One of the most common questions about our talented duo of dentists at Beulah Family Dentistry, Paul Quinlan, D.D.S. and Ethan Sadowski, D.M.D., is what those letters after their names mean.
The short answer is that D.D.S. and D.M.D. both mean that they graduated from an accredited dental school. D.D.S. (Doctor of Dental Surgery) and D.M.D. (Doctor of Medicine in Dentistry or Doctor of Dental Medicine) programs provide the same education resulting in the same degrees. However, it’s up to the universities to determine what degree is awarded, but both require the same curriculum.
Many don’t realize that becoming a dentist requires the same level of education and clinical training that most medical schools require to receive a medical degree. This means that typically, a general dentist has spent three or more years completing their undergraduate education before completing another four years of dental school. Once they have completed their training, they must pass a rigorous national written exam and a state clinical licensing exam to practice. They must also meet continuing education requirements for the remainder of their careers, allowing them to stay current on the latest scientific and clinical developments.
While the letters behind their names may mean the same thing, they made their way into the field in different ways. Dr. Quinlan’s journey began as a dental hygienist shortly after graduating from high school in 1990. He practiced in Fort Walton Beach for five years before returning to complete his pre-dental education at the University of West Florida. In 2007, Dr. Quinlan graduated from the Indiana University School of Dentistry with his D.D.S. He then returned home to Northwest Florida with his wife, Susan, and their children, where he began working as a dental associate at our sister practice, Santa Rosa Family Dentistry, in Gulf Breeze. In 2013 purchased the practice before opening Beulah Family Dentistry in 2022.
Dr. Sadowski’s path into the profession started in a much different fashion. Born and raised in Fort Myers, Florida, his love of the outdoors led him to pursue a master’s degree from the University of Florida in Forest Resources and Conservation. After several years of practicing forestry, he felt unfulfilled and desired a profession that allowed for more personal interaction with the public. Dr. Sadowski decided that dentistry as a profession would give him that opportunity, and he earned his D.M.D. from the University of Alabama at Birmingham. After graduation, he settled in Northwest Florida, where his wife, Laura, grew up. He joined our sister practice in 2019 and the Beulah office when it opened in 2022.
Regardless of the letters that follow Dr. Quinlan and Dr. Sadowski’s names, our experienced dentists and our incredible staff are dedicated to providing quality, caring dentistry in a relaxed environment for you and your family. To learn more about our services at Beulah Family Dentistry, visit us online or call us today at 850.706.5688. We also offer an online appointment request form to conveniently schedule your visit.