Seeking an Orthodontist

Parent Q&A

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  • Hello BPN Community, 

    I'm a Berkeley mom who has had a hell of a rough year with a diagnosis and surgical removal of a pituitary tumor, and associated hormonal issues that have left me with a totally messed up bite and associated TMJ / neck & nerve pain. I started orthodontic treatment (Invisalign) over a year ago (before diagnosis) with a pretty well-regarded orthodontist in Albany, but her practice consists almost entirely of teenagers with uncomplicated teeth situations. I don't feel that my treatment with her is headed in the right direction; she's making my bite narrower and my lower jaw more recessed, and I believe it's exacerbating my discomfort. I'm having a lot of difficulty in communicating with her on this, she doesn't seem to value my perspective or input and is focused on executing her own plan.

    Recently I got a second opinion from another well-regarded orthodontist in Kensington, and she feels my first orthodontist is certainly on the wrong path. This is affirming but also a bit maddening because I've invested so much (money/time/effort). She agrees with me that widening my bite and allowing my lower jaw to move forward would be better for my health. However she proposes some kind of bone grafting surgery to accomplish this, and another >$10K investment for switching treatment to her.

    I'm wondering if there are other adults out there with TMJ / bite discomfort who have sought orthodontic treatment in the area and have found a provider who listens to them and also promotes conservative / less invasive treatments. I'm also looking for general recs/advice on professionals who might be able to help me more holistically. Also, if anyone has experiences they are willing to share of healing from or moving past this kind of difficulty or pain. I find myself in a rough spot and in need of some encouragement. Thanks.

    I have been very happy with Dr. Mona Moy in Montclair. She has a conservative, holistic approach, while not ruling out surgery when truly necessary. She has done an outstanding job in resolving problems created by orthodonture that included removal of 2 teeth, when I was a teenager. That earlier orthodonture had caused problems with wear and tear on my jaw, messed up bite, and TMJ. She is highly capable with both orthodonture and dentistry. She is great at communicating her treatment approach and provides clear answers to my questions. She often provides multiple options for treatment, with a clear explanation of the pros and cons of each approach, which allows me to make an informed decision. She has provided excellent referrals to other professionals for other medical services. My son and husband have also received excellent care from her, for very different types of dental issues. Although dental work is not my favorite activity, I always look forward to my appointments because she is such a delightful person, in addition to having excellent professional skills.

    Is it possible an oral appliance would be helpful?  I just went through the process for sleep apnea with Dr. Peter Chase in Walnut Creek, who was knowledgable and good to work with.  I raise the possibility because the objective/theory is to use the appliance to widen the bite and make the lower jaw less recessed.  Might be worth a consultation?

  • Can anyone recommend an orthodontist who has actually told you that your child does NOT need braces?

    My daughter's dentist recommended that she get braces, but I was dubious about the reason and not sold on the orthodontist that I was referred to. Yes, she has an overbite, but should that be treated now (she's 8)? I know that there is a risk of root shortening with braces, but this orthodontist did not mention that until I specifically asked about it. I'd like to get some more opinions  from trusted professionals that are known for not recommending treatment unless it is needed and are totally open about the risks even if it means losing a patient.

    Thanks in advance!

    Yes!  We go to Dr. Righellis & Associates, in Montclair.  My kids are 12 and 9.  The twelve year-old had one round of braces through that office, and we'd been told it was likely he'd need round number two about now.  When we went for that check up recently, however, Dr. Righellis let us know that in fact a second round of braces is unnecessary. (For the sake of full transparency here I will say that he did recommend something else instead at this point, but it is MUCH cheaper than a second round of braces.)  And when we brought in our younger kid, Dr. Righellis said that no braces were needed at this time (i.e. no first round - you probably know that braces are frequently done nowadays at two different times or phases in your kids dental growth), and we should check back in a year or so to see if the second round would be needed or not.  We have been very satisfied with the care we've gotten from Dr. Righellis's office so far. 

    We had the same experience with 2 local orthodontists when my daughter was around the same age. I didn't agree with their treatment plans and wanted another opinion. My dentist recommended an orthodontist in Pleasanton who has a much more conservative approach, Dr. Will Schlicher. He recommended that my daughter wait for several years to see how her teeth developed, rather than have a 2-phase treatment. During this time she still went to see him, without charge, so he could monitor the progression of her teeth. Of course, if your child needs treatment sooner rather than later, he will recommend that. We're about to start treatment now 3 years later. At any time, we could have left the practice or found another orthodontist but trust Dr. Will. Good luck! You're welcome to use my name for referral, Quynh Tran.

    Both my kids go to Dr. Righellis in Montclair and we were very pleased at the significantly less involved orthodonture strategy he proposed versus Berkeley Orthodonture, which wanted our son to have braces twice starting around age 9.  Our kids both definitely need braces, so we weren't candidates for being told otherwise, but I appreciated that Dr. Righellis wanted to wait longer (our son, now 15, just got them) and only do braces once.  Which, unsurprisingly, turned out to be less expensive.

    We went to Berkeley Orthodontics on Ensenada just off Solano.  Mainly saw Dr. Nelson [now at UCSF] and Dr. Meyer as I recall.  We were warned for years that ortho might be needed but they always cautioned patience and the end result was perfectly straight teeth with no intervention save a little bit of grinding on one fang. 

    Hello! We use Berkeley orthodontics on Ensenada. Got 3 opinions before settling on them and then chose them for convenience and times offered for appointments. I have twins, and the recommendation that I was given by each office was the same: one kid needed braces now and later, and the other needed braces only later. It was easy for me to trust them based on similar opinions from multiple sites, and the fact that recommendations were different for each twin. 

    My daughter did her orthodontia through Dr. Righellis & Associates in Montclair.  She saw Dr. Straty Righellis.  Her dentist first recommended her for a consult when she was in 4th or 5th grade.  She had a slight overbite, and a gap between the front teeth.  Dr. Righellis was very conservative, and basically said she should wait until she was older and her permanent teeth had descended more.  She came back every 6 months for him to check on this progress (these appointments were part of the free consultation.)  He also said that the gap wasn't causing any problems, so we only needed to treat it if we wanted to for cosmetic purposes (she did.)  He did think the overbite needed to be corrected.  He also recommended that a couple of her baby teeth be pulled, because the teeth above were coming in crookedly (almost horizontally.)  We had that done with an oral surgeon.  Eventually, near the end of 7th grade, she had the braces put on, and they were on for 2 1/2 years.  She had them removed not too long ago, and both problems have been corrected.  I never felt like he was selling us anything, and liked that he was willing to wait until the conditions were optimal for the quickest round of treatment.  We didn't discuss any particular risks of orthodontic treatment. 

    The office is a very busy one, so sometimes getting appointments can be tricky, especially if you don't want to pull kids out of school for them.  But overall, we had very smooth sailing with the whole experience.  I would recommend Dr. Righellis.

    My sons dentist who I trust wholeheartedly recommended he see an orthodontist for possible braces when he was about 8 too. He didn’t provide a specific referral but gave the names of several local orthodontists. I was never suspicious that he was suggesting braces to get a kickback. We ended up choosing Dr. Abar in Pinole and have been very happy with his practice. One of the reasons for starting treatment young is that there is a benefit to correcting the bite while the child’s face is still undergoing rapid growth. My son had an overbite and very crooked crowded teeth. He had 2 phases of braces from age 10-14. