Help me find a dentist in the SF Bay Area.
December 6, 2007 3:01 PM   Subscribe

I am looking for a dentist recommendation in the SF Bay Area, preferably Oakland.

My entire family has been seeing the same dentist in Sacramento for the last 20-odd years, but I have a bit of distaste for his personality and some experiences I've had there have resulted in a deep dislike of dentists -- I always leave the office feeling like I'm some kind of asshole because I don't floss regularly, and even sometimes forget to brush. I've found an excellent solution to this problem: I don't go to the dentist. Surprisingly, this has caused my dental health to decline further.

I had a filling fall out a couple months ago, and it feels like it's getting to the point where I can no longer ignore it. One of my front teeth also needs attending to, as it was chipped after someone knocked me out at a party over 2 years ago.

Yeah, I haven't been to the dentist in about 3 years. And before that, I took an 8 year break -- which is pretty ridiculous for an otherwise fairly responsible adult, but I guess that gives you an idea of how much I dislike dentists.

Does your dentist have the type of personality that can turn a dentist-hater into a dentist-lover? Can I visit him in Oakland?

Extra points for accessibility from transit, as I don't have a car. Also, it'd be cool if they don't treat children. Not a big fan of the kids when I'm at the dentist.

Money isn't quite to the point of no object, but I'd rather have a good experience than save a few bucks. If it's important, I'm in my late twenties.
posted by fishfucker to Health & Fitness (15 answers total) 6 users marked this as a favorite
My family and I have had only good experiences with Dr. Stephenson in San Leandro (walking distance from BART). He, his associates, and his staff are all kind, professional, and very, very good at what they do. I've lived in NYC for five years and keep getting dental care when I come home to visit CA since I can't imagine finding a better dentist here.

For example:

I have recessive gums, and not only are they very careful to keep on top of things to make sure they aren't getting any worse, they take the time to patiently and gently clean my teeth so it won't hurt my exposed nerves. When I inquired about teeth whitening, they suggested I try to save the expense of custom lightening and try Crest whitestrips first. My mother has terrible teeth as a result of a lifetime bad eating habits and poor self-care, and had several very infected teeth this year that will have to be root canaled, removed, and replaced. While no extensive dental work is going to be cheap, I know she's in good hands and seeing someone who is going to make sure things are done right.

Good luck.
posted by foxy_hedgehog at 3:08 PM on December 6, 2007

I love my dentist, Tom Jow, 450 Sutter Street, Rm 2525, San Francisco, CA 94108, (415) 392-5300. Union Square, so I guess walk-able from Powell Street. Actually, I particularly love his hygenists, who are the main deal once you fix your problems and get into maintenance.

If SF is a deal breaker, you might call them for a referral to the East Bay.
posted by ClaudiaCenter at 3:13 PM on December 6, 2007

I go to Cory Stacpoole who is at 500 Sutter (walk up from Powell Street BART). He plays excellent music (old time jazz - very relaxing atmosphere), his staff is very friendly and they're all real perfectionists (in a good way). I am sincere when I say that I LIKE going to see the dentist because of Cory and his excellent staff. He does beautiful work and has a real gift for giving almost pain-free shots (I'm not kidding!) This guy was BORN to be a dentist. And I don't believe, in the 10 years I've been going there, that I have ever seen a child in the place.
posted by MrFongGoesToLunch at 3:21 PM on December 6, 2007

Stacpoole is at 415-781-2781.
posted by MrFongGoesToLunch at 3:22 PM on December 6, 2007

I've been happy with Dr. Penelope Yip in Berkeley - her office is on Telegraph (between Oregon and Stuart), so it's very easy to get there by bus. She and her staff are very personable and I always felt at ease there. She also happens to be an associate clinical professor at UCSF's dental school.

Her contact info:

2821 Telegraph Avenue
Berkeley, CA 94705
(510) 841-7424
posted by Aster at 3:26 PM on December 6, 2007

Not Oakland, but close: I've been happy with Susan Caliri, 851 Dwight Way, Berkeley, CA 94710, (510) 845-2864.
posted by Zed_Lopez at 3:49 PM on December 6, 2007

Response by poster: thanks for all the recommendations so far! i'm not sure how I'll choose -- probably proximity and appointment availability.

I can't believe i'm actually going to go to the dentist -- this month! thanks guys.
posted by fishfucker at 4:12 PM on December 6, 2007

Wait wait -- one more:

Dr. Blaine Honda
2020 Hearst Ave.
510 841 0662

I've been really happy with the care I've gotten from Dr. Honda for the last 10 years. When there's something wrong he's very realistic about only doing the work that needs to be done. His office is four blocks from the Berkeley BART.
posted by harkin banks at 4:54 PM on December 6, 2007

Maybe it's too far of a commute to the Sunset for you, but I'll mention this anyway for you and any others who might read this thread.

I was in the same position as you. After a botched filling when I was in college ended up requiring double the work to fix, I pretty much swore off dentists.

One day, the pain in my teeth just got too extreme, so I scurried through Yelp to find someone who'd see me immediately. I found Dr. Chen at Dental Health of San Francisco. She is extremely sweet and gentle; very different from any other dentist I've ever had. I had to get a root canal, but she let me pay for it in installments without charging any extra. A great experience all around, and I'll be going back for a checkup (!) in a few weeks.
posted by roll truck roll at 4:55 PM on December 6, 2007

Response by poster: huh, I didn't even think to check out yelp. i don't always trust their reviews, but there appears to be a dentist very near where I live with a spotless record: Lavorini Dental Care.. Anybody have any experiences with them?
posted by fishfucker at 5:40 PM on December 6, 2007

City Center Dental, just one block from the 19th Street BART in downtown Oakland is AWESOME! They *are* a little pricey, but the experience is always, dare I say, delightful? They have a permanent on-staff financing consultant, hand/neck massage therapist, TV/DVD library, and parrafin hand treatments. All of this is included in your dental visit cost (and they take all major insurance), and goes on while you have your gaping maw worked on. It's the nicest distraction I can think of.

Oh, and their system is fully email compliant and automated. I get regular email reminders, online appointment confirmation, and iCal support.
posted by iamkimiam at 5:43 PM on December 6, 2007

Not to mention that their dental services are professional and state-of-the-art (what an outdated term for saying "modern" and "hi-tech"). Point is, they've done some amazing stuff for me over the years to help improve my teeth! I highly, highly recommend them!
posted by iamkimiam at 5:46 PM on December 6, 2007

Dr. Bruce Fong @ Rockridge Dental Group, 510-653-6677. Practically on top of Rockridge BART. Super fun guy, terrific and diverse staff, plays cool music and even made me a disc of some euro pop I liked. And good dental skills too!
posted by quinoa at 6:45 PM on December 6, 2007

I like Derric DesMarteau, whose office is on Linda & Grand, just over the Oaklnad border, in Piedmont.

Tell them you want instructions, not lectures.
posted by potsmokinghippieoverlord at 7:27 PM on December 6, 2007

For reviews of dentists by patients, try
posted by kuppajava at 11:33 AM on December 8, 2007

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