Washington Institute for Dentistry & Laser Surgery

Cosmetic Dentist



From the age of just 5 years old, Dr. Claudia C. Cotca knew she wanted to become a dentist. Fast-forward to present day, Dr. Cotca has been blessed to have achieved a worldwide reputation as a highly skilled aesthetic restorative dentist. With multiple degrees in science and public health and a Doctor of Dental Surgery, she focuses on multidisciplinary dental treatments. “My comprehensive approach integrates aesthetic-driven facial symmetry s...

The success and stability of the reconstruction of natural, beautiful smiles lies in the details and the health
Dr. Claudia Cotca
Cosmetic Dentist
Chevy Chase, Maryland

Services Offered

  • Laser Dentistry
  • Smile Design
  • Teeth Whitening
  • Periodontal Oral Health
  • Dental-Facial Aesthetics
  • TMJ / TMD Treatment
  • Porcelain Veneers
  • Invisalign® Express
  • Smile Facial Symmetry
  • Crowns, Bridges, Implants
  • Gum Tissue Biostimulation
  • Full-Mouth Reconstruction
  • Saliva Bacteria Testing
  • Routine Cleanings
  • Oral Cancer Screening
  • Innovative Treatment Development

A Minute With

I am the happiest when I know I can help change the course of disease, and I am privileged to witness that process over and over again
Nerd, loyal, meticulous
Aesthetics depend on health
To live humbly and be able to apply all my intellect and skills to help restore and maintain smiles
A powerful collection of science-driven technologies, which allow for earlier diagnosis, more minimally invasive treatment options and new techniques that far outperform current conventional treatments
All aspects from technology and science to clinical results and prognosis
We offer a proprietary treatment to address temporomandibular disorders, which include symptoms from clenching and/or grinding to migraines and facial muscle tension
Technology has grown and pathology demographics have also diversified and increased in frequency and numbers, increasing demand for customized treatment options
Interdisciplinary, real-time, evidence-based, aesthetic customized treatment plans, which include the etiologic cause of disease as opposed to unilateral symptoms- based treatments

Send Dr. Claudia Cotca an email


From the age of just 5 years old, Dr. Claudia C. Cotca knew she wanted to become a dentist. Fast-forward to present day, Dr. Cotca has been blessed to have achieved a worldwide reputation as a highly skilled aesthetic restorative dentist. With multiple degrees in science and public health and a Doctor of Dental Surgery, she focuses on multidisciplinary dental treatments. “My comprehensive approach integrates aesthetic-driven facial symmetry smile rehabilitation with biomedical oral therapies, including sleep and breathing improvement,” she says. Dr. Cotca is a fellow of the American Academy of Oral Medicine and the International College of Dentists and a member of the International College of Prosthodontists.

About My Practice:

What is unique about your treatment style?

My comprehensive diagnostic approach includes everything from esthetic-driven, facial symmetry-based smile design to oral cancer screening and diet profile development. I also value the significance of patient care post-treatment. I make it my priority to provide maintenance schedules with detailed descriptions to ensure optimized results. 

Describe your practice.

The Institute stands for comprehensive diagnosis and treatment of the patient’s oral health and aesthetics. The office is immaculately clean with white décor, which translates the message of clarity and sharpness in our services, recommendations and practices, and allows the patient to be at the center of attention.

How do you define a successful result?

A result is successful when it is natural and functional, and exceeds the patient’s expectations. Ultimately, the result needs to make the patient happy.

What do you think the future holds for cosmetic dentistry?

I am looking forward to advancements in laser procedures with a focus on smile design, teeth whitening and smile-based facial improvement; virtual integrated simulation of patient chewing patterns in real time with digital smile designs on computers; and quick and precise tooth kinetics with simulated high-grade porcelain restorations.

How do you ensure patient satisfaction?

As a clinician, I strive to provide results-driven treatments, which meet both the patient’s and my own expectations. During the treatment planning phase, I utilize digital X-rays, as well as video and photo portfolios to help patients visualize their concerns, treatment options and expectations. I value each patient’s input, as it helps me to achieve the best possible results.

What is your approach to cosmetic enhancement?

Cosmetic enhancement is dependent upon the functions and proportions of the skeletal, dental, muscular and soft tissue position. My experience and expert knowledge of the facial skeletal system, proportions and how they relate to the body give me the necessary parameters to create a natural-looking smile. 

About Me:

How would your patients characterize you?

My patients would describe me as caring, careful, scientifically-driven, skillful and intellectual with a sharp eye for detail.


Very thorough and in-depth visit. Highly recommend.



Very happy with Dr. Cotca's professional attitude at my first appointment. She listens carefully to the patient's individual preferences and priorities "healthy" options. Looking forward to the evaluation and the treatment.

Mikasha gaston

Mikasha gaston

I had a pleasant experience. Dr. Cotca was very professional and I definitely will return.

Dr. Cotca was thorough, clear, and gave hope for treating an issue that has gone unnoticed by other doctors for years. Highly recommend!

