Aloha Kids Dentistry

Berkeley, Orinda
Editors' Notes: 

Doctors reviewed: Joseph Wampler, Neil Katsura, Bob Khalil, Arnold Nakazato, Ameneh Khosrovani, Carole Miyahara

Parent Reviews

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We LOVE Aloha Kids Pediatrics. We see Dr. Katsura. We switched from a previous dentist who wanted to use nitrous, sedate and strap my child to a board to keep him restrained. Turns out he didn't need all the fillings, they are gentle and kind, informative to the kids about the process and not one tear was shed without any extra drugs. I can't tell you enough the great experience it has been. My kids have now been patients there for years.

RE: pediatric dentist ()

Aloha Pediatric Dentistry has offices on Telegraph and Solano Avenue (both in Berkeley) and also Orinda.

Extremely patient and professional, kids are their specialty and it shows.  We see Dr. Carole Miyahara but I've heard good things about all their dentists.  

We see Dr. Katsura at Aloha Pediatric Dentistry and absolutely love the practice. They have a North Berkeley as well as Telegraph location.

RE: pediatric dentist ()

We LOVE Dr. Amaneh Khosrovani at Aloha Pediatric Dentistry.  She was our child's dentist from 3 until 18, when it was time to go to an adult specialist. Patient, kind, thoughtful, respectful, and a great dentist.

I second the rec for Aloha Dental in Berkeley, both my kids have been patients there for years and we've had great experiences with all the staff. However, my youngest son absolutely refused to let the dentist do anything in his mouth until he was 5! The staff at Aloha were very helpful and understanding and basically told me that it's O.K. They emphasized good oral care at home and suggested we try again when he was a little older. Then magically at age 5 a switch flipped and he was ready.  For toddlers visiting the dentist is really about getting them used to the whole experience, not so much about cleaning and polishing teeth. I'd say don't push it if he's really upset, you can probably hold off on seeing the dentist twice a year for a little while.

My daughter had her first appointment at 19 months, thought it was great and has loved going to the dentist ever since. She sees Dr. Nakazato at Aloha Pediatric Dentistry, although that first visit was with Dr. Wampler (who I think has since retired). She saw Dr. Khosrovani there once when she was 5 and had a dental emergency. All three of them have been great.

No experience with this office but we love Aloha Pediatric dentristry on Telegraph (near Derby) in South Berkeley.

RE: Dentist who takes Aetna DMO? ()

We have this insurance, too. It kinda sucks, Delta Dental is the best. We have been going to Aloha Pediatric Dentists for over 10 years with both kids. I really love them, and they will help you out as much as possible. Basically, with this insurance you have to pay up front no matter what dentist that you got to, and then submit the bill for reimbursement. It sucks, but Aloha has submitted as much as they can for us, and it has really helped. I also like their team of Dentists, we have seen quite a few. I guess that would be my only negative comment, that it is difficult, but not impossible, to see the same dentist every single time you go. But the upside is that it makes it easier to schedule appointments earlier than at a private practice with only one dentist. I love too that their new office is downstairs from Berkeley Orthodontics, as we now have two sons undergoing retainers and braces. The Dr.s from both offices work together and share x-rays and expertise. The one time that my older son had a terrible trampoline accident and semi-knocked out 2 front teeth and cut his upper gums on an Easter Sunday evening when both offices were closed, a Dr. from each office came in at 10 pm at night to work on saving both the teeth and orthodonture work. Wow. That would not have happened at a sole practitioner's office. They also have several offices to choose from, but we really like the one at 2640 Telegraph Ave. in Berkeley. Convenience is important to me also as my kids either have to miss school or come right from school to get to the appointments. I would say that you should check out the reviews of any office before you decide, just so you know. Here is their phone: 510-848-6494. Best to you

These guys are recommended a lot on BPN for good reason:  Aloha Dentistry in Berkeley.  They really know how to work with children.  My youngest has just graduated from Aloha to a regular dentist, but the years going to Aloha were happy and stress-free.  Yes, parents can hover over their kid if they want to during the visit. The kids, and optionally their parents, are in a big examining room together, which I think reduces the anxiety for kids when they see other kids getting their teeth checked. They are a great dental practice.

Both my picky daughters liked Aloha Pediatric Dentistry. I liked that they had many locations that were convenient as we moved a few times.
-mom of 2

Archived Q&A and Reviews

Feb 2013

Re: new dentist who is conservative and very experienced
My son had the exact same thing--multiple cavities at first visit, age 3. He needed general anesthesia, many caps & fillings by a specialist in Alameda. His two older sisters don't have the same issues. The good news: He's 8 now, and has had no cavities since! We use this dental group--they're great. sk8ma512

May 2012

Re: Sedation dentist for ASD 4 year old
My son developed severe dental anxiety after a bad experience with another dentist. After several years of working intensively (lots of appointments taking ''baby steps'') with Dr. Bob Khalil at Aloha Dental (who is amazing, btw), we ended up having to do full sedation to get some work done. Dr. Khalil recommended Alameda Pediatric Dentistry. They were great with my son and the whole experience went as smoothly as possible. It definitely was not inexpensive though. The anesthesia alone cost around $1,000 and was not covered by our Delta Dental insurance. Anon

April 2012

Re: Pediatric dentist who takes Delta Dental?
We go to Aloha Pediatric Dentistry in Berkeley. They take Delta Dental and may have some special deal with them as Delta Dental is the only insurance where they will submit claims for you, since I do not have Delta Dental I have to pay Aloha in full and then request reimbursement from my insurance carrier. I have only been to Aloha once, but the staff are very caring and attentive and they came highly recommended from two different friends of ours.

