Clinical Team

Smiles Elevated | Oral Cancer Screening, Dental Bridges and Pediatric Dentistry

Dr. Maria Wood

Founder and General Dentist

LANGUAGES

English, Russian, Ukrainian, Spanish

EDUCATION

Doctor of Dental Surgery
University of Maryland Dental School
Master of Science in Complementary and Alternative Medicine
Georgetown University
Bachelor of Science in Public Health
George Washington University
Advanced General Dentistry Residency
University of Maryland Dental School
Implantology
New York University College of Dentistry

Dr. Wood believes in a comprehensive and individualized approach to treating her patients. As no two people's values, diets and concerns are the same, she helps her patients meet their specific functional and cosmetic goals in a pain free and caring environment. She also stays up to date on the latest evidence-based home care tools and techniques, coaching her patients on how to maintain a healthy and beautiful smile for life.

Dr. Wood treats patients with a variety of dental needs, from pediatrics to implants. She completed the Doctor of Dental Surgery program and Advanced General Dentistry residency at the University of Maryland Dental School. She then received her dental implantology certificate from New York University College of Dentistry. She holds a Bachelor's degree in Public Health from the George Washington University and a Master's degree in Complementary and Alternative Medicine from Georgetown University. She attends continuing education courses regularly to stay current on the latest advancements in her field. She is a member of the Academy of General Dentistry and American Academy for Oral Systemic Health, and is a board member of the University of Maryland Dental School Alumni Association. She is also a contributing author on complementary and alternative medicine practices for the "ADA/ PDR Guide to Dental Therapeutics."

When not practicing dentistry, Dr. Wood can often be found either on a yoga mat or hiking her favorite trails with her husband Brad and puppy Hemingway. She makes a goal to participate in dental mission trips to the underserved corners of the world and loves immersing herself in the local cultures. In addition to English, she speaks Spanish, Ukrainian and Russian.

Dr. Wood can't wait to explore your smile goals with you and help you look and feel your best!

Dr. George Kesten

General Dentist

LANGUAGES

English

EDUCATION

Doctor of Dental Surgery
Howard University

TRAINING

Clinical Clerkship
American Cancer Society at Sloan Kettering Memorial Hospital

Smiles Elevated

Dr. George Kesten has been practicing dentistry since 1973. His wealth of experience and his schedule of continuing education keeps him current with any advances and improvements in the field of dentistry.

Dr. Kesten was a scholarship graduate of Queens College, City University of New York in 1969 and then earned a DDS at Howard University in Washington D.C. He graduated with honors and awards in Clinical Diagnosis and in Surgery in 1973.

He was awarded a Clinical Clerkship by the American Cancer Society at Sloan Kettering Memorial Hospital in 1972.

Dr. Kesten is one of Washingtonian Magazine's Top Dentists. He was recognized by Consumer Reports and Checkbook Magazine, Consumer Research Council of America, Angie's List, and had an A rating on Doctoroogle.

Dr. Kesten is a Life Member of the DC Dental Society and a member of the American Dental Association.

Smiles Elevated

Dr. Nahal Golpayegani

General Dentist

LANGUAGES

English, German, Farsi

EDUCATION

Doctor of Dental Surgery
University of Maryland Dental School

Dr. Nahal Golpayegani (“Dr Golpa” to her staff and patients) was raised in Germany. She moved to the United States when she was 12 years old and grew up in Rockville, Maryland. After earning her bachelor’s degree in Molecular biology, Cell biology, and Genetics from the University of Maryland, Dr. Golpayegani received her Doctor of Dental Surgery degree from the University of Maryland Dental School in Baltimore.

Following dental school, Dr. Golpayegani was heavily involved in community service through the Medical Mission of Mercy MMOM. Previous to the pandemic, she embarked on mission trips to provide free dental care to underserved populations in the Philippines.

Dr. Golpayegani has been practicing as a general dentist providing basic preventive care and restorative dentistry for over 9 years to both adults and children. She is Invisalign certified and can provide orthodontic treatment to adults who qualify.

Dr. Golpayegani strives to provide dental care that is tailored to your individual needs. Her dental philosophy allows for a relationship-based approach to care with a focus on minimally invasive and conservative techniques using the latest technology in dentistry. Her goal is to develop and maintain open communication, discussion, collaboration about each treatment plan in order to achieve the most comprehensive care possible.

As a member of the Maryland State Dental Association and American Dental Association, Dr Golpayegani is enhancing her skills with continuing education courses each year.

