Dentist Search

What a Dentist Looks for in a Dentist

Match me with my dentist

Let’s talk about dentists for a minute.

How does a dentist choose a dentist? They do not rely on online reviews. They will leverage their years of experience and network to find a provider who best fits their needs. Why should you settle for anything less?

You shouldn’t.

NoBull Dental will be your personal hiring manager by interviewing dental candidates, diving deep into dentists’ backgrounds, and finding you your ideal dentist on your behalf  based on your needs and values. The final candidate we deliver to you will be the dentist that is best suited for you. NoBull Dental is a trusted, transparent company that knows what to look for in dentists because we are dentists. Do you really know your dentist?

Is your smile the same as anyone else's? No! So don't let just anyone work on your teeth.

Not all dentists are equally talented and trained. As industry experts, NoBull Dental has seen the good, the bad, and the ugly. Dentists have a few tricks they use when marketing themselves to new patients. Subjective reviews and “Best of” magazines are ways they try to win over the patient’s trust.

We have rigorous standards in place that help us find the best dentist for your unique needs.

How We Evaluate Our Dentists

Continuing Education (CE) Hours

Most dentists are required to acquire 15-20 hours of continuing education every year by the state they practice in. The exact number of continuing education (CE) hours differs from state to state, but the requirement is designed to be the minimum, to keep dentists up to date on current practices, guidelines, techniques, procedures, etc.

Some dentists do the bare minimum, while others truly invest themselves in their careers and the profession. Arguably, dentists who accrue more continuing education (CE) hours are more committed to learning and providing the best care for their patients. It is not uncommon for more experienced dentists to have fewer hours of continuing education (CE) due to the diminishing returns on education these experienced dentists would receive.

Academy of General Dentistry (AGD) / American Academy of Cosmetic Dentistry (AACD) Status

Dentists who are Fellows or Masters of the Academy of General Dentistry (AGD), or who are accredited with the American Academy of Cosmetic Dentistry (AACD), are among the top 1-6% of general dentists in terms of formal postgraduate accomplishments.

These dentists have high numbers of continuing education (CE) hours and have passed rigorous standards that differentiate them from others. These dentists set themselves apart because of their commitment to education, training, their patients, and their profession.

Dental Residency

In most states, residency is not required to be a practicing dentist. However, dentists who complete a residency before entering private practice have more breadth and depth of experience than those who do not. Like all institutions, hospitals and dental schools vary in caliber. The more challenging the hospital residency, the more prepared the dentist may be for private practice.

Dental School

Not all dental schools are created equally. Like most institutions of higher education, the better the school, the harder it is to gain acceptance. Generally speaking, more challenging schools report higher scores and GPAs for first-year students.
Keep in mind that a great dentist can come from a lower-ranked school and a poor dentist can come from a top-ranked school.

Veteran Status

Dental medicine and military training often come with medical experience that’s difficult to replicate in private practice. Similar to other fields, military experience represents not only a commitment to the country but also a higher standard.

Years in Practice

Younger dentists are, by definition, less experienced and have done fewer procedural repetitions, but some young dentists may be armed with more current information, technology, and techniques from recent schooling. Also, a younger dentist’s hand-eye coordination and acuity may be superior to that of an older dentist.

However, experienced dentists usually have more procedural repetitions and a wider experience base. Their chairside manner can be measured by the experience of their patients.

Keeping Up

In addition to the Academy of General Dentistry (AGD) and American Academy of Cosmetic Dentistry (AACD) accreditation, there are at least six major institutions that provide post-graduation education and advanced curriculums to dentists. These include Dawson Academy, Spear Education, Kois Center, The Pankey Institute, and LVI Global.

Dentists who have committed a significant amount of time and money into training at these higher education institutions are committed to their profession and may provide a higher standard of care.


Dentists who invest in technology also invest their time and money to provide the highest standard of patient care. While dentists whose practices lack the most modern technology can still provide excellent care, technology itself can serve as a proxy for care differentiation.

Better technology – and being properly trained in how to use it – enables a dentist to see a patient’s problem more clearly. Modern technology may also provide a safer and more comfortable experience for the patient.

Speciality Procedures

General dentists can perform some specialty procedures, like extractions and root canal therapy. A general dentist may offer a specialty procedure because he has extensive experience and training in a particular treatment — though some general dentists may offer a specialty procedure because of extra time in their schedule.

If a doctor can treat a patient immediately, it makes financial sense to the doctor and is convenient for the patient. The best of intentions but could potentially produce a substandard result.

It is not uncommon for the standard of care of a specialist to be higher than that of a general dentist. General dentists who lack advanced training in some procedures, or simply believe the patient would be better served by a specialist, often refer patients to specialists.

Dental specialists include:

  • Endodontists
  • Prosthodontists
  • Periodontists
  • Orthodontists
  • Dentofacial orthopedists
  • Pedodontists (children’s dentists)
  • Oral and maxillofacial surgeons
  • Pathologists
  • Radiologists

Note that cosmetic dentists and implant dentists are not deemed, specialists. Any dentist can perform both or either treatment. Prosthodontists, periodontists, and oral surgeons are the specialists usually referred to for implant placement.