Feb 2012

Re: 3 year old with many cavities, may need sedation

We see Bob Khalil at Aloha Pediatrics. (510) 848-6494 (Telegraph in Berkeley), or (510) 528-1546 (Ensenada in Berkeley), or (925) 253-8190 (in Orinda). Any one of the dentists are fantastic, and we have been able to avoid full sedation for all cavity fillings (oldest has had cavities since 18 months). Have only needed use of nitrous once. kids at dentist x6 years

Dec 2011

Re: Peds dentist in El Cerrito?Albany No. Berkeley
Aloha Dentistry has been great for my 5-year-old. He was terrified to go to the dentist, even without any negative experiences with dentist or doctor, and now he's had 2 full cleanings, flouride treatment, even x-rays, all very gently done. They get him involved and interested in what they're doing and break it down for him so he's not so scared. I'm impressed! Our dentist there is Dr Katsura. Rebecca

We like Carole Miyahara. She is gentle, professional, and very good. Our child has always looked forward to his visits. Her office is at Ensenada and Solano. Happy Patient

Nov 2011

Re: Pediatric Dentist Recommendation
I have been very happy wtih Aloha Pediatric Dentistry. All of the staff that we have worked with have been professional and kid-friendly. Here is a link: Andrea

August 2011

Re: Recommendations for Dentists
Dr. Neil Katsura at Aloha Pediatric Dentistry, which has a few locations, including a new one on Telegraph at Colby. My kids LOVE going to the dentist.

August 2011

Re: Recommendations for Dentists
Aloha Kids DDS They have a lot of dentists who will fit many different kids' personalities. Our 4 year old son has been seeing Dr. Khosrovani who has the most gentle bedside manner. My son has had to have two cavities filled and she has helped him remain calm while she fills the cavities quickly. They have several offices.

April 2011

Re: Family denstist
We love both our dental offices. We use separate ones for kids and adults. The one for our kids is on Ensenada (off Solano) and specializes in youth and children. Aloha Pediatric Dentistry (Various dentists, all of them great to work with. We usually use Arnold Nakazato and Megan Golinveaux.) 510-848-6494

Nov 2010

Re: Delta Dental Pediatric Dentists?
Dr. Neil Katsura, of Aloha Pediatric Dentistry, accepts Delta Dental insurance and he's great. My daughter, who was formerly very scared of dentists, never had a problem when she went to Dr. Katsura. His offices are decorated in a kid-friendly manner and he wears Hawaiian shirts to put his patients at ease. He has 3 offices, 2 in Berkeley and 1 in Orinda:
906 Ensenada Ave., North Berkeley 510-528-1546
3010 Colby St., Berkeley 510-848-6464 and
3 Altarinda Road, Orinda 925-253-8190

Try Pediatric Dentistry in Berkeley. Our kids go there and they are GREAT with kids. We also have Delta Dental so I know they accept that insurance. Here is there information. They have two offices in Berkeley (North and South) and one in Orinda.

Our pediatric dentist's office takes Delta Dental and they are great. We go to the office on Ensenada in Berkeley: Andi

May 2010

My kids see Dr. Bob Khalil at the pediatric dentistry offices of Wampler and Katsura. They've been seeing Dr. Bob for about 11 or 12 years now! Great dentist, wonderful practice. I have friends who see the other dentists in the practice and are very happy with them. The practice has 3 offices: Orinda (where we go), Colby Ave by Alta Bates (where we used to go), and Ensenada in N. Berkeley (never been to that office). Here is a link to the practice's website, which has info on the dentists, contact info, etc.:

Dr. Bob and the staff are so amazing with the kids. When mine were very little, they let me lay on the chair with my kid on top of me, to reassure them and make them more comfortable. They do a good job of explaining to the patients what they are doing and how to take care of their teeth. I have zero complaints about the care and advice we've received for the past decade-plus.

If you check the BPN archives, you'll find lots of recommendations for the Wampler practice and other pediatric dentists.

May 2010

Re: Dentist for Autistic Child
Dr. Bob Khalil at Aloha Kids (in Orinda and Berkeley) is excellent with my 4 year old with ASD. They have a ''quiet hour'' once a day for special needs kiddos (though sometimes the wait is long for one of those appointments). We've been really happy with the Dr. Bob and the whole office. Best, Heather

March 2010

Re: Looking for a dentist in Albany for a 3 year old
Go to the Aloha Pediatric Dentistry office off Solano, on Peralta. The dentists there are terrific; my kids have all seen them since they turned 3 (now 5, 8 & 10). They LOVE going to the dentist. Ours is Dr. Khalil, but we've seen several others and they're all great. Super kid- friendly office. They have 3 offices, I think, but the Peralta one is closest to you. 848-6494 is the main number. Tell them you want to be seen on Peralta. Have fun! heidi

My 6.5 year old son has severe dental anxiety, due to a horrible experience with a previous pediatric dentist when he was 4 years old.

Since then we have switched to the most amazing, patient and understanding dentist... Dr. Ameneh Khosrovani. Oh, and ''T'', the dental hygienist, is equally amazing.

She is a part of Aloha Kids Dental Practice: They have 2 offices in Berkeley, including one in N. Berkeley right off Solano Ave., and one in Orinda.

