dental Medicine degree to their graduates.

Extra capabilities can be acquired through the Royal College of Dentists of Canada (RCDC) oversees examinations for qualified dental experts as a feature of the dentistry calling in Canada. The present examinations are known as the National Dental Specialty Examination (NDSE). Effective finish may prompt Fellowship in the College (FRCD(C)) and might be utilized for common enlistment purposes.

Canada has a complementary accreditation concurrence with Australia, Ireland, and the United States which enables alumni of Canadian dental schools to work in any of the 4 nations.


In Finland, training in dentistry is through a 5.5-year Licenciate of Dental Medicine (DMD or DDS) course, which is offered after secondary school graduation. Application is by a national consolidated dental and restorative school section examination. Starting at 2011, dentistry is given by Faculties of Medicine in 4 colleges:

College of Helsinki

College of Turku

College of Oulu

College of Eastern Finland, Kuopio Campus

first period of preparing starts with a bound together 2-year pre-clinical preparing for dental practitioners and doctors. Issue based learning (PBL) is utilized relying upon college. third year fall comprises of clinico-hypothetical stage in pathology, hereditary qualities, radiology and general wellbeing and is halfway joined with doctors’ second stage. third stage clinical preparing goes on for the rest of the 3 years and incorporates times of being available to come back to work at University Central Hospital Trauma Center, Clinic of Oral and Maxillofacial Diseases and at the Children’s facility. Hopefuls who effectively total the fourth year of preparing fit the bill for a paid summer turn in a Community wellbeing focus of their decision. Yearly admission of dental specialists into Faculties of Medicine is a national aggregate 160 understudies.

Ph.D. inquire about is unequivocally empowered close by post graduate preparing. Post graduate preparing is accessible in every one of the 4 colleges and keeps going an extra 3– 6 years.Starting in 2014, the University of Helsinki presented another doctoral preparing framework. In this new framework every single doctoral competitor have a place with a doctoral program inside a doctoral school. FINDOS Helsinki – Doctoral Program in Oral Sciences – is a program in the Doctoral School in Health Sciences.

There are 11 post graduate projects:

Clinical dentistry:


Pedodontology and Preventive Dentistry

Cariology and Endodontology

Prosthodontology and Stomatognathic physiology

Symptomatic dentistry:

Oral and Maxillofacial Pathology

Oral and Maxillofacial Radiology

Oral and Maxillofacial Medicine

Oral Clinical Microbiology (Program begins in 2014)



Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery

Oral Public Health


In India, preparing in dentistry is through a 5-year BDS (Bachelor of Dental Surgery) course, which incorporates 4 years of study took after by one year of temporary position. Starting at 2010, there were a sum of 291 universities (39 keep running by the administration and 252 in the private division) offering dental instruction. This adds up to a yearly admission of 23,690 graduates.

Post graduate preparing is for a long time in the concerned strength. Ace of Dental Surgery (MDS) is offered in the accompanying subjects –



Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery

Traditionalist Dentistry and Endodontics

Orthodontics and Dentofacial Orthopedics

Oral Pathology and Microbiology

Group Dentistry

Pedodontics and Preventive Dentistry

Oral Medicine Diagnosis and Radiology.

Dental instruction in India is directed by the Dental Council of India.

Dentistry in the United States

In the United States, no less than three years of undergrad training are required with a specific end goal to be admitted to a dental school; be that as it may, most dental schools require no less than a four year college education. There is no obligatory course of concentrate as an undergrad other than finishing the essential “pre-dental” courses, which for the most part incorporates one year of general science, science, natural science, material science, English, and more elevated amount arithmetic, for example, insights and math. Some dental schools have necessities that go past the fundamental prerequisites, for example, brain research, humanism, organic chemistry, life structures, physiology and so on. The lion’s share of pre-dental understudies major in a science yet this isn’t required as a few understudies choose to study a non-science related field.

Notwithstanding center essentials, the Dental Admission Test, a various decision institutionalized exam, is additionally required for potential dental understudies. The DAT is normally taken amid the spring semester of one’s lesser year. By far most of dental schools require a meeting before affirmations can be allowed. The meeting is intended to assess the inspiration, character, and identity of the applicant. It is regularly a critical advance in the affirmations process.[weasel words]

For the 2009-2010 application cycle, 11,632 candidates connected for admission to dental schools in the United States. Only 4,067 were in the end acknowledged. The normal dental school candidate entering the school year in 2009 had a general GPA of 3.54 and a science GPA of 3.46. Furthermore, their mean DAT Academic Average (AA) was 19.00 while their DAT Perceptual Ability Test (PAT) score was 19.40.[11]

Dental instruction and preparing

Rundown of Dental Schools in the US

Dental school is four scholastic years in span and is comparable in configuration to therapeutic school: two years of essential medicinal and dental sciences, trailed by two years of clinical preparing (with proceeded with instructional coursework). Before graduating, each dental understudy should effectively entire the National Board Dental Examination Part I and II (ordinarily alluded to as NBDE I and II). The NBDE Part I is normally taken toward the finish of the second year after most of the instructional courses have been finished. The NBDE Part I covers Gross Anatomy, organic chemistry, physiology, microbiology, pathology, and dental life systems and impediment. The NBDE Part II is generally taken amid winter of the most recent year of dental school and comprises of agent dentistry, pharmacology, endodontics, periodontics, oral medical procedure, torment control, prosthodontics, orthodontics, pedodontics, oral pathology, and radiology. NBDE Part I scores are Pass/Fail since 2012.

