Dear PoP – Recommend a Dentist

Breaking Away
Photo from PoPville flickr user Rukasu1

“Dear PoP,

We always share thoughts on best bars, best drinks, etc. With it being so incredibly difficult to find good doctors, could we do a dear PoP and maybe start with dentists? I don’t know about anyone else, but I just get a list from my insurance company with absolutely no other information…”

This is a great idea. I went to the dentist last month and now believe I need to see a good therapist because I was so abused. Well I could prolly benefit from a good therapist anyway but that’s neither here nor there…

Can anyone recommend and a good dentist? And if possible mention which insurance they take?

76 Comment

  • Great idea! I hope people respond…this has been such a challenge for me (I, too, had a terrible dental experience not very long ago…)

  • And good dentists for people without dental insurance?

  • Dr. Scott Dudley at Virginia Center for Cosmetic and General Dentistry. I’m a DCer and I’ve been hiking out to Clarendon to go to this guy for a little over a year now. Let’s you watch TV or pick a Pandora station while you’re in the chair and does a great job. A 5 min walk from the metro and has early morning apts. HIGHLY recommend.

    • I went to him a few times for some major work and while I agree in terms of skill and office comfort Dr Dudley is great, I experienced major billing issues (MetLife) with his office staff. They kept telling me it was my insurance company but since switching dentists (but sill using the same insurance) I haven’t had any billing issues at all.

      • I have metlife insurance and found Dr. Dudley’s office. The office staff was incredible and I didn’t experience any billing problems. It was a great overall visit and I was impressed on several levels… HIGHLY RECOMMEND!

  • Great dentist: Dr. John Tsaknis – they have filled 8 cavities (I didn’t go to a dentist all through college, whoops!) and everytime they were amazing – didn’t really hurt the next day and I didn’t feel a thing during!

    Great doctor: Healthy Steps in Silver Spring – very focused on preventative medicine, but also great at treating existing conditions. They take the time to try and figure out *why* something is happening instead of just treating the symptoms. Amazing.

    A doctor that you DEFINITELY DON’T GO TO: Q Street MDs at 18th & Q St NW – I feel like their entire set up is fraudulent – over the top blood work every single time you go in (even if it’s a follow up appointment less than a week after the initial appointment), absolutely no treating the problem, barely treating the symptoms. Terrible terrible customer service. Just awful. Be prepared to waste upwards of 2 hours everytime.

  • Robert Tigiani at 2021 K street is great. I don’t have dental insurance and a regular cleaning was about $100, IIRC. A couple of my coworkers goto him and we have SunLife dental insurance.

  • Dr. Tsaknis – yes he has ads on the movie screens but he is really good and really gentle…I’ve had HORRIFIC dental experiences in the past and he’s the best. Also takes a lot of different insurances (I’ve been through a couple of different insurers in the past few years and he’s taken all of them)

  • Cohen & Cohen
    818 18th Street NW
    3rd floor
    (202) 659-9100‎

    It’s a family business. Father, son and granddaughter (and 1 additional female dentist). I see Dr. Sara the granddaughter and she is great. And have on occasion seen Dr. Paul (her father). The hygienists I’ve seen are all friendly and professional. Nice, clean office. They are not on my insurance company’s list, but after the first visit, they have submitted to my insurance company for me. I usually owe an additional $8 per visit, so worth it to have a doctor I don’t dread seeing. I’ve been going there for about 10 years.

    • I second this recommendation. Not only are the doctors and technicians fantastic, in my experience the office staff is amazingly competent.

      • I just called their office to schedule and they were exceptionally rude. I’m super bummed out because I’m all about the Jewish dentists and they came recommend. Oh well, onto the next rec!

        • Sorry to hear it, that is surprising. Maybe you just caught the receptionist on a bad day? I’ve also have never had a problem with the office staff.

        • Is there something special about Jewish dentists that I’m not aware of? Because I’m pretty sure my dentist isn’t Jewish, and I don’t want to miss out on something.

  • Not in DC, but just outside (NE) near Beltsville, MD. Dr. Gregory Keating at Calverton Dental Care does great work. It’s a small place with all modern equipment and will work with a variety of insurances (including working with people without insurance). Check out the website ( for all the details. I know it is outside DC, but worth it. Dr. Keating is a fascinating guy, retired Navy Captain, in dentistry for over 30 years. Plus, I’m sure if you need to find a dentist closer, he could help with a referral.

  • The Doctors Arroyo. They are a family-run (father, son, daughter, and daughter-in-law) practice in downtown DC and I’ve received great treatment from them for the past several years.

