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What are the credentials for dentists abroad?

Aside from learning different dental specializations to help you know what specialist you need to approach, it’s also a must to check your dentist’s licensure credentials to ensure your safety as a patient.  

Though licensure requirements vary from different countries, all applicants for dental licensure basically meet three important requirements: an education from a dentistry school plus a written and clinical examination from the accrediting board of dentistry in a country. Once a dental licensure applicant completes and passes these requirements, he or she is eligible to obtain a license.

The Requirements

What does DMD and DDS mean?

Most applicants have completed a bachelor's degree (or equivalent) before entering dentistry school and then complete a four-year dentistry program. After graduation, they attach a “DMD” or “DDS” after their names, for example, Paul Smith DMD.  These acronyms are the doctoral degrees given by dental schools. The acronym DMD stands for Doctor of Dental Medicine while DDS means Doctor of Dental Surgery. The training obtained by the DMD and DDS programs are both the same.

What are the 3 important requirements?

After completing the dentistry program, they apply a licensure exam - State-approved licensing exam (written) & completed dental residency program (clinical). After passing, if an applicant wishes to practice a specialty, he or she may opt to study further education in an area, e.g. Oral Surgery, Orthodontics. Further, once they are licensed dentists, they are required to attend continuing professional education on a regular basis.

Ways to Verify Your Dentist’s License

What are the important details of your dentist’s license?

After passing the licensure exam, the applicant receives a registration certificate from the state board indicating her name and certifying he/she has passed the exam. Not only that, he or she will be receiving license details (name, birthdate, address, legal professional title, registration/license number) placed in an identification badge she can use in case the license needs verification.  

What are the ways I can check my dentist’s license?

When visiting the dentist’s clinic, your dentist’s registration certificate must be displayed within its premises. In most healthcare facilities, they require their health professionals, like dentists and doctors to wear their licenses along with their identification badges.

Healthcare professionals like dentists renew their licenses or reregister every three years (depends on the country) to practice their profession legally.

If you are still unsure of your dentist’s eligibility to practice, you can also verify his or her license through websites of the accrediting board of dentistry in a country.

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