Outside of work, Dr Golpayegani enjoys spending time with her family and friends and loves traveling and cooking. She is fluent in German and Farsi.

Neda Akbari

Registered Dental Hygienist

LANGUAGES

English, Farsi

EDUCATION

Virginia Commonwealth University

Smiles Elevated

Neda has been a resident of Maryland for 20 years. She graduated with honors with a B.S. degree in Biology and has many years of experience as a dental hygienist.

She is exceptional at making patients feel at ease during treatment by building strong relationships based on trust. She is an advocate of preventing gum disease through individually tailored home care practices and regular dental cleanings, and strives to help patients understand the connection between their oral health and overall wellbeing.

Outside of work, Neda enjoys spending time with her family, traveling, skiing and swimming.

Smiles Elevated

Karen Guzman

Registered Dental Hygienist

LANGUAGES

English, Spanish

EDUCATION

Fortis College

Karen has more than a decade of experience in the dental field, starting out as a receptionist and assistant prior to becoming a registered dental hygienist.

Karen is passionate about helping the community and has extensive experience working with geriatric patients and those with special needs. She has also worked in homeless shelters and strives to make dental health achievable for everyone, regardless of their life circumstances or physical abilities. Karen feels it is important that all patients feel comfortable coming in for preventative care and strives to help each patient leave the visit feeling good and learning something new about their oral health.

Karen was born and raised here in Maryland, and with family from El Salvador she is fluent in both English and Spanish.

In her free time, Karen enjoys spending time with friends and family, loves live music and is always on the lookout for tooth shaped goodies when out shopping!

Administrative Team


Smiles Elevated

Kimberley Brown

Office Manager

Kimberly was born in Montreal, Canada and has lived in the DMV area for 11 years. She worked with Dr. Wood in the past and was excited when Dr. Wood asked her to join her in building Smiles Elevated. Kim shares Dr. Wood's goal of helping patients to achieve optimal dental health and comes with extensive experience in dental practice management. For our international patients, Kim is fluent in French and Spanish. Outside of the practice, she enjoys cooking and baking, working out, listening to all genres of music and exploring new restaurants in the DC area.

Daniela Ayala

Financial Coordinator

Daniela is here to help answer all of your financial questions. She has worked in the field of dentistry for many years and is passionate about helping patients navigate and maximize their insurance coverage. For those without insurance coverage, she can also walk you through our in office plans.

Outside of work, Daniela enjoys spending quality time with her cats Luna and Simba, exploring the outdoors, painting, cooking and reading. She also spends her weekends participating in leadership building workshops with her mentoring group and advocating for victims of domestic violence.

Clinical Team

Dr. Maria Wood

Founder and General Dentist

Smiles Elevated | Oral Cancer Screening, Dental Bridges and Pediatric Dentistry

LANGUAGES

English, Russian, Ukrainian, Spanish

EDUCATION

Doctor of Dental Surgery
University of Maryland Dental School
Master of Science in Complementary and Alternative Medicine
Georgetown University
Bachelor of Science in Public Health
George Washington University

TRAINING

Advanced General Dentistry Residency
University of Maryland Dental School
Implantology
New York University College of Dentistry

Dr. Wood believes in a comprehensive and individualized approach to treating her patients. As no two people's values, diets and concerns are the same, she helps her patients meet their specific functional and cosmetic goals in a pain free and caring environment. She also stays up to date on the latest evidence-based home care tools and techniques, coaching her patients on how to maintain a healthy and beautiful smile for life.

Dr. Wood treats patients with a variety of dental needs, from pediatrics to implants. She completed the Doctor of Dental Surgery program and Advanced General Dentistry residency at the University of Maryland Dental School. She then received her dental implantology certificate from New York University College of Dentistry. She holds a Bachelor's degree in Public Health from the George Washington University and a Master's degree in Complementary and Alternative Medicine from Georgetown University. She attends continuing education courses regularly to stay current on the latest advancements in her field. She is a member of the Academy of General Dentistry and American Academy for Oral Systemic Health, and is a board member of the University of Maryland Dental School Alumni Association. She is also a contributing author on complementary and alternative medicine practices for the "ADA/ PDR Guide to Dental Therapeutics."

When not practicing dentistry, Dr. Wood can often be found either on a yoga mat or hiking her favorite trails with her husband Brad and puppy Hemingway. She makes a goal to participate in dental mission trips to the underserved corners of the world and loves immersing herself in the local cultures. In addition to English, she speaks Spanish, Ukrainian and Russian.

Dr. Wood can't wait to explore your smile goals with you and help you look and feel your best!



