Download PDF

Groups and Organizations

Illinois State Dental Society, The American Orthodontic Society


As a pediatric dentist, Dr. Joseph Zakarija has years of specialized training. After completing his general dentistry degree at Loyola University Chicago in 1984, he was one of only two students admitted into a post-doctoral pediatric dental program at Loyola University Medical Center. During this time, he also studied craniofacial growth and development, and he went on to complete postdoctoral work in orthodontia. Joseph Zakarija’s work in all aspects of preventive and therapeutic oral health care for children led to his certification by the Illinois State Board of Dental Examiners as a pedodontist. 

Dr. Joseph Zakarija’s path to pediatric dentistry began when he was a dental student; while on rotation in the Pediatrics Department, the head of the department noticed that Dr. Zakarija had a natural talent for working with children. Over 20 years later, that observation still holds true. Known to his patients as “Dr. Zak,” he is now in private practice in Rockford, Illinois. Dr. Zak’s Tooth Fairy Castle Pediatric Dentistry serves patients from infancy to adolescence in a fun, relaxing atmosphere. His practice is particularly welcoming to children with special needs or developmental disabilities. 

In addition to seeing patients for routine dental procedures in his Rockford offices, Dr. Zakarija is also on the active surgical staff of the SwedishAmerican Hospital. Active in his community, Dr. Zakarija supports the Head Start Program for underserved children, as well as the Girl Scouts.

Work experience



Loyola University- Chicago