In the wake of graduating, most by far of new dental practitioners go straightforwardly into training while a little, yet expanding, level of dental specialists apply to a residency program.[weasel words] Some residency programs prepare dental practitioners in cutting edge general dentistry, for example, General Practice Residencies and Advanced Education in General Dentistry Residencies, regularly alluded to as GPR and AEGD. Most GPR and AEGD programs are one year in span however a few are two years in length or give a discretionary second year.[12] GPR programs are typically partnered with a doctor’s facility and hence require the dental practitioner to treat a wide assortment of patients including injury, fundamentally sick, and therapeutically bargained patients. Furthermore, GPR programs expect inhabitants to pivot through different divisions inside the healing center, for example, anesthesia, inward pharmaceutical, and crisis drug, to give some examples. AEGD programs are for the most part in a dental school setting where the concentration is treating complex cases in a complete way.

DDS versus DMD degree

In the United States the Doctor of Dental Surgery and Doctor of Dental Medicine are terminal expert doctorates which qualify an expert for licensure. The DDS and DMD degrees are viewed as proportionate. The American Dental Association determines:

The DDS (Doctor of Dental Surgery) and DMD (Doctor of Dental Medicine) are similar degrees. They are granted upon graduation from dental school to wind up a General Dentist. The dominant part of dental schools grant the DDS degree; be that as it may, some honor a DMD degree. The instruction and degrees are, in substance, the same.[

Harvard University was the main dental school to grant the DMD degree.Harvard just gives degrees in Latin, and the Latin interpretation of Doctor of Dental Surgery, “Chirurgiae Dentium Doctoris”, did not share the “DDS” initials of the English term. “The degree ‘Scientiae Dentium Doctoris’, which would leave the initials of DDS unaltered, was then considered, however was dismissed on the ground that dentistry was not a science.” (The word arrange in Latin isn’t settled, just the enunciations; “Scientiae Dentium Doctoris” = “Doctoris Dentium Scientiae”.) A Latin researcher was counseled. It was at long last chosen that “Medicinae Doctoris” be changed with “Dentariae”. This is the means by which the DMD, or “Specialist Medicinae Dentariae” degree, was started.(The genitive emphasis – is on “Doctoris” rather than the nominative “Specialist” essentially mirrors that the sentence structure on the recognition was “the level of Doctor of Dental Medicine”; they are both right.) The declaration that “dentistry was not a science”[15] mirrored the view that dental medical procedure was a craftsmanship educated by science, not a science fundamentally—despite that the logical segment of dentistry is today perceived in the Doctor of Dental Science (DDSc) degree.

Other dental schools did the change to this documentation, and in 1989, 23 of the 66 North American dental schools granted the DMD. There is no important contrast between the DMD and DDS degrees, and all dental specialists must meet a similar national and provincial confirmation norms so as to hone.

Some other unmistakable dental schools which grant the DMD degree are the Medical University of South Carolina, University of Connecticut, University of Alabama at Birmingham, University of Louisville, University of Puerto Rico, Rutgers University, Tufts University, University of Pennsylvania, University of Illinois at Chicago, Boston University, Temple University, Western University of Health Sciences, University of Pittsburgh, and University of Nevada, Las Vegas.

The United States Department of Education and the National Science Foundation do exclude the DDS and DMD among the degrees that are proportionate to examine doctorates.

Authorizing examinations

To rehearse, a dental specialist must pass an authorizing examination regulated by an individual state or all the more ordinarily a locale. There are a modest bunch of states that keep up free dental permitting examinations while the larger part acknowledge a local board examination. The Northeast Regional Board (NERB), Western Regional Board (WREB), Central Regional Dental Testing Service (CRDTS), and Southern Regional Testing Agency (SRTA), Council of Interstate Testing Agencies (CITA)are the five territorial testing offices that control permitting examinations. Once the examination is passed, the dental practitioner may then apply to singular expresses that acknowledge the territorial board test passed. Each state requires planned specialists to pass a morals/law examination also before a permit is allowed. To keep up one’s dental permit the specialist must finish Continuing Dental Education (CDE) courses occasionally (generally yearly). This advances the proceeded with investigation of information. The measure of CE required changes from state to state yet is for the most part 10-25 CE hours a year.

The fruition of a dental degree can be trailed by either a passage into private practice, facilitate postgraduate examination and preparing, or research and scholastics.