Do dentists go to medical school? What is DDS/DMD/BDS?

Do dentists go to medical school ? No, dentists will go to dental schools. Dental schools focus on specialized subjects that are only taught and used in dentistry besides general medical subjects. Dental schools do focus on general medical subjects such as anatomy and physiology of the entire body but their main focus is on the head and neck region.

This may differ geographically but dental schools generally allocate the first two years of the curriculum to teaching the same subjects as medical school although their focus is on the head and neck region mostly.

What is DDS/DMD/BDS?

DDS stands for doctor of dental surgery. DMD stands for doctor of medicine in dentistry. BDS stands for bachelor of dental surgery. They all mean the same thing and are equivalent degrees. They are not for dental surgery and dental medicine alone specifically. Most people get confused by this naming system.

Why don’t dentists go to medical school?

They have their own specialized dental schools that teach the subjects that their career demands. Simple.

Is MCAT necessary for dental schools ?

Most dental colleges will require either MCAT or DAT alongside the application to dental schools. If you are preparing for medical professions it is usually better to just take the MCAT. This makes you eligible for most of the medical schools and dental schools.

What is the cost of dental schools?

According to ADA and Health Policy Institute most public dental schools cost $37,877 while private schools can cost $67,087 on average per annum. Total student fees for four years can be as much as $425,466 to $550,932 including living expenses.

cost of dental school
YearTotal Cost (including expenses) rounded off
College expenses per year including living expenses in the United States

Why do some people choose to go to dental school rather than medical school ?

Generally it depends on the person and what his career goals are in his life. Some people only want to become dentists. Depending on the circumstances and where you practice, it can be a quite profitable and tremendously fulfilling career. Most dentists only work 9 to 5 jobs with weekends off. This can be a very important decision for some people as most other medical and nursing professions usually have to deal with call and working on the weekends with no fixed vacation leave. Most dentists graduate earlier as compared to doctors in most countries and hence they can start earning earlier than doctors. Most dentists have the option to work as general dentists while most doctors will have to subspecialize in a particular field adding even more years to their training.

Can dentists go on to become doctors?

Well, in certain geographical areas such as Germany and certain states in the united states, dentists can enroll for MD programs after dentistry and they may be given a credit so that they can get some years off the MD course unlike freshmen.

Should I become a doctor or dentist ?

Well certainly it depends on your goals and your career choices. You will have to choose between either one or the other. As it is very difficult to switch between the two. If you are not sure, do take up some internships or volunteer at your local hospital to get a feel both the careers.

Do dentists earn more money than doctors ?

Well generally they will earn the same as doctors. Most dental fields will pay almost as much as specialist doctors. But doctors in some fields like neurosurgery, orthopedic surgery, cardiology and gastroenterology will earn more than dentists. But if your goal is to set up a private practice then it becomes and even field even for these specialties. It then depends on the number of patients you see everyday.

Is dentistry a good backup plan for medical school candidates ?

Yes, it can be. Dental schools are generally not as competitive as compared to medical schools and hence they can be a good option for the those who are set on getting themselves into a clinically oriented career.

Which is harder, Med school or Dental School?

Med school is generally harder as your focus is on the entire body. You will have to pull all nighters (slang for studying all night before a big exam) every week. Not to say that dentists will have it easy. But in dental schools all nighters are common generally once a month. 🙂

Is dentistry school easier than medical school ? If so in what ways ?

Well you are focused on the head and neck region mostly. You won’t have to study most of the body. Unlike med schools where all of the body is studied. So you will have easy exams. You will graduate earlier than doctors in most countries. You won’t face something as dreaded as a 30 hours call or a 130 hour work week. These are very common in medical and surgical residencies and hence they are something that people have to get used to.

Is life better as a doctor or a dentist?

Being a doctor, I would say life as a dentist is easier. But I am clearly biased. So it is better to trust your own gut on this one. But I will mention just two details just to make the decision easier. For dentists the usual workday is 8 hours while for doctors it will be 12 hours or more depending on the situation. There will be call if you are a doctor, while in dentistry unless you go for maxillofacial surgery there will be no call.

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