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21 Sep

How can I choose dental specialists?

With the field of medicine experiencing transformative advancements each year, there are now a number of different dental specialists, who treat a range of problems. This blog will discuss the most common dental credentials and help you make the right choice, when booking your appointment. It will also give you a few tips on how to spot the difference between a qualified and unqualified dentist.   

It’s no secret that cosmetic and surgical dental treatments, if carried out by an untrained or unregistered individual, carry risks. Here are the top three things you should look for when choosing a practitioner for your treatment.   

1.Check that they are GDC registered.  

In the UK, it  is illegal to practice dentistry without being registered to the GDC (General Dentistry Committee). The committee is responsible for protecting patient safety and maintaining public confidence in dental services. To achieve this, they register qualified dental professionals, set standards for the dental team and investigative complaints. This is why we have included the GDC numbers of all our specialists, which you can find on their profiles at 

2. Check the practice is registered with the Care Quality Commission 

 A good dentist will also be registered with the Care Quality Commission, which is a the institution responsible  for checking that medical, dental and care services meet national standards. 

 3. Check your dentists qualifications  

To be awarded their Bachelor of Dental Surgery (BDS) and practice dentistry, a dentist must have completed five years of undergraduate training. Below we have outlined the most common degrees your practitioner may possess, which will help you spot the difference between the level of qualifications they have.  

The Degrees acknowledged worldwide across North America, Europe, Africa, and Asia are: 

– Doctor of Dental Surgery (DDS) 

– Doctor of Dental Medicine (DMD) 

– Doctor of Dentistry (DDent) 

– Bachelor of Dental Surgery (BDS) 

– Bachelor of Dentistry (BDent) 

– Bachelor of Dental Science (BDSc) 

– Bachelor of science in Dental (BScD) 

– Bachelor Degree of Dentistry (BDS) 

However, it doesn’t end there. Competent professionals are likely to have more than one degree or have completed a specialization like the ones we’ll discuss below. If your dentist holds a post-graduate degree in dentistry, it is likely that their credentials will look similar to these:  

– Master of Science (MS or MSc) 

-Master of Science in Dentistry (MSD) 

– Master of Dental Surgery (MDS) 

– Master of Dental Science (MDentSci) 

– Doctor of Clinical Dentistry (DClinDent) 

 There are also a number of other courses that your dentist has likely completed. Make sure you always double check or ask a practitioner for the credentials they possess, before the start of your treatment.  

More often than not, after a dentist has  completed their post-graduate degree, they will choose to specialize in the area of dentistry they feel most passionate about. This means that they would have completed another two or three years of education to further their knowledge and skill in this particular field. Below you will find the four most common types of dental specialists and what exactly make them so great at their job!  

1. Orthodontist

An orthodontist is a dentist trained to diagnose, prevent and treat teeth and jaw irregularities.They provide a wide range of treatment options to straighten crooked teeth, fix incorrect bites and align jaw positions. 

After completing a five-year degree in dentistry, an orthodontist undergoes a further 5,000 hours (or three years of full-time study) of specialist training in the field of orthodontics. Whether you or your child are being treated with braces or clear aligners such as Invisalignyou need to be sure you’re being treated by an orthodontist to get the best results. 

2. Endodontist

While all endodontists are dentists, only less than 3% of dentists are endodontists! An endodontist is a specialist, who has had two or more years of further education, which focuses on diagnosing tooth ache and performing root canal treatments, as well as any other issue concerning the dental pulp (the inside of your tooth). They are also trained in using specialized techniques whilst administering numbing medications and making patients feel as safe as possible during surgery.  

3. Periodontist 

A periodontist is a dentist, who specializes in preventing, diagnosing and treating periodontal disease, also known as gum disease. A periodontist has been trained to use the latest technology and  equipment to spot the earliest signs of gum disease in your mouth and treat it with care. During an initial visit with our periodontist, we will review your medical and dental history. We will then examine your gums and check for gumline recession, as well as  look at your bite. We can use a probe to determine the depths of periodontal pockets. This helps us to assess the health of your gums. Our newest X-ray machine will allow us to observe the bone below the gumline and look for any signs of damage.  

 4. Prosthodontist

The term “prostho” means replacement and “dontist” means dealing with teeth. Although a general dentist is trained to carry out fillings and replace crowns, a prosthodontist deals with replacing teeth and restoring  functionality throughout you entire mouth. Prosthodontists carry out a range of complex treatments, including jaw surgery, implants and dentures. They are also concerned with the overall aesthetics of the smile and are trained to carry out comprehensive analysis of our facial features. Later on, they use that information to make sure a person ends up with the shape, size and look that suits them best.  


Our team at Maida Smiles Dental Clinic pride ourselves on our professional credentials and high standard of client care, and we go to great lengths to ensure each patient is  treated safely, with care and consideration, by a fully qualified and fully registered clinician. 


You can book your appointment with any of our specialists at Maida Smiles Clinic by calling 020 3583 9809.