Additionally, I have heard wonderful things about Dr. Wampler and Dr. Katsura. Mother of a SEVERE dental anxious son

Sept 2010

Re: Pediatric Dentist in Berkeley
Our kids like to go to their dentist Arnold Nakazato, DDS who is part of a larger practice. We have seen 3 other dentists in the practice when we had urgent issues and we have liked all of them. The staff are friendly and very in tune with the kids. anon

We absolutely love the offices of Wampler and Katsura. They have several dentists, but we see Dr. Bob Khalil. He works out of their Colby St. office and their Orinda office. They also have a practice on Ensenada if you need North Berkeley. We have been going there for close to 10 years and have never had a complaint. When your kids are pretty little, they let you lay on the chair and then your child lays on top of you. That way you can hug them and keep them comfy during their check ups. We only did that a few times before my kids were cool with sitting in the chair themselves. Everyone on the staff has a fabulous demeanor and is wonderful with children. I find the treatment to not be aggressive at all. My son is 14 and my daughter is 10. My son doesn't want to switch to my dentist, he wants to stay with Dr. Bob! Here is their website with their offices, contact info, and dentist list:

I highly recommend Dr. Robert Khalil @ Pediatric Dentistry in Berkeley (off Solano at the top). We recently took my son for his first visit and was extremely happy. Very good with children. (510) 848-6494, Clean Teeth!

Drs. Wampler, Katsura et al, on Colby near Alta Bates are great. My daughter's dentist is Dr. Katsura, but she has also seen Dr. Wampler and Dr. Kosravani, and all three have been great. Carrie

April 2009

Re: Dentist for fearful 11-year-old
I would like to highly recommend Ameneh Khosrovani. She was incredible with our son who had to have a filling at the age of 3, and she was really great with us too. I have heard wonderful things about everyone in the practice she is at. Their website is: They have offices in Berkeley and Orinda. One of their Berkeley phone numbers is: (510) 528-1546 and they accept Delta Dental. Very Happy With our Pediatric Dentist

Your daughter might really like Carole Miyahara, who works at the big pediatric dental group with Drs. Wampler and Katsura. They have offices in S. Berkeley, N. Berkeley, and Orinda. Dr. Miyahara is extremely gentle and soft spoken, easy to communicate with, and listens really well to the children. She is not aggressive in either her style or her treatment recommendations, which has been a good match for our family. Good luck! Tara

our children aren't fearful of the dentist, but we've found their dentist to be wonderful. they see ameneh (ah-mey-nay) khosrovani, at the office of Katsura, Wampler, at al. (many reviews in the archives.) it's a very kid friendly office, and dr khosrovani is sweet, gentle and warm (and good!) they have two offices in berkeley and i think they take delta dental.

Nov 2008

Re: Dentist for Autistic Child
I recommend Dr. Katsura in Orinda. My son is on the autistic spectrum, and we received the recommendation from Dr. Katsura on the BPN. He actually has an appointment time reserved for patients that need more time, etc, and I believe there is only one patient in the office at that time, which is nice. On our first visit, we didn't go during this special time, and it was not fun, but on the second visit, we did, and it worked out great. They also gave us a little dentist kit that we used to practice with, so by the time the second appointment came along, my son felt more comfortable with someone checking his teeth, etc. Good luck! dreaded the dentist too, but not anymore

August 2008

Re: Dental for children ages 5-7
we take our kids to the offices of Joseph Wampler, Neil Katsura etc. we've never had to wait longer than 10 min for our appt, and the kids actually look forward to going to the dentist. we see dr. ameneh khosrovani. there are lots of reviews in the archives for this office. love our dentist

August 2008

Re: Family Dentist with Delta Dental
I and many friends have taken our kids to Neil Katsura in Berkeley on Ensenada. It is kind of like a dentist factory, but there are several dentists and they have all seemed good with dental cleanings and recommendations about orthondontic issues. I don't have the number, but he's listed in the phone book. Cavity free kids

August 2008

Re: Dentist for Autistic Child
My son has autism and we see Dr. Khalil (''Dr. Bob'') at the Pediatric Dentistry office in North Berkeley off Solano (510 528-1546). They have an hour every week or so that they set aside for the special needs kids. Usually they have one room full of kids, but in this hour the kid gets the room to him/herself. They also have a hygienist there who has an adult son on the spectrum and she totally ''gets'' it, if you know what I'm sayin'. I'm not entirely sure about Dr. Bob's ASD experience, other than with my son, but I've liked him very much and my son has always had a great experience there. Jill

Neil Katsura successfully treated 2 of my children and my niece after tooth accidents when they were under 2. My daughter, who definitely qualifies as a quirky kid, although not for the autism spectrum, thought he was great, and was very cooperative with him. My children have seen all of his partners throughout the years as well, and never a complaint. The practice seems to know how to cope even with scary procedures like drilling. ( ; they have 3 offices, but you can reach any of them from 848-6494). Mother of 3

May 2008

Re: Looking for Dentist for 3year old
I would try Dr. Wampler and Katsura. They have an office on Ensenada Street in Berkeley off Solano and Marin. They are great with children. I've been taking my kids there for years. They are wonderful. (510) 528-1546 anonymous

May 2008

Re: Pediatric Dentist Near Walnut Creek

I take my kids to Dr. Neil Katsura. He is a pediatric dentist and he is great with my kids. My son, now 10 years old had a real fear for dentists - Dr. Katsura was very gentle with him and now we do not have a problem. Dr. Katsura has an office in Orinda (925) 253-8190.