Dr. George Kesten

General Dentist

Smiles Elevated

LANGUAGES

English

EDUCATION

Doctor of Dental Surgery
Howard University

TRAINING

Clinical Clerkship
American Cancer Society at Sloan Kettering Memorial Hospital

Dr. George Kesten has been practicing dentistry since 1973. His wealth of experience and his schedule of continuing education keeps him current with any advances and improvements in the field of dentistry.

Dr. Kesten was a scholarship graduate of Queens College, City University of New York in 1969 and then earned a DDS at Howard University in Washington D.C. He graduated with honors and awards in Clinical Diagnosis and in Surgery in 1973.

He was awarded a Clinical Clerkship by the American Cancer Society at Sloan Kettering Memorial Hospital in 1972.

Dr. Kesten is one of Washingtonian Magazine's Top Dentists. He was recognized by Consumer Reports and Checkbook Magazine, Consumer Research Council of America, Angie's List, and had an A rating on Doctoroogle.

Dr. Kesten is a Life Member of the DC Dental Society and a member of the American Dental Association.



Dr. Nahal Golpayegani

General Dentist

Smiles Elevated

LANGUAGES

English

German

Farsi

EDUCATION

Doctor of Dental Surgery
University of Maryland Dental School

Dr. Nahal Golpayegani (“Dr Golpa” to her staff and patients) was raised in Germany. She moved to the United States when she was 12 years old and grew up in Rockville, Maryland. After earning her bachelor’s degree in Molecular biology, Cell biology, and Genetics from the University of Maryland, Dr. Golpayegani received her Doctor of Dental Surgery degree from the University of Maryland Dental School in Baltimore.

Following dental school, Dr. Golpayegani was heavily involved in community service through the Medical Mission of Mercy MMOM. Previous to the pandemic, she embarked on mission trips to provide free dental care to underserved populations in the Philippines.

Dr. Golpayegani has been practicing as a general dentist providing basic preventive care and restorative dentistry for over 9 years to both adults and children. She is Invisalign certified and can provide orthodontic treatment to adults who qualify.

Dr. Golpayegani strives to provide dental care that is tailored to your individual needs. Her dental philosophy allows for a relationship-based approach to care with a focus on minimally invasive and conservative techniques using the latest technology in dentistry. Her goal is to develop and maintain open communication, discussion, collaboration about each treatment plan in order to achieve the most comprehensive care possible.

As a member of the Maryland State Dental Association and American Dental Association, Dr Golpayegani is enhancing her skills with continuing education courses each year.

Outside of work, Dr Golpayegani enjoys spending time with her family and friends and loves traveling and cooking. She is fluent in German and Farsi.



Neda Akbari

Registered Dental Hygienist

Smiles Elevated

LANGUAGES

English

Farsi

EDUCATION

Virginia Commonwealth University

Neda has been a resident of Maryland for 20 years. She graduated with honors with a B.S. degree in Biology and has many years of experience as a dental hygienist.

She is exceptional at making patients feel at ease during treatment by building strong relationships based on trust. She is an advocate of preventing gum disease through individually tailored home care practices and regular dental cleanings, and strives to help patients understand the connection between their oral health and overall wellbeing.

Outside of work, Neda enjoys spending time with her family, traveling, skiing and swimming.



Karen Guzman

Registered Dental Hygienist

Smiles Elevated

LANGUAGES

English

Spanish

EDUCATION

Fortis College

Karen has more than a decade of experience in the dental field, starting out as a receptionist and assistant prior to becoming a registered dental hygienist.

Karen is passionate about helping the community and has extensive experience working with geriatric patients and those with special needs. She has also worked in homeless shelters and strives to make dental health achievable for everyone, regardless of their life circumstances or physical abilities. Karen feels it is important that all patients feel comfortable coming in for preventative care and strives to help each patient leave the visit feeling good and learning something new about their oral health.

Karen was born and raised here in Maryland, and with family from El Salvador she is fluent in both English and Spanish.

In her free time, Karen enjoys spending time with friends and family, loves live music and is always on the lookout for tooth shaped goodies when out shopping!

Office Hours

Monday
7:45 AM - 4:30 PM
Tuesday
7:45 AM - 4:30 PM
Wednesday
7:45 AM - 4:30 PM
Thursday
7:45 AM - 4:30 PM
Friday
7:45 AM - 4:30 PM

Contact Us

5530 Wisconsin Avenue
Suite 1535
Chevy Chase, MD 20815

(301) 913-0072