    Their website is stuck in 1997, but all the info is here:

  • I trek out to Ballston to go to my dentist that I found while working out there – Dr. Cusumano ( He once came in on a Saturday morning to do an emergency root canal for me, for which I think a lot of dentists would have called the pharmacy, ordered me some pain meds, and seen me on Monday.

    The office also has modern equipment (digital xrays, computer screen to show you your gum status, etc), and I think they use text message & email now for appointment reminders.

  • Dr. Cooper at 16th and K St! I’ve been going here for two years and I highly recommend them for professionalism and friendliness. They accept Aetna dental insurance and a few others.

    • I second this recommendation. Dr. Cooper is great, and I love Angel as well (one of the hygienists). No frills, just quality service and nice people. They take my United Healthcare insurance.

  • Dr. Timothy Elder in Farragut (1712 I Street NW -(202) 223-3315). They’re fantastic. Always on time, have helped me save $ with insurance stuff, and couldn’t be nicer. Plus they don’t maim you, which is always a plus. I know they take the blue cross FEP plan. (Probably any dental insurance.)

  • Dr. Fred Greenspon has been my dentist ever since I first had teeth and was my parents’ dentist long before that and he’s great. He has a tremendously light touch. His office has a weird thing with insurance — if you have it they’ll work with it, but they don’t subscribe to any particular plan. You can call and see if they will work with your insurance.

    One of the other things that I like about him, aside from the really light touch, is that he tends not to work on something unless it is causing you discomfort. I have come to trust him and know that if he says something needs to be done, I’ll listen. He’s not going to do work on your teeth just for the sake of doing something to send you a big bill.

  • i go to the Washington Dental Studio (on 19th across from CF Folks), and i LOVE them.

    they take united healthcare, but i’m not sure about what else.

    • This place is terrible. I’ve had 5 plus coworkers who have walked away out of money and abused. I personally had a totally unncessary invasive procedure done which two other dentists said after the fact was borderline abuse. Multiple complaints to licensing groups, etc. I highly DON’T RECOMMEND THEM.

  • Dr. Alan Helig, 1712 Eye Street, NW; 202/467-5553 (Farragut West metro). Great dentist, have used him for 4 years (after going through a series of not-so-good dentists out by White Flint) and recommend him without reservation. Not sure about insurance, they do take the Federal BC/BS plan which doesn’t pay much in dental benefits, however.

    • second Dr. Helig. He accepted Delta Dental the two years I had dental. $140 for a cleaning + checkup is a bit pricey out of pocket though, will probably go back home to do it for half from now on.

    • Been going to Dr. helig for years and I love him. He will work w/ you on payment if you are doing it out of pocket. he never tries to steer you to expensive cosmetic stuff and is conservative on drilling prefering to wait a bit and have you be diligent w/ your hygiene in the mean time.

  • houseintherear

    Dr. Mantoni in Silver Spring. Near the metro on Georgia Ave. 301-587-6696.

    I’ve never even sat down in the waiting room- they’re busy but totally on-the-ball. And they have some sort of a “mobile dentist” bus, but not sure how that works.

    I have a filling that’s on its last leg, and he’s been “watching it” for 3 years. Easily could have charged me an arm and a leg and replaced it, but he’s too honest for that.

    (And once they gave me a free $500 replacement mouth guard because my dog ate mine.)

  • Dr. Tawann Jackson, Tawann, DDS
    650 Pennsylvania Ave Se, #460, Washington, DC 20003
    (202) 547-7772

    She’s right at the Capitol South Metro. I loved having Dr. Jackson as my dentist when I resided in the District (I now live in Columbia). I am extremely afraid of dentists, and she put all of my fears at ease.

  • A second for Dr. Scott Dudley at Virginia Center for Cosmetic and General Dentistry!

  • Well this just was finally what it took for me to actually make a dental appointment! Thanks all.

  • Dr. Mark Rusk
    818 18th Street NW
    Washington, DC 20006
    (202) 293-5805

    I currently have MetLife Dental, but I’ve been going to him for almost 10 years now, over the course of 4 different jobs/insurance plans, and he’s always taken whatever insurance I had.

    I think he’s great.

    • I like Dr. Rusk too — very nice guy and competent staff (at least I’ve never had a problem).

    • Dr Thornton is in the same office, and he’s excellent too. Really sweet, light touch, and very calming – which is great considering i’m TERRIFIED of the dentist. (I am both VERY sensitive, and have a SUPER STRONG reaction – think racing heart and numb up to the sinuses if it is done wrong – to the anesthesia, and he totally works with me until I’m cool with what’s happening.) And the office staff is great too.

    • I third the support for Dr. Rusk /Thornton and their entire office staff!