Jan 2008

Re: Pediatric Dentist
They've been recommended here before, but I'll put in another plug: We love Dr. Nakazato and the staff at Wampler, Katsura, et al. Their office is just across the street from Alta Bates in Berkeley (think they also have an Orinda office or somewhere in CoCo). My 4yo actually looks forward to going to the dentist. They don't take insurance, though - you have to pay up front and then bill your insurance yourself. Not too big a deal, just a small hassle. Love Those Aloha Shirts

I've recommended them many times on BPN, as have many other parents: Check out the offices of Wampler and Katsura. They have several dentists on staff. My kids see Dr. Bob Khalil and love him. We have been to their Colby St. office across from Alta Bates and most often to their Orinda office. They also have an Ensendada Ave. office.

My kids are 8 and 12 and have been seeing Dr. Bob since they were about 18 mos-2 years old. They have no fear of dentist offices at all and have never had a bad experience, and my son has needed a couple of fillings. I know several other parents who see other dentists in the practice and speak highly of them.

Their website:

For many years, my son went to the office of Bob Khalil, DDS (there are three pediatric dentists in the practice). The practitioners are very good, and they are well equipped to make the visit a pleasant one for children. There is an office on Colby Street near Alta Bates, and one near Solano Avenue on Ensenada. The number of the Colby office is 510-848-6494. LK

Our two kids see Dr. Miyahara at 3010 Colby Street (right across from Alta Bates Hospital). Their entire office is kid-friendly and our kids look forward to going there. They also have a website We highly recommend this practice. anonymous

Oct 2007

Re: Dentist for kids that takes Delta Dental
I highly recommend Dr.s Wampler, Katsura, et al. They have offices at Ensenada and Solano in Berkeley. They are pediatric dentists and take Delta Dental. Their number is 848-6494. Christine

I think you will find that Delta has LOADS of dentists in the area (I have yet to find a dentist that wasn't a Delta provider) and there are several great recommendations on the BPN site. We take our kids to Dr. Bob Khalil of Pediatric Dentistry of Berkeley. Our kids actually enjoy going to the dentist because they've made it such a fun and positive experience. Fan of Dr Bob!

My 5yo son has been going to Dr. Neil Katsura. We started when he was 3yo. They have an incredibly friendly, professional, and enthusiastic staff. The dental assistants are wonderful as is Dr. Katsura. My daughter will be turning 2.5 soon and we will be taking her there as well. I wish I had a dentist like this when I was growing up. Their contact info is: 3010 Colby St Berkeley, CA 94705 Ph: 510-848-6494 Vonnie

A recommendation for a SUPERB pedriatric dentist who takes Delta Dental: Any of the doctors with Wampler, Katsura, Miyahara etc. in Berkeley. We have seen SEVERAL of their dentists at both their Colby and Ensanada St. offices in Berkeley and LOVE them all! Fun, friendly, clean offices where parents are allowed to sit in the room with their child during all procedures - the room has a bank of like 4 or 5 chairs where children are being worked on simultaneously, side by side! Can't say enough about the practice! Kristin

I can HIGHLY recommend Dr. Miyahara and her practice. She is on Ensenada, just off Solano, in Berkeley. All they do is kids, and they are GREAT with a first dental appointment. When one of my children needed a significant procedure, we saw Dr. Matsuishi (he does work under general anesthesia - Miyahara wouldn't), whom I also recommend very, very highly. He is in El Cerrito. Both take Delta. anon

May 2007

Re: MetLife Dental in-network dentists???
My kids see Dr. Khosrovani at the Katsura/Wampler practice -- not part of the MetLife network, but MetLife so far has reimbursed all but $10 or $15 for each visit (exam and cleaning, nothing complicated or expensive so far, knock on wood). I like that practice so much that I haven't considered moving them. Good luck. Catherine

May 2007

Re: Need a warm and competent pediatric dentist
We are very happy with Dr. Bob Khalil of the pediatric dentistry offices of Wampler and Katsura. My kids really love him and are never afraid to go to the dentist. The staff always takes great care of the kids. They have three locations. (we have been to the Colby St. and Orinda offices, but not to the Ensenada one.) 3010 Colby St., Suite 217, Berkeley tel (510) 848-6494 906 Ensenada Ave., Berkeley tel (510) 528-1546 3 Altarinda Rd., Orinda tel (925) 253-8190

March 2007

Re: Conservative dentist
Try Dr. Neil Katura and his partners in Berkeley. They have three offices - Berkeley on Colby St (near Alta Bates), Ensenada off Marin/Solano, and one in Orinda. They are very patient with the kids and families. Dr. Katsura will only request xrays, etc. when needed. He will also monitor for cavities and put sealants on until he absolutely has to fill the teeth. Check them out. Dr. Katsura sees both my kids and my oldest one was a tough kid to deal with. I am very happy with him. good luck Anonymous

Jan 2007

Re: Pediatric Dentist vs Family Dentist
I recommend our Pediatric Dentist, Dr. Neil Katsura. There are other dentists in his practice and they are all great...but my kids see Dr. Katsura. They have an office in North Berkeley off Solano, South Berkeley near Alta Bates Hospital and in Orinda. You can call their main office in S. Berkeley at 848-6494. Their practice has been around for years and they are great with kids and families and have a good rapport. good luck Anonymous

June 2006

Re: Pediatric dentist for first timer?
I doubt you can do better than Dr. Bob Khalil--he has one office near you, and my daughter loves him. Look him up here-- you'll find lots of glowing reviews. 528-1546. Dr. Bob Fan

Katsura, Kahlil, et al. on Ensanada near Solano R.K.

