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.
Though the patients at CNS Dental are all human, you still might catch a glimpse of a german shepherd mix. Jacob can occasionally be found alongside Dr. Cara Schantz, calming patients at the office on his days off from working as a certified therapy dog. Dr. Schantz's altruism doesn't just extend to Jacob, who makes regular appearances at the Powhatan Nursing Home courtesy of Fairfax Pets on Wheels. She also volunteers her dental services to Mission of Mercy projects in Virginia.
Back at Dr. Schantz’s home base, shimmering aqua tiles, mod-style chairs, and golden chandeliers that resemble models of atoms at a school for rich children adorn the waiting room. The retro, space-age feel gives way to the simplicity and natural light of the treatment rooms, where patients open wide for cleanings and exams. Dr. Schantz spends the rest of her office hours performing cosmetic and restorative treatments. An onsite oral surgeon places implants, performs extractions, and treats temporomandibular joint (TMJ) issues.
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.