Patient Anonymous

Patient Anonymous

Me and my mother just had a great experience with Dr. Cotca. She was kind, thorough, smart, and completely professional in every respect.



I am very pleased with my services here today, and appreciate the care taken to ensure my oral health and needs.

Lynne Mersfelder-Lewis

Lynne Mersfelder-Lewis

Dr. Cotca is amazing on so many levels and there were a lot of issues to address. My jaw and bite feel the best in at least 8 years. She was referred by the best sleep specialist in DC area when I mentioned clenching, grinding, TMD, headaches, and other issues along with the departure of my regular dentist and specialist dentist. So I knew I was getting a GREAT doctor referral. Dr. Cotca is superbly specialized and was able to ID and treat multiple intertwined (complicated) issues immediately and with ease. She provides a level of detail and knowledge in her treatment that defines her as a truly amazing provider. I can't say enough professional recommendations about her, and especially her special Cotca device (appliance) - based on a famous UMich device - upgraded, tweaked and personalized. That device (more complicated and much better than a bite guard and handcrafted by her rather than a lab) is giving me immediate relief. It is retraining my muscles to a natural bite rather than being a guard. It was expensive for me, however I am with the best I've ever found. For my complications and needs, it was absolutely worth it to go out of network and pay for the extra care, extra attention, superior technology, and a much deeper knowledge base. I am seeing great results and have the piece of mind knowing I am in the best of the best of hands and brains. She is the one that teaches the CEU's to the other dentists, and she is a mix of clinical and operational. I have never known or met her before this referral - this is a completely unbiased review based on my own amazing results and experience. I know I am in the right place and only wish I had found her when I explored bite guards 8 years ago.



Insightful diagnosis. Found what many others have missed.

Kate H

Kate H

Claudia is a skilled and gentle artist who brings the highest and most innovative approaches to making sure your bite is perfect and your smile is gorgeous!

Excellent Results!

Chris A

Excellent results!



I now have a nice bright smile. Looks just as want it. The treatment was totally painless and professional done. Dr Cotca is th best Eva

David Trevelino

David Trevelino

Awesome. It's probably the best dental experience I've ever had

Amazing experience

Ana T.

Amazing experience, great and caring doctor and staff! I already see a difference in my teeth after the first appointment. Dr. Cotca and her wonderful nurse Ioana are true professionals!!!

Aisha M

Aisha M

Dr. Cotca was very informative. During the cleaning, she was very gentle and mindful of sensitive areas. She discussed the subsequent options with me in great detail. I believe the future health of my teeth will be much improved.



I just had oral cancer screening with Dr.Cotca. It was complimentary and the price is usually $95. She gave me great advice about future care of my mouth. The exam was very comprehensive and informative. She is great!


Karen A.

Love my new front teeth edges!!

Maria M.

Maria M.

Treatment and services were outstanding



The process was clearly explained and easy to follow. Within a few days I already can see a difference. The TMJ treatment was similarly well explained and I am excited to see the results.


Golnar T.

The visit was excellent.

Her bed side manner is impeccable!

Blanca Romero

Meeting Dr.Cotca has been a wonderful start to my journey to optimal dental health. Her bed side manner is impeccable and she takes her time both evaluating your case and explaining the best course of action. Her analysis takes a holistic approach and addresses root causes of issues which is esstential for long-term success. As a person with some anxiety for dental procedures, Dr.Cotca put me at ease and her work was gentle. Her coordinated approach gives me confidence that I will achieve optimal dental health under her direction.



Now that I have the mouth guard appliance I find that I have no headaches less neck and shoulder tension. My mouth is able to open at its full capacity . I've been told that it's at 100% which means further dental treatments should be easier. I wish I had Dr. Cotca sooner . Better late than never. Thank you.



So far very pleased with the attention and care I have received. Thank u Dr Cotca!

Very thorough

Anonymous Anonymous

Dr. Cotca was very thorough, involved and gentle.happy with the results.

Ken bielat

Ken bielat

Everyone should have an oral screen for potential cancer identification. it is quick and painless!!!


Golnar + Habib

The visit was excellent.

Comprehensive approach

Stefan P.

Dr. Cotca is a great professional, knowledgeable, with a comprehensive approach. Items that where never before discussed in other offices were introduced and presented in detail. The practice, knowledge, professionalism, technology and not the least patience makes Dr. Cotca a practitioner that I strongly endorse and recommend.

Well Informed

Jane Pennewell

I was well informed of the issues and treatments that will be conducted and advised of the codt

Very Professional

Stephen C

Outstanding staff equipment esthetics & superior clinical diagnosis of preventative Work that needs to be done... Very professional knowledgable staff & stress free examination... Thank you for being so thorough!!

Good experience

Debi Bielat

very thorough, took time to explain things. good experience.

Very helpful

Ashley A.

The doctor was very helpful

Results were outstanding!

Lindsay R.

