Joseph Cortese, DDS
I can recommend the Dr Joseph Cortese office on Kains, just south of El Cerrito Plaza. My family has been going there for years. "Doctor Joe" himself is semi-retired now and works only part time, but the other dentists and the hygienists (which include at least two of his adult children and at least one son-in-law) are also friendly and good at working with anxious patients of all ages. Fair warning, there is some religious stuff around the office (Dr Joe is very Catholic) but it's just there...no one there has ever made assumptions about the patients' religious beliefs or practices or started any conversations about religion, that I'm aware of. They seem to take all of the major PPO insurance and they will offer discounts or payment plans for uninsured patients.
Archived Q&A and Reviews
Re: Family dentist for children
My family has gone to Dr. Joseph Cortese, on Kains in Albany just south of El Cerrito Plaza, since my older son was 3 or 4 years old. When my daughter had an accident resulting in the loss of a baby tooth at only 2 years old, in the aftermath we went to both a pediatric specialty group and to Dr Cortese's office, and we had a MUCH better experience with ''Doctor Joe'' -- who is a father of 10 kids himself and he and his assistant are great with children of all ages, as well as with adults. He's working only part time now, semi-retiring; he has a son or son-in-law practicing with him and we've been satisfied with the younger guy as well. (I think at least one of his daughters-in-law is also a dentist but I'm not sure if she's working in the same practice.)
We pay out of pocket and the prices seem reasonable. He is responsive to cost concerns as well as health concerns with things like x-ray frequency. (A small discount is offered for cash payment up front; they also take assorted insurance plans.) There is a lot of religious paraphernalia all over the office (yes, he's Italian Catholic), which for us is a little offputting, but we've never been subjected to any evangelizing, so the decor can be ignored. Satisfied Customer
Re: El Cerrito dentist
I do not know for sure what insurance he does or does not accept but you should try Dr. Joseph Cortese, whose office is a mere block away from EC Plaza, on Kains. It's a family-oriented dental practice and both ''Doctor Joe'' and his hygienist -- as well as the office staff -- are great with young kids. Their scheduling can get a little disorganized (lots of last-minute calls asking if one of us can come earlier in the day than originally scheduled, and that sort of thing) but we usually book a group of appointments at the same time so the whole family gets checkups together, and it's really nice to have the option. And we've been satisfied with the quality of care as well -- through assorted fillings and root canals as well as regular exams and cleanings. Holly
Re: Dentist good with toddlers who accepts CIGNA
Dunno about CIGNA in particular, but our family dentist does accept a variety of insurance, and he is fabulous with little kids. (He has ten of his own!) Dr. Joseph Cortese on Kains, near the Albany-El Cerrito border.
The office is full of religious (Catholic) decorations, which I found rather off-putting, but ''Doctor Joe'' and his assistants are warm and competent, and the place is very kid-friendly. (I have a five-year-old who's sometimes been cooperative and sometimes not, and a two-year-old who hasn't had her own dental appointment yet but is always welcome to tag along when mom and/or dad have theirs.) Holly
I just recently started seeing Dr. Joeseph Cortese this past year. He has been my husband's family dentist for over twenty years. He is extremely friendly and welcoming. He is a great dentist and especially for your young child. He talks a lot to you, tells a lot of jokes and makes you feel comfortable. He sort of makes going to the dentist fun. His waiting room is filled with all sorts of people from very young to very old. It is a real family dentist office and he has a wonderful staff. I would highly recommend him. Erika