March 2006

I'm sure the archives have recommendations for the offices of Joseph Wampler and Neil Katsura. Their offices are fantastic. We see Dr. Bob Khalil. My kids are 11 and 7 and have been going to Dr. Bob since they were 3. The entire staff is great and my kids have no dentist fears at all. When your kids are little, they suggest that you lay on the chair with your child laying on top of you, which lessens the fear for the child, esp. the first time. They are patient and just great all the way around. They have three offices, one on Ensenada in Berkeley 510/528-4362, Colby (across from Alta Bates) in Berkeley 510/848-6478, and Davis in Orinda (by Theatre Square) 925/ 253-4907. We have been to the Colby and Orinda offices.

Feb 2006

I'm sure a lot of other BPNers will post this: The offices of Joseph Wampler and Neil Katsura are great. We see Dr. Bob Khalil and my kids love him. They have 2 offices in Berkeley (Colby St, right across from Alta Bates; and Esenada in No. Berkeley) and one in Orinda, right near Theater Square. We go to the Colby St. and Orinda offices. I have heard great things about the other dentists in the practice but we love Dr. Bob. And, yes, they take Delta. anon

Oct 2005

Re: Dentist for child in Concord or Walnut Creek
We live in Walnut Creek but take our daughter (now 7) to pediatric dentist Neil Katsura, DDS, in Orinda. I think the address is 96 Davis Rd. He's WONDERFUL! My daughter has no qualms about going to the dentist since we started taking her there several years ago after a bad experience with another pediatric dentist in Walnut Creek. I'm afraid I don't have a recommendation for an adult dentist in the area. Lori

July 2004

Re: Worried first dentist visit will be traumatic

Hi, You don't mention where you are located but I would like to recommend that you take your twins to Dr. Neil Katsura. He has two offices one is in Berkeley near Alta Bates hospital. I think the other is located in Albany. I was delighted by the number of distractions provided for even the smallest of children. It was like taking my sons to the arcade. The staff is knowledgable but more importantly, they LOVE children. Kimberli

No! Times have changed! There should be no strapping down of kids and no forcing of anything at a pediatric dental visit! First, our pediatrician recommended starting visits at 3, not 2, and that's when our now-4 1/2-year old went for her first visit.

Our dentist (Dr. Bob Khalil, in Orinda) has a large, open room with several areas for the kid-size dental chairs, with no walls in between, so everyone can see and hear everyone else (no scary rooms behind closed doors).

First our daughter was given a new toothbrush of her color choice, and asked to brush her own teeth at a child sized sink, with toothpaste flavor of her went on happily and gently from there, with the kid ASKED to do things (sit in the chair, lean back, etc...) not TOLD.

She felt she was in control, and did everything they asked. They explained every little thing they did, and proceeded at her speed. She's been every 6 months since, and LOVES going to the dentist. Good luck! Heidi

I recommend the office of Dr. Katsura (and others). NOBODY there is strapped down, and no mouths are pried open - for a first visit or any other one. They are SUPERB at making kids feel comfortable, and you can be right there with them. For a first routine check-up, they will do only as much as they can get away with with a particular child. They know how important it is to make a good first impression! It is probably a good idea to bring another adult, or to bring them in on two separate visits so each child can have your full attention/presence. R.K.

My 15-year-old was at the dentist last week for a lengthy appointment. While she was there two new patients, each around two years old, came for their first visits. Neither was ''strapped down'' , nor were their mouths pried open. In fact, each had a great time, was happy, left with a smile, lots of stickers, and a prize from the prize box. This was at Dr. Katsura's office (on Ensenada, off Solano). The kids are shown the dentist's tools, their teeth are counted, there are toys to play with, it's all very low-key and comfortable for them. Please try not to let your anxieties color your children's experience. I don't think there's any need to have two adults there. I highly recommend Dr. Katsura and the others in this practice. They have an office off Solano, one near Alta Bates, and another in Orinda. We did not have as positive an experience at another pediatric dentist when my kids were little, but despite a number of difficult dental procedures, my younger daughter still doesn't mind going to see Dr. Katsura. Judy

No dentist, pediatric or otherwise, should strap patients down and pry their mouths open! (Unless it is Steve Martin in Little Shop of Horrors.) We have been extremely happy with the pediatric dentistry practice of Drs. Wampler and Katsura. We see Dr. Bob Khalil at the Colby Street and Orinda offices. The process is pretty easy on the kids. When mine were smaller, the staff even suggested that I lay on the chair and let my kids lay on top of me. They made notes about my kids' interests and ask about them at checkups. They are very gentle and the entire staff has always been great to my kids. They have 2 offices in Berkeley and one in Orinda: Colby St., Berkeley, tel. 510/848-6494 Ensenada, Berkeley, tel. 510/528-1546 David Rd., Orinda, tel. 925/253-8190 Don't put off going, though. The sooner you start the process, the more quickly your girls will get used to it. They really just check out their mouths at that point. No xrays or anything like that. It could be very easy and certainly painless. Mary

My daughters LOVE Dr. Bob from the Wampler/Katsura office in Berkeley. They actually *look forward* to seeing him! (And if you knew my daughters, that says a LOT). Carrie

April 2004

I have scheduled my three-year-old's first dentist appointment with Dr. Nakazto in the office of Neil Katsura and Joseph Wampler. Can anyone offer a first-hand recommendation on Dr. Nakazto? I have heard Dr. Katsura has a gentle manner, where Dr. Wampler is a bit more bubbly. But I don't know anything about Dr. Nakazto. Thank you! Kim