Dr. Cotca made me feel confident with my decision to professionally whiten my teeth. The results were outstanding! I would highly recommend Dr. Cotca and her staff.



It was very helpful, this process. And Dr. Cotca is very kind and explains nicely what is going on.

Cosmina tamasag

Cosmina tamasag

Very professional and gave good advices

Highly Recommend


I usually dread seeing dentists when I have to get major dental work. This was not the case with Dr. Cotca who was very gentle when doing my dental fillings. I was very pleased with her attention to detail and her attentiveness to preventative maintenance before she completes any major work. Being such a knowledgeable doctor, she also takes the time to educate the patient on everything she’s doing as well as the rationale for her recommendations, which is great because an educated patient can make better decisions. I highly recommend Dr. Cotca. I don’t think I have ever met a Dentist who is so specialized and passionate about her field. I highly recommend Dr. Cotca.



The experience was quick, informative and produced results. Love my whiter brighter smile!

Brightening Smiles

Rachel B., 37 years old

Dr. Cotca is a highly skilled dentist who is passionate about oral health. She has taken on my exceedingly complex case and has carefully coordinated with other specialists to manage my care and treatment holistically. She always communicates every option and the consequences so that I can make informed decisions about my treatment. You will not be disappointed in her personal and customized approach.

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About Me

Smile Restoration

This patient was concerned with the color of her existing crowns and her chipped teeth. Dr. Cotca used microabrasion, bonding and e.max® ceramic crowns to transform her smile. 

Designing Smiles

When it comes to designing smiles for her patients, Dr. Claudia Cotca and her staff are focused and equipped with the latest tools. By using integrated technological advancements like lasers, digital smile diagnostics and design, and clinical treatment protocols, Dr. Cotca is able to offer her patients a multitude of options to improve the look and feel of their mouths as a whole. For one of her most requested procedures, teeth whitening, the practice offers a host of seven different systems from Zoom! TM  to Opalescence® to Diode Lasers. “Age-specific and behavior-specific tooth and enamel staining requires customized whitening protocols for effectively and optimally removing stains,” says Dr. Cotca. “These include different options of various strengths, formulations and application techniques, all of which I perform myself.” Other frequently requested treatments include porcelain-based smile designs and TMD and bite-related treatments, as well as laser procedures to address infections such as periodontitis and gingivitis

A Brighter Smile

This 27-year-old patient was concerned with the color of his teeth due to coffee stains. Dr. Cotca performed a 15-Minute Whitening Treatment to give him a bright new smile. 

Education & Credentials



  • Doctor of Dental Surgery - University of Michigan
  • Master of Public Health, Toxicology - University of Michigan
  • Bachelor of Science - University of Michigan


  • American Academy of Cosmetic Dentistry
  • American Society for Laser Medicine and Surgery
  • Seattle Study Club
  • Academy of General Dentistry
  • Alpha Omega Dental Fraternity
  • The Pankey Institute

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Q. I have a crown and have detected a small black spot in the middle of the crown - if not a cavity then what?

What our experts say:

If we are speaking about an all ceramic crown, depending on the age of the crown, a black spot may be cement undergoing decomposition or breakdown, dye accumulation from foods, liquids, or smoke through a crack in the crown, the tooth, or through a margin channel, and/or it may be decay. A clinical investigation would be needed to depict the source and the nature of the finding.

Q. I recently read that hydrogen peroxide causes oral cancer. Is this true?

What our experts say:

In my professional opinion, as a general and esthetic dentist, and as a toxicologist, I should state that every substance has a dose at which it projects thrapeutic and toxic profile.  Sometimes those concentration dosages are far apart, sometimes they are very near to each other.  FDA cleared products ensure that the concentrations provided in therapeutic formulations are safe to be used and they elicit a therapeutic effect.  Hydrogen peroxide is a very strong oxidizer, a scavanger for free radical (anti-oxidant like) generating complexes, which scavanges, if you will, other unpaired free radical linked compounds which are sometimes harmful.  Hydrogen Perioxide bleaches through this mechanism.  Of course, once the dosage surpases that dose that elicits the therapeutic effect it can cause harmful effects, like tissue sloghing and other progressive tissue breakdown, which may or may not lead to extreme conditions like cancer.  These extreme cases again depend on concentration and time exposure.  Therefore, it is extremely important to follow manufacturer and FDA recommendations and instructions, and be under the care and supervision of an expert clinician.

Q. Can veneers be replaced?

What our experts say:

In my professional opinion, venners like everything else in life will age and they may even fail with time. If venners move, the effect is often breakage.  If the gum line seems to move away from venners, and the margins of the veneers trap food, it does suggest retreatment.  Venners are kept in place by very thin cement which with time can breakdown if not maintained, cleaned or not protected from excessive load during biting or chewing, griding or clenching. However, venners can only be properly bonded to enamel not dentin, therefore, depending on how much enamel there is after the old veneers have been removed dictates if you would be a candidate for new venners or crowns.  Of course, clinical evaluation and radiographic diagnosis would finalize the treatment options available.