Qualifications to Look for in a Dentist

If you are looking for a new dentist, it is time to carefully choose one. Simply don’t go to the first dentist you find online or via referrals. Conduct your own research to know about a dentist’s qualifications and other important details such as clinic timings, locations, payment methods, etc.

Begin with a simple online search using keywords such as dentist Springfield VA (a requirement with location). Visit the websites you find on the first results page. Start with the top and check a few more down the line. Reputed dentists present information about their qualifications and practice properly on their websites. So, you can get all the information you need before scheduling your appointment at a dental clinic.

Here are the qualifications to look for in a dentist.


Needless to say; your dentist’s education qualification needs to be impeccable.

After completing their undergrad degrees, aspiring dentists need to enroll in a dental school. Upon the completion of their graduate degree, they become dentists. They can choose to further their education too. See to it that the dentists have mentioned their dental college and other schools for higher education too on their website.

Dentists can also study cosmetic dentistry or learn advanced techniques once they acquire their degrees. Not all general dentists practice cosmetic dentistry, which includes specialized treatments such as teeth replacement, straightening, whitening, etc.

If you require a cosmetic dentistry procedure, ensure that the dentist you choose is a qualified cosmetic dentist. You can check the services page on dentists’ websites to know the type of cosmetic dentistry treatments they offer. Not all cosmetic dentists may offer all kinds of treatments either. For instance, a cosmetic dentist may only offer dentures, crowns, or dental bridges for teeth replacement while others may also offer dental implants.

Fixing dental implants is a complex procedure. The treatment requires immense expertise and precision. So, not all dentists offer this treatment. Dentists need to really obtain the required training for fixing dental implants.

Professional Memberships

It is important that your dentist is a member of a professional board or organization such as the American Dental Association or the Academy of General Dentistry. Some dentists choose a top to obtain memberships of their state’s professional organizations too in addition to national boards.

Board-certified dentists are the ones who have cleared stringent tests to obtain their professional memberships. They also continue to take these tests to retain their memberships (as per their organization’s policies). They need to keep pace with the news and the advances in the field of dentistry. So, you can rest assured that a board-certified dentist is qualified and knowledgeable in his or her field.

Board-certified dentists have to also follow a set of rules by their professional bodies. Failure to comply with these rules may mean them losing their memberships. So, you can also be rest assured that a board-certified dentist will be ethical too.


A qualified dentist will also need to obtain the required licenses to practice in their state. A dentist, however qualified, cannot legally practice without a medical license obtained by the authorities.

A dentist’s license can be revoked at any time owing to unethical practices or malpractices. So, if a dentist has the requisite licenses to practice then you can be sure of his or her professional reputation and ethics.

Other Important Considerations

Other than dentists’ qualifications, also check information about their clinics or practice. The timings and location of the clinic must be as per your convenience.

Also find out if a dentist you like offers emergency services or not. Not all dentists offer emergency services at their clinics. So, if this is important for you then ensure that you check this detail before choosing a family dentist. If you have children, it is best to choose a dentist who offers all types of general, cosmetic, and emergency services.

Book an appointment at the clinic you like so far as per the afore-mentioned suggestions. When you visit the clinic, pay attention to its setup. Is it child-friendly? Is it clean and tidy? Is the support staff friendly and helpful? Is it easy to get appointments at the clinic?