More than 300 of the best general dentists, orthodontists, periodontists, and other specialists who can take good care of your teeth. Plus—how dentists are treating everything from sleep apnea to sports performance to wrinkles.

By Sherri Dalphonse and Melissa Romero

If you needed a root canal, you'd have to find an endodontist—and you'd probably ask your general dentist for a referral. Dentists, after all, see one another's work.

To put together this list of the area's best dentists, we took the same approach of asking experts—except we polled a lot of them. We mailed surveys to 2,000 dentists, asking them which of their peers they'd trust with their own family's dental care.

The ones who received the most recommendations on the 560 completed surveys are listed here.

Inclusion on this list doesn't mean a dentist will be right for you. While one dentist may find a colleague's work skillful, he doesn't necessarily know if the dentist has a rushed chairside manner or charges higher-than-average prices.

To help prevent the voting from becoming a popularity contest, we also looked at a dentist's credentials, read patient ratings online, and looked for good dentists who might get overlooked in surveys—including those with small practices and those new to the area.

Just because a dentist isn't on this list doesn't mean he or she isn't good. Consider this a starting point for finding dental care. It's also wise to ask friends and coworkers for names of dentists they like.

More on Dentistry

• Should Dentists Inject Botox?

• 6 Great Foods for Your Teeth

• Winning Smiles

• How Dentists Are Helping Some Patients Sleep Easier

• Taking a Bite Out of Deafness

• Reducing Your Radiation Risk

• Can Dentistry Make You a Better Athlete?

• How to Fix Your Smile If You Have . . .

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Posted at 12:58 PM/ET, 04/18/2013 RSS | Permalink | Washingtonian.com Guides