The ultramodern Arlington Center for Dentistry looks more like a spaceship than a dentist's office. Sliding glass doors give way to a private waiting room equipped with a flat-screen TV and bright-red leather couch. Beyond its translucent walls, massive pillars painted gold and bright green pepper the path to the reception desk, interspersed with more flat-screen TVs to entertain patients perched upon circular benches that look as though they might lift into the sky at any moment.
The smooth, corner-less aesthetic hints at the state-of-the-art treatments administered beyond the waiting room, where seven experienced doctors––among them dentists, oral surgeons, orthodontists, endodontists, and pedondontists––strive to ensure a healthy, happy future for each smile. With an emphasis on creating lasting doctor/patient relationships, they gently guide mouths on custom treatment plans that can include everything from invisible braces to chip-covering Lumineers. Full-mouth and panoramic radiographs combine with comprehensive periodontal charting and bite analysis to pinpoint problems with precision, and model wax-ups of teeth present a mockup of how teeth will look after cosmetic treatments or if they fail to give up their candle-snacking habit.
When searching for a new dentist, patients prize a light touch almost as much as they do extensive training or whiz-bang technology. Fortunately, Tarek Mogharbel, DDS—who worked in District of Columbia General Hospital’s oral-surgery department and is a certified Invisalign and Lumineers practitioner—and his partner, Sun Park, DDS, both describe themselves as gentle people. This character trait translates to each of their cosmetic and family dentistry services. The doctors take special care no matter the procedure, whether it’s an exam for an anxious youngster, a teeth-whitening treatment for an adult, or a new set of porcelain veneers for a ventriloquist’s dummy locked in an eternal, unfeeling grin.
Take care of your gums. That's one piece of advice from the staff at Universal Smiles DC. Gum problems can spread to the teeth and cause damage to the enamel, which could eventually necessitate extensive restoration or total tooth replacement. Although Dr. Bilal Ahmed specializes in prosthodontics treatments, such as dental implants, veneers, and crowns, he and his team would rather maintain teeth.
To ensure patients stay healthy, when crafting crowns, Dr. Ahmed fuses the porcelain with pure gold because gold is more organic and better accepted by the body and most monarchs than nickel, silver, or mercury. Laser gum treatments reduce the excessive bleeding often found with blade contouring, and digital x-rays cut down on the patient's exposure to radiation.
The staff also looks out for patients’ comfort with cable TV in every operatory. Patients waiting in the reception area sink into the pillowy depths of oversized plush chairs while snacking and sipping bottled water.
Under the direction of Dr. Farida Khattak, the Dynamic Family Dentistry team maintains high standards in training, safety, and patient education to keep teeth in mint condition. The dentists and hygienists recognize the unease some patients may feel about going on dental visits, which is why they try to create a comforting atmosphere with personalized care and positive demeanors. As the mother of two young girls, Dr. Khattak is particularly skilled in the art of putting children at ease during appointments, as well as synchronized french braiding. She and her staff perform preventive services such as x-rays, cleanings, and periodontal exams, along with more involved procedures such as dental implants and porcelain crowns.
Invisalign straightens crooked chompers through a combination of highly advanced, 3-D computer graphics and the spells of good old-fashioned orthodontia. Three different practices feature orthodontists specially trained and certified in the Invisalign process, which eschews cumbersome braces for clear, removable aligners that are virtually invisible to the unclothed eye. An initial exam, including x-rays, photos, and impressions of your mouth terrain ($325), will pave the way for a flurry of calibrated teeth sheaths that are designed to slowly shift your walnut crackers into perfect alignment. The total cost of an Invisalign treatment varies with each customer (it can run anywhere from $4,000 to $8,000); this Groupon gets you $1,000 to put toward that final cost. View some Invisalign FAQs here.