Holistic, prevention-oriented pediatric dentist

Admittedly, I'm skeptical of dentists (read The Truth About Dentistry in The Atlantic). I had my own series of shady experiences years ago, which I won't go into here but I saw numerous dentists each advising different treatment, none in agreement (read the article) and ultimately most not necessary (which I can attest to more than 10 years later). Anyway, now I have kids and I love their pediatric dentist but I have serious concerns about whether this dentist is recommending treatment in excess of what is really necessary. Anyway, without going into further detail, I would like to get a second opinion with a dentist who is known to take a conservative approach and preferably is at least aware of no-drill approaches to treating minor decay. Preferably in Oakland or East Bay, but I would travel farther for the right person. 

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Also interested so hoping you'll share with me if you get any recommendations. Thank you

A dentist that we use, who is knowledgeable of holistic approaches, is Doctor Hockel in Walnut Creek. He also practices orthotropic orthotics (an alternative to traditional orthodonture that emphasizes extractions and results in a smaller jawline, may contribute to a smaller airway, sleep apnea and other problems). With orthotics, they use appliances (retainer-like) to gradually encourage jawline growth so that the teeth have room to grow in naturally. We've been using him for both the orthotics and as our general pediatric dentist. They still use some traditional dentists practices, but they are understanding if you want to omit some (like not using flouride) or steer things a different way (e.g. using diet, etc). (Unlike other dentists who may look at you in a negative light if you ask for more holistic approaches.) Here's their website: https://www.hockel.com/

Another holistic dentist, located in Berkeley, is Doctor Hites: https://www.yelp.com/biz/sandor-hites-dds-berkeley

Dr. Hites has more adult clients, and is not as focused on kids (he isn't as good at interacting with them compared to Doctor Hockel, which was a deciding factor for us). 

It isn't easy to find a holistic dentist! We searched for a long time to find ones more compatible with our orientation toward health. Hope that helps!

The dentist I've been going to for 30 years, Dr. Stephen Voyne, is trustworthy and very conservative when it comes to any dental work, often taking a "wait and see" approach. He is not specifically a pediatric dentist, but he is a family dentist, and our daughter saw him throughout her childhood. 

I used to go to a dentist in The Castro in SF, called Dr Keck: https://yelp.to/qTKq/XQ3yoiK4P6

hes not a holistic dentist but very down to earth. He doesn’t like that dentists charge you an arm and a leg for every procedure. I came to him because my prior dentist said I’d need 8 fillings. When dr Keck saw me, he said maybe one filling but we can wait and see how it goes. Dr Keck’s clinic is also very down to earth, and somewhat outdated, but again, it doesn’t feel like it he’s in the money making business, but there to help you.

Good luck!

We travel all the way down to Los Altos to see Dr Amy Guthrie and her team. She's a superb family dentist, sensible and approachable with patients of all ages. I wouldn't describe her as "holistic" in that she's prepared to use high-tech solutions if (and only if) they're appropriate and necessary. But she does practice minimally invasive dentistry. Her website (http://www.dr-amy.com) explicitly states: "For a dentist committed to removing as little natural tooth as possible, the challenge is knowing when a problem has crossed the line from "keep an eye on this" to "fix this", so if you're willing to drive that far, I think she'd be a perfect person to offer a second opinion. 

I've had similar experiences with dentists and that nagging feeling that a dentist is recommending a treatment for treatment's sake -- but without being able to read a dental x-ray, it's feels impossible to be a discerning consumer. 

I picked Dr. James Khoe, a family dentist in San Leandro, based on reading several reviews about him having a conservative approach to treatments, and I have been very happy over the last 2 years or so. I have always been extremely cavity-prone, and on several occasions he has suggested a "wait and see until the next checkup" approach, instead of racing to get the drill like many dentists have done in the past. It's a very modest office, but it always feels clean and the whole team is super nice. Also very easy location right off 580. (My child has not had his first dentist's appointment yet so I can't comment on the pediatric care specifically.) Good luck!