My daughter needed two cavities filled when she was 2 years 9 months. Dr. Nakazato was great with her and her anxious mother. He also has an assistant who is very gentle with children. My daughter was asked to show how she brushes her teeth at the kiddie sink. Then she and I were shown how to gently brush teeth and tongue. Then Dr. Nakazato was friendly and sensitive to how anxious we were feeling. In deciding on course of treatment, he said he wanted to give my daughter the benefit of the doubt and let her undergo treatment with minimal intervention. My daughter liked this approach and was proud of herself after her two fillings were put in. The doctor and assistant also showed my daughter every step they were going to take as they prepared to put in fillings. My daughter and I also appreciated this. I think his explaining everything made her trust him more. I actually look forward to going to the dentist with my daughter. Oh, it also helped that I had been reading library books about visiting the dentist with my daughter a few weeks before we went.

March 2004

Re: pediatric dentist in Lafayette
Try Katsura and Wampler. They have anoffice in Orinda on Davis Road. We have only seen Dr. Katsura, but my son loves him so much that he constantly asks me when do we get to go see Dr. Katdsura again! I have friends that see other dentists in the practice and they think they're great. Good luck! kristi

Re: pediatric dentist in Lafayette
Our daughter goes to Neil Katsura, DDS in Orinda. My daughter used to go to another pediatric dentist which didn't work out and she now asks when she is next going to the dentist as she likes Dr. Katsura so much. He is only in the Orinda office on Thursdays; the rest of the time he's in the Berkeley office. We just schedule our daughter's appointments for Thursdays and all has worked out very well. I can't say enough good things about Dr. Katsura - you have no idea what a horrible dental experience we had prior to switching to him. Good luck! Lori

May 2003

We live in San Leandro now, but still drive to Berkeley to see Dr. Katsura. He's fantastic. We would drive twice that far. Loralee

April 2003

I wanted to post an unsolicited glowing recommendation of the office of Neil Katsura, DDS, pediatric dentist extraordinaire. Our 4.5-year-old daughter has gone to another dentist for a few years, very unsuccessfully in that the dentist was not sensitive to fearful children. We just went to Dr. Katsura's Orinda office this week for the first time. My daughter had the most wonderful experience there! Both the hygienist and Dr. Katsura were extremely sensitive to my daughter's feelings and gave her a lot of respect. They always addressed her by name, and always explained everything they were doing, having first showed her all the instruments and let her see and feel them. Every step of the way they asked my daughter if it was OK if they did something. My daughter, for the first time ever, sat in the chair (which was a smaller size than the previous dentist's office and I think that definitely helped as my daughter is petite) and allowed the dentist to do everything he needed to do for a proper examination. They had cool sunglasses for her to wear so the bright light wouldn't hurt her eyes while she was in the chair. I think the other thing that was really nice about the office is that it is small and quiet, and for the temperament of my daughter that worked out really nicely. My daughter is already talking about ''the next time I go to the dentist...''! It's really a miracle. And I sure was relieved to hear she has no cavities and has healthy gums to boot! While Dr. Katsura is only in the Orinda office on Thursdays (we live in Walnut Creek), it is so worth it to us to rearrange our schedule to accommodate that. Lori

I took my 3 year old for her first dental checkup this week, and was completely delighted by her new dentist--Dr. Robert Khalil. The office (they have 3, and we went to the Orinda office) was comfortable and welcoming, the staff was calming, very kind, and professional, and they moved at a child's pace--the first thing the dental assistant (Omar) did was offer my daughter a new toothbrush, color of her choice, and have her stand at a child-size sink with mirror, and brush her own teeth. It was wonderful, and she had a great time and wants to go back! They take Delta Dental. Dr. Khalil's phone # is 510-848-6494. Prepare your son as much as possible--talk about it, read books, but don't worry, the staff is very kid-friendly. Heidi

I've been taking my daughter to Neal Katsura, who is a pediatric dentist. He seems very competent but also very sweet and gentle with the children. He made my shy three year old entirely comfortable and she even allowed him to use the polisher (aptly named the wheels on the bus). I don't know if he is in your dental plan or not, but I couldn't recommend him more highly. In terms of finding an adult dentist, my husband and I see Bruce Fong at Rockridge Dental. He and his staff also seem highly competent, incredibly friendly, and very easy to deal with around billing issues. Unfortunately he does not take any dental hmo insurance because he does not feel he can afford to do the quality care he feels is necessary at the rates they pay, but he does accept the Delta Dental fee-for-service plan. Hannah Raiden Wright Thank you! Emily

July 2002

We are considering Dr. Carole Miyahara to be our 3-year-old squirmy daughter's first dentist. I just stumbled across the Ensenada Street practice today and it looks great. Any and all recommendations and experiences you may have had with Dr. Miyahara would be welcome! Thanks in advance, Karen

Our 7 year old daughter has been going to Dr. Miyahara for about 3 years now, after several very unsuccessful attempts with another pediatric dentist. Our daughter is now quite happy to go to the dentist. Dr. Miyahara is very soft spoken, gentle and seems to have a good way of dealing with our daughter. She is patient, has sensible recommendations that we've followed up on. We've been to both the Colby and the Ensenada offices, with Ensenada feeling a bit calmer. I really recommend her. chrisnnina