  • I will second Mal on Dr. John Tsaknis. He has three locations, which is super convenient. Nothing but good things…

  • Try Harvey Levin at 1712 I street NW, 202-466-4466. I’ve been going to him for 10 years. He’s very funny and does not believe in pain. All of the dental hygenists are wonderful. I have Cigna. I know he takes Blue Cross and Aetna but call his office they’ll give you the run down.

  • I lost a tooth because of astonishingly poor work done by Washington Dental Studio. Not recommended.

  • I have been using DR Walter Grace 1712 I Street NW SUITE 412 since 1993 and I quite like him. It is a 3 person office (one person is general office staff) so he does the cleaning and any other work. I like this because he gets to know a person’s teeth.

  • Dr. John Krygowski (2719 N. Washington Blvd., Arlington; 703-243-1810) comes highly recommended.

    His office is a 10 minute walk from the Claredon metro station. Not sure he’s accepting new patients, but it’s certainly worth a call to find out.

  • Capitol Hill Dental Group does really good work. Everyone in my office goes…

    I see Dr. Hodges.

    • I LOVE Capitol Hill Dental Group. I see Dr. Thompson and have sent dozens there as well. They are really wonderful with their hours (early as 7 AM!) and they won’t charge if they don’t have to… like if you need an adjustment on a new filling (filing it down).

      And, to boot, they are incredibly nice.

  • I’m a big fan of my dentist, Dr. John Hunter at 818 18th Street, NW. He and his staff are great–seems to accept most insurance.

  • I don’t recommend Dr. Cary Chavis, that’s for sure. He’s rude, pushy and impatient. He makes you do “deep cleanings” (extra money) even if you’re only off by a month or so for your regular 6 month cleaning. He tells me I have multiple cavities and fills them up and I still have pain from one of these alleged cavities he filled a year ago. I can’t stand him. Thank you for posting this because I also need a new dentist.

  • dr. barsky

    AMAZING. cannot say enough. so i wont say anything at all:) but, he is magical. as are his hygenists.

    • Agree on Dr. Barsky. My husband and I have been seeing him for several years now. Dawn is the hygenist I see and she’s wonderful! Dr. Barsky’s office is located on 19th between L and M (a few blocks from Farragut North). Not sure about all the insurance he takes but he definitely does take Delta Dental.

  • Maria Nichols on Wisconsin Ave. Being gorgeous as she is, she is pleasant to look at when you’re lying there, if nothing else….

  • Go see Dr. Sheila Samaddar at the South Capitol Smile Center, across the street from the baseball stadium.

  • Dr. Grace freaks me out. He found a sensitive spot on a tooth and touched it with a metal tool 3x just because he knew it hurt.

    I highly recommend Leo Alter on 19th St. He’s not cheap, but his people are top notch, his equipment is modern and he’s a great guy. He doesn’t direct bill insurance, but BC/BC Anthem always reimburses me.

  • I like Gr. Grace (Walter Grace near 17th and I St.) He has always done my cleanings himself, and he is exceptionally good at crowns and bridges. I shattered seven teeth in a bike accident and all my root canals and crown work he did has held up well over the years.

  • I’m a big fan of Dr. Luis Barr of Schneiderman & Barr at 1234 19th St NW: The hygienists and other staff are very friendly. The office does email and text reminders too.

    I’ve gone to Dr. Barr for about 4 years now under both Blue Cross Blue Shield and United Healthcare. Blue Cross was better in terms of a smaller co-pay but United Healthcare has actually reimbursed me when I apparently overpaid.

    When I first went in I knew that I had a lot that needed to be done as I didn’t have any dental insurance when I was in college. I also had let my wisdom teeth grow in. He and his staff didn’t press or force me into their removal – I made the choice after 2 years of regular appointments – and Dr. Barr recommended that I go see Dr. Richard Williams of Georgetown Oral Surgery for their extraction.

    By no means should anyone ever go to the DC Dental Spa – EVER. My mouth was in pain and bloody after a cleaning.

    • I’ve been a patient of Dr. Schneiderman for 9 years or so. The whole staff is super-sweet. They always remember the things we talk about. I highly recommend the practice!

  • Do not go to the Washington Dental Studio. Dr. Ebbs was the hack that I signed up to see but I wouldn’t go near anyone that works in this place.

    I was looking for a new dentist in DC and all I wanted was a routine cleaning. Once I was strapped into the chair, a receptionist came in and played a 20 minute video about chronic gum decay and resulting tooth loss – a very disgusting, horror show of a video. Then a hygienist stabbed my gums with a needle for 35 minutes to “evaluate” me until I was bleeding all over the place. I’m almost 30 and have never had a cavity and this lady tells me that my gums are in a dangerous state of decay and I’m at risk of multiple tooth loss. Unless, of course, I sign up for their multiple year gum treatment plan. Right. Insurance doesn’t cover this treatment (because it’s a scam) so it costs thousands of dollars out of pocket.

