Researching a Dentist Online: Verifying Credentials and Experience

Coming Choosing a dentist involves more than just picking a name out of a directory. Ensuring that your dentist has the proper credentials and ample experience is crucial for your dental health.

This guide provides a straightforward approach to verifying a dentist’s credentials and experience online.

State Licensing

Check the Dental License

Every dentist must hold a valid license to practice dentistry in their state.

For California residents, the California Dental Board provides an online portal as a place where you can verify the licensing status of any practicing dentist. Simply enter their name or license number to see their current status and any past disciplinary actions.

Educational Background

Verify Dental School Credentials

It's important to know where your dentist was trained.

Most dentists proudly display their alma mater on their clinic’s website. You can also verify their credentials through the dental school’s alumni network or office.

Additionally, professional networking sites like LinkedIn often display detailed educational histories.

Professional Affiliations

Membership in Dental Associations

Dentists committed to their professional development are often members of major dental associations. These memberships also imply adherence to certain ethical standards.

You can check membership status directly through websites like the American Dental Association (ADA) or the California Dental Association (CDA), which maintain online directories of active members.

Specialty Certifications

Confirm Special Qualifications

If your dentist specializes in a field such as orthodontics or pediatric dentistry, they should be certified by a relevant board.

The American Board of Dental Specialties (ABDS) provides a verification tool for many dental specialties. Board certification ensures your dentist has undergone additional training and assessments.

Experience and Reviews

Read Patient Reviews and Testimonials

Understanding a dentist’s interaction with their patients can be just as eye-opening as their technical skills. Websites like Healthgrades or Yelp host reviews from actual patients, giving you insight into the dentist's practice.

Remember to look for patterns in reviews rather than isolated incidents.

Hospital and Clinical Affiliations

Check Hospital Affiliations

Many experienced dentists are affiliated with one or more hospitals. These affiliations are typically listed on the dentist’s professional profiles and indicate that the dentist meets the rigorous standards of the hospital’s medical board.

Awards and Recognitions

Look for Professional Accolades

Awards and recognitions from reputable organizations can be indicators of a dentist’s commitment and recognition in their field. These are often listed on their personal or practice website and can give you additional confidence in their capabilities.

Publications and Research

Review Academic Contributions

A dentist who contributes to academic journals or speaks at conferences is actively involved in the advancement of their field.

Check for publications in databases like PubMed or look for mentions of speaking engagements on their professional profiles.

Using Online Dental Directories

Utilize Comprehensive Directories

Online dental directories provide consolidated information on licensed dentists, including their specialties, locations, and sometimes user-submitted reviews. This can be a quick way to verify credentials and compare options.


Verifying a dentist’s credentials and experience online is an effective way to ensure you receive high-quality dental care.

By taking these steps, you empower yourself with the knowledge necessary to make an informed decision about your oral health provider. Always use multiple sources to confirm the information you gather to ensure its accuracy and completeness.

No Medical or Dental Advice

The content on this website is solely for informational purposes and should never be regarded as a substitute for medical advice. If you have any questions or concerns about your health or any deterioration in your well-being, always consult your physician or dentist. Your healthcare provider’s diagnosis and prescription should be your primary source of guidance. The details found on this site are not meant to replace regular dental appointments, including routine checkups, as advised by the Oral Health Foundation or ADA.

By using this site, you acknowledge that you will always seek the counsel of your dentist or physician before implementing any information provided on this website. Adhere only to the recommendations given or approved by your dentist or physician. If you disagree with these terms, our general terms and conditions of use, disclaimers, and privacy policy, you are not authorized to utilize this site.

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