My eldest sons first dentist was Carole Miyahara.She has a very gentle manner.Unfortunately my son seems to be prone to dental problems (the youngest has perfect teeth...)I was so shocked by the scope of work suggested at one visit that I decided to get another opinion.We now see Dr Bob who works in the same practice...and yes...he made pretty much the same recommendations,so I think that counts as some kind of validation!We changed dentists as the personality seemed to be a better fit for us. This location is I believe the newest addition to this practice as they have a couple of other offices. jackie

We have been very happy with Dr. Miyahara, who treats our daughter (13 y.o.). She has a very warm and calming manner, and I can imagine she would be fine for your squirmy one. -Zach

Dr. Miyahara shares a practise with Dr. Neil Katsura. Both are terrific. They have offices on Ensenada in north Berkeley and on Colby in south Berkeley. Our twins have seen them from the beginning. Both our twins are squirmy and our boy is hyper-active and autistic as well. Miyahara is sweet, thorough, patient, and no one could be more likeable. Katsura holds ''quiet days'' for kids with a variety of special needs (or squirms), and he's a complete sweetheart, as well. The office is run smoothly and efficiently. We see them in south Berkeley, so the north Berkeley office may be different, but all the staff have been wonderful, too. Only praise. Tobie

My daughter started seeing Dr. Miyahara at age 2 and is now 3. Our experience has been excellent. Dr. Miyahara has a wonderful, gentle demeanor with children, and I recommend her highly. Maria

March 2002

I'm interested in getting feedback on Dr. Robert Khalil of pediatric dentistry. He is in practice with Drs. Wampler, Katsura, and Miyahara in Berkeley and Orinda. I'm also interested in other recommendations. My 3.5 y/o has his first dentist appt. with Dr. Khalil on March 16, 2002. Thanks. Erica

We think Dr. Khalil is great. My 5 year old has seen him twice and Dr. Katsura once. They are both wonderful as are the staff at that office. Both dentists have super approaches with the kids. While my daughter has only had cleaning and checkups, the kids who are having more extensive work done also seem happy and at ease. (We've been to the Berkeley office only.) Jill

My 8-year-old has been seeing Dr. Bob Khalil for about two years now and really likes him. Dr. Khalil is very friendly and seems to be quite thorough and knowledgeable. When my son had a dental emergency (knocked-out tooth) a couple of days before Christmas, Dr. Khalil and Dr. Katsura met us at their office at 9 p.m. to fix him up . . . and they were amazingly good-natured about it (and the ''new'' tooth looks great). Carolyn

My son who is 6 now has been seeing Dr.Khalil since he was 3. I highly recommend him. Our experiences have been very positive, the office staff is cordial, they take a lot of time to make your child comfortable before they ever clean the first tooth. Dr. Khalil is very young and has a kind of infectious enthusiasm about life that he very easily transmits to children. Bipasha

After having some billing headaches at our previous dentist (non-pediatric), I decided to take this lists strong recommendation and try the practice of Wampler, Katsura, Khallil et al. My children ages, 6 1/2 & 3.11, went for the first time last year to Dr Bob Khallil. My oldest child had been to a non-pediatric dentist beginning at age 4 and was made a bit apprehensive to see the dentist. Dr Bob made all of her worries disappear. My youngest went right around her 3rd birthday (she's almost 4 now) and has had nothing but FUN at his office. The Orinda office is very clean, well lit, very kid friendly and the staff explain EVERYTHING in great detail so that there are no worries for the children (or parents for that matter). Dr. Bob is very ''hip'' on the kid likes and dislikes - he saw the Harry Potter movie the first weekend it was out. He is very gentle and calming to the children and his office has great rewards for after the visit - my kids spend a long time picking out the right thing! Both my kids love going to the dentist now...even the oldest one does to have a ''cavity bug'' filled and a ''raincoat'' put on her teeth. I highly recommend Dr. Khallil. Momma of 2 angels

We love Dr. Khalil. He is young, friendly, gentle, and puts our daughter at great ease. We saw Dr. Wampler for several years, but then had to cancel an appointment and were re-scheduled with Dr. Khalil. After seeing him, we wanted to continue with him. The staff is nice, too. --Linda Williams

''Dr. Bob'' is great. He is young, genuine, wears fun shirts, and put our daughter at ease (at least as much as is possible considering). I would recommend him highly. Mike


Pediatric dentist recommendation in Berkeley and Orinda is Dr. Joseph Wampler and Dr. Neil Katsura who share a large, but very friendly and competent practice. My Delta insurance covers all routine visits. S.S.

For pediatric dentistry, Dr. Neil Katsura is fabulous. He and Dr. Wampler share a practice with several locations. We go to the one in north Berkeley, just off Solano. My child was hysterical over dentistry after 6 months and some hard procedures with Dr. Matsuishi. Dr. Katsura calmed her right down with a very warm personal approach. Now even the harder procedures are a breeze. Diane

Gab (4/00)
My daughter loved Dr Neil Katsura. He is right down the street from Alta Bates. His only drawback is that he doesn't bill insurance directly unless you have Delta Dental. In all other cases you pay the cost and then you get reimbursed from your insurance.


I just took my 3-year old son in for his first dental check up - to Dr. Miyahara (at Dr. Wampler's office - 848-6494), whose office is near Telegraph and Ashby. I was really please with the way that she and her assistant introduced my son to going to the dentist and came away convinced that he won't be afraid of his next visit to her.

