40 UNDER 40 HONOREES

WILSON AGUILAR-GARCIA

  • Springfield, VA
  • Sonrisas and Smiles Dental Care

Age:

40

Name of Practice:

Sonrisas and Smiles Dental Care

Specialty:

General dentistry

Education:

DDS, University of Southern California School of Dentistry


Why He Was Nominated

Born in Peru, Dr. Aquilar-Garcia is a dentist twice over, having completed one degree in his home country and another after he moved to the United States. He’s also a Navy Officer of the Dental Corps in the U.S. Navy Reserve.

Favorite Aspect of Dentistry

After spending three years working for a large corporate practice outside Washington, D.C., Dr. Aguilar-Garcia broke off to start his own small neighborhood practice. His office, which was finished in March, is now so close to home that he frequently jogs to work with his dog, a Basenji named California.

Philosophy

“Dentistry should be pain-free. Once I’ve built a rapport with a patient, we move forward with a cooperative, gentle method of care. I’ll never do anything for a patient
that I know will be painful.”

Tool He Can't Live Without

“I love my Vatech PaX-i panoramic machine and my intraoral camera.”

Advice To Aspiring Dentists

Dr. Aguilar-Garcia recently wrote a letter of recommendation for a former dental assistant who, like him, was born outside the U.S. and was applying to American dental schools. “I told her, ‘Remember that dentistry is beautiful. Never forget what it’s like to look at the world from the patient’s seat, or how good dentistry is when you treat the people instead of worrying how much money you’ll get.’ ”