Dentists are doctors, scientists, and clinicians who provide a wide range of oral health care services and contribute to the general health and well-being of their patients. They often identify health conditions, illnesses, and other problems that are sometimes evident in the oral cavity before they are identified in other parts of the body.

The professional degrees associated with Dentistry are the D.D.S. (Doctor of Dental Surgery) and the D.M.D. (Doctor of Dental Medicine). These degrees are the same, with students receiving the same education under a curriculum approved by the Commission on Dental Accreditation (CODA) of the American Dental Association (ADA). The dental school that issues the degree decides which degree type to award to its graduates.

Some dental schools may have other graduate degrees available for students to earn in combination with their degree in dentistry, including (but not limited to): Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.), Master of Science (M.S.), Master of Public Health (M.P.H.),  or Master of Business Administration (M.B.A.).

Although approximately 80% of all dentists practice general dentistry, some will go on to complete further training in a dental specialty.

Related Allied Health professions include Dental Hygienist. For more information about this and other Allied Health professions, contact our campus partners in the Office for Academic and Pre-Professional Advising.

You can learn more about this health profession at ADEA GoDental and