    I refused to sign up for the treatment and then they told me that they would not perform the tooth cleaning because of the dangerous conditions in my mouth. Again, 0 cavities, root canals, etc. in my life. After sitting through the freak show video and gum torture, I was not leaving without a cleaning. Dr. Ebbs grudgingly came into the room for the first time and gave me a worthless 5 minute “cleaning” and sent me on my way.

    After talking to other victims of this place, this gum scam is their usual MO. After reading more about The Washington Dental Studio on Yelp, I guess I’m one of the lucky ones:

  • another plug for the Drs. Arroyo—have been a patient there for over 13 years. Very happy with them. Good care, nice staff, reasonable prices. Great choice if you work downtown and/or have easy access to Dupont Circle (they are four blocks south of the Dupont south exit).

  • Francis G. Surprenant, D.D.S.
    1145 19th St NW
    Ste 202
    (cross street = M St.)
    Washington, DC 20036
    (202) 965-2113

    I had a GREAT experience here and I hate going to the dentist. Really nice offices, really cool guy, high tech 3D xrays, cleaning/xrays etc 100% paid for by my insurance (guardian). BIG BONUS, if you work around here, which a lot of us do, you can get a cleaning done on your lunch break and not have to worry about time off or making up time. Easy!

  • dr. David Schlactus in rockville, close to the metro.

    heres why: I spent years ignoring my teeth, and I also trained as a welterweight. He has basically redone all of my teeth over the last 10 years. He is young and well educated (many dr’s regardless of speciality learn little after graduation). He knows his stuff, and has yet to recommend me to a periodontist. I have a friend who is a periodontist (second opinion) he has always given a thumbs up. Also doesnt torture you for no reason, and has never pulled a tooth. .
    great guy, great work. he is booked solid all the time though, but totally worth it.

  • I love George Baird, at 1325 18th St Nw Ste 102 Map it
    Washington, DC 20036. Nice guy, low-key office, my kids go to him, just an overall great experience. Been with him through two jobs and multiple insurance.

  • I totally need to see the dentist but have been procrastinating because I have new insurance and need to find a new dentist. That said, I’m looking for a dentist who is affiliated with Kaiser Permanente health insurance – any suggestions?

    • I had been going to Elizabeth Perry Dodson when on that insurance. About a year ago I had trouble contacting her office (or else I’d give you a number) but she was a good dentist. She’s at 7310 Alaska Ave NW.

  • I can attest that Dr. Porvaznik at 2021 K Street NW is awesome. He’s a great dentist and he’s an incredibly nice guy. 202-331-7074.

    • The other dentist in that practice is Dr Ingber and he’s awesome (never saw Dr P myself). Been going there for years and I’m not crazy about going to the dentist. I have MetLife but before had BC/BS. They don’t make me feel like an idiot for not flossing every single day. I never feel like I’m listening to a sermon and the best reason to go there is they never, ever “sell” me anything I don’t need – procedures or equipment. I can’t say enough about this office and like I said — I’m not crazy about going there in the first place. Ask for Cyndi as your hygienist. She’s great too.

  • Dr Zuckerberg at Adams Morgan Family Dentist runs her own small pracice at the very end of Lanier in Adams Morgan. Getting an appointment is easy peasy, the staff are super friendly, she uses the latest technologies, and there are never any demeaning lectures. I’ve been going to her for three years now and have no complaints!

  • Dr. Sheila Samaddar at the South Capitol Smile Center. They are located on the greenline directly across the street from the Nats Stadium. Dr. Samaddar is gentle and kind and does fabulous work! Highly recommend!

  • Dr. Randy Wong in Dupont Circle. Awesome dentist, great guy, friendly staff.

  • United Dental on K St between 16th and 17th is a great clinic. I see Dr. Lee, she is very gentle and thorough. They also have good deals on whitening.

  • I recommend Dr. Margo Robinson at Watergate Dental. Great dentist and very personable, but you will probably have to call the office to check to see if she or anyone else in the practice takes your insurance. Here is a yelp review:

  • Dr. Pollowitz near AU Law School, in Upper NW on Mass Ave. 202-363-2572.

    and The Best Orthodontist, Dr. Gerlein in Chevy Chase (MD, just over the line, easy walk from Metro) 301-951-4114

  • I’d be careful about seeing the dentist Tawann Jackson on Capitol Hill. I made an appointment with her because of good reviews about her online, but I was really disappointed. She has an attitude like she’s better than everyone. That keeps her from being able to discuss matters easily with patients I think. I was also unhappy with the work she eventually did. Really regret going there.

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