Gentle Dental


Archived Q&A and Reviews

May 2010

Re: Pediatric Dentist that accepts Delta PPO
Hi - I took my 4.5 year old daughter to F. Pineda at Gentle Dental in Oakland in June, 2009 and had a very negative experience. F Pineda and team were not good at making her feel comfortable at all. For a small filling between her front teeth they did not administer enough nitrous and she ended up 'coming to' before the fillings were done. I had to come in and hold her down while they finished. She was crying when we left and Dr. Pineda suggested that 'if the fillings fall out' we could come back for replacement. Though I paid the estimated amount beyond my insurance coverage at the time of treatment, I received an additional bill for twice the original estimated amount 2 weeks later! Gentle Dental was very confrontational about the situation. I paid the added amount. I filed a complaint with the BBB. The fillings fell out 6 months later. We did not go back. Our new dentist is Helen Thai, and she is wonderful - maybe check to see if her practice accepts your insurance?

We know Fatima Pineda from the Gentle Dental office in downtown Oakland. I understand she left that practice in Feb 2010. I needed some time to warm up to her style. I think for children who are very anxious, a softer approach and an overall calmer person might be a better fit. She was succeeded by Laila Abazari in the same office. I like her style better.

My issue with Gentle Dental is that the billing policy is to collect the total amount of what their best estimate for any given procedure is. That is understandable since they want to avoid having to run after their fees. However, every single time so far their estimate was above what our insurance calculated and stated in the EOB following the procedure and the claim. We have yet to receive the difference between the Dentist's estimation and the insurances' EOB.

If our plan offered a different pediatric dentist, I would switch just for this reason.

Dec 2009

It's time to take our 2 yo old son to his first dental appointment, and I am trying to choose between 2 in-network pediatric dentists with MetLife. I would appreciate any feedback on: LALEH VAKILI/BAY AREA DENTAL SPECIALTY GRP or LADY FATIMA R PINEDA/GENTLE DENTAL OAKLAND Alternately, if you have a recommendation for another pediatric dentist within the MetLife network, I'd love to hear about them. THANKS! seeking a good tooth fairy

Hi~ We took our children to Gentle Dental in Oakland for their first dental visit 2 yrs. ago, and didn't go back. The office staff were somewhat unorganized- we weren't very impressed with the facility as a whole. Hope this helps in your search for a good dentist. Denise

April 2006

has any body had and good or bad edperiencees with the people at the gentle dental office located on franklin st in oakland. i am kinda leary of office people who dont have it all together when it comes to peoples dental insurance or dental plans. any experiences with the dentist over there? annette

I've been to Gentle Dental twice. The first visit was a new patient consultation and the second was for a filling and a cleaning. They were definitely organized on the insurance front- at the end of my consultation they sent me into an office with a ''care coordinator'' - a person who outlines what the proposed services are going to cost, what parts are covered by insurance, and what isn't. The dentist did recommend a new antibiotic treatment to be done with the cleaning, and only with the consultant did I find out that it cost $47 per tooth (for me he recommended like 5 teeth) and that it wasn't covered by insurance. They also told you available options- like silver fillings versus tooth-colored. When I came back for the cleaning/filling I arrived about 10 minutes early, was the only one in the waiting room (just after lunchtime) and waited almost an hour, while 2 or 3 other people came in after me and were seen. It became apparent after about 30 minutes that the reason for this is because none of the staff could find my chart. I was pretty annoyed. When I finally was seen, the filling and the cleaning went fine, and both the hygienist and Dr. Cage were professional. Overall, the experience was fine, and it definitely seemed that where money/insurance were concerned, they knew their stuff- priorities I guess! Laura Dec 2005

It's almost time for a first dentist visit and in-network options for pediatric dentists for my daughter are Shilpa Avula, Fatima Pineda, or Laleh Vakili. Other than a single 2003 recommendation for Dr. Pineda, I couldn't find anything in the archives. Does anyone have experience with any of these dentists?

My oldest son started going to Dr. Pineda around two years ago (when he was 2.5). She and her staff are gentle, quick, and patient. Now I go to see her as well! Lyn

April 2003

Does anyone have any experience with Lady Fatima Ramos Pineda, DDS? She is apparently the only pediatric dentist that our new dental insurance carries. Thanks, Laurel

We love Dr. Pineda! She is a wonderful, caring, gentle dentist. Our 5 yro has seen her for 2.5 years for cleanings and checkups. The practice is a dental farm, but we choose early morning appts and have never had to wait long. If necessary, we would have paid out of pocket to see one of the ''highly recommended'' dentists, but no need now that we have Dr. Pineda! Linda