Peggy (7/99)

WE LOVE DR. Wampler on Colby St. and his partner is Dr. Katsura. Their styles are completely different; they are both really good. Wampler is more jolly and funny, Katsura more gentle and quieter. This practice does exceptional work on kids with really bad teeth, e.g. kids who need a lot of fillings. We came to them after being dissatisfied with another dentist who I think used drugs way too much when doing fillings. (Some fillings on baby teeth do not hurt because the roots are shallow and the nerves are less exposed. My daughter had three fillings with no local anaesthesia and did not mind a bit. Another took more work. Never has she needed any tranquilizing, and our first dentist used tranqs. more liberally. No thank you.)

From: Ericka (8/98)

We use Dr. Neil Katsura in Berkeley. He's very gentle, the kids love him, and he's very, very good. Our daughter asks frequently when her next check-up is going to be! (Of course, her teeth have been worry free -- knock on wood -- come the first cavity, all that dental-joy might change.). It's not just us, though. A friend of ours whose daughter is also a patient of Dr. Katsura has nothing but wonderful things to say about how he's dealt with her daughter's problems (rows of teeth, stubborn baby teeth, etc.) The only problem I've seen is that 1. he's very popular so it's sometimes hard to get an appointment and 2. I think he's expensive ($96 for cleaning, check-up, all that). Then again, maybe that's just what dentists cost, or perhaps you have dental coverage.

From: Eleanor (8/98)

We have used and like Dr Neil Katsura, a pediatric dentist on Colby St. next to Alta Bates, phone 848-6494. He is very patient (my daughter took 3 hours to even agree to open her mouth the first visit), and has a very cheerful large group examination room where the kids are not isolated into little cubicles. The down side is that he is more expensive than a non-specialist and books several months in advance.

From: Natasha (Jan. 1998)

Our pediatrician highly recommends the practice of Joseph Wampler & Neil Katsura (3010 Colby 848-6494 and 910 Ensenada 528-1546, both offices in Berkeley); her kids have been seeing them for years. Our nearly 4yo son so far has only had one appointment with Dr. Wampler (he's scheduled for his second in a couple of weeks) which he actually enjoyed. For weeks afterwards, he kept saying, I'm going to be a dentist-hockey player-super hero when I grow up. My husband was very impressed with the examination, Wampler's attentiveness and the overall comfort level of the office and staff.

From: Mirium (Jan. 1998)

My pedi. reccomends Wampler etc, but I found them very difficult to get an appointment with and the office strangely run... They bill no insurance but Delta (not a problem for me now, but at the time). They won't make appointments for new patients in the afternoon, either.

Date: Tue, 20 Aug 1996
From: Holliday

Both of my children liked Dr. Neal Katsura. He has two offices in Berkeley; one on Colby and the other on Ensenada. Phone # is 848-6494.

Date: Tue, 20 Aug 1996
From: Tamra

Re: good dentist for children?

Both my boys (ages almost-16 and 7) having been seeing Dr. Katsura (on Colby across from Alta Bates--but he also sees patients on Ensenada off Solano) since they were old enough to see a dentist at all. He's great technically and also has a chairside manner that the kids really like--including the ability to get serious with them about brushing and flossing without turning them off. (Not to mention a video game you can play while you endure your flouride treatment.) However, he and Dr. Wampler have a very busy practice and you have to be prepared to schedule checkups way in advance. Another great dentist who does see children, although he's not specifically a pediatric dentist, is Dr. James Olson, whose office is at Durant and Ellsworth.

Date: Mon, 26 Aug 1996
From: Dorothy

i have used dr. katsura in berkeley for my 2.5 year old (he knocked out his brand new front teeth about 6 months ago) and i found that dr. katsura and his staff were quite wonderful! the only complaint i would have is this... the actual exam chairs are in a room that is LOADED with all kinds of toys and goodies, which for an older child is quite fabulous but for a younger child, it poses the same kinds of problems as the grocery store check out loaded with candy, i.e., you may have SOME difficulty getting your child to leave, especially if he/she is not of an age to be reckoned with easily (like 2 year olds). everything else about them really is wonderful and, incidentally, they take only Delta insurance. dorothy

Date: Tue, 20 Aug 1996
From: Dianna

We use Dr. Joseph Wampler, and I've also heard that his partner, Katsura, is very good. They have an office in a building on Colby, across from Alta Bates. Phone number is 848-6494. My son always looks forward to a trip to the dentist. I think it isn't just that they use fun flavors in the fluoride, etc. treatments, or that he gets a small toy, it's also that the people, Dr. Wampler and his aides are genuinely friendly and gentle. I highly recommend him.

Date: Wed, 21 Aug 1996
From: Margo

Re the query about dentists in Berkeley: My sons, who are now 13 and 16, have been going to Dr. Joseph Wampler since they were toddlers. Both they and I like him a lot. He's also convenient: one office on Colby near Alta Bates and another on Ensenada just off of Solano. You can switch back and forth between offices, which I have found very convenient as our schools and schedules have varied over the years.

From: Debby
Date: Wed, 21 Aug 1996

My daughter's dentist is Joseph Wampler. He has two offices in Berkeley. We go to the one at 3000 Colby Street directly across from Alta Bates Hospital. His is strictly a children's practice. Office is cheerfully decorated with lots of toys and games for kids to play with while they are waiting their turn or taking a flouride treatment, including an arcade style video game. The kids get stickers when they are through and there is a treasure chest of inexpensive little toys they can pick from when their appointment is over. Each visit they get a new toothbrush. My daughter likes Dr. Wampler and I do too. I believe he has a second office on Ensenada in Berkeley, but I have never been there. The phone number at the Colby Street office is 848-6494.