It is commonly believed that a DDS (Doctor of Dental Surgery) is the same as an oral surgeon. The truth is that you cannot be a general dentist and an oral surgeon! A DDS is the degree given to a graduating dentist upon completion of dental school. A DMD (Doctor of Medical Dentistry) is almost the same thing as a DDS and is given to an individual who has graduated dental school.
So all dentists who graduate, whether in general dentistry or a speciality have either a DDS or DMD. The name Doctor of Dental Surgery, despite how it sounds, does not indicate that the individual is an oral surgeon. General dentists have no post-doctoral residency or training, while those who do complete this training become specialists in fields such as orthodontics, periodontics, endodontics, pediatric dentistry, prosthodontics, and oral surgery.
A dentist must complete 4-6 years of additional training in a residency program to become an oral surgeon! While a dentist will have experience in restorative procedures, cosmetic dentistry, and teeth alignment, an oral surgeon’s expertise is in teeth extractions, dental implants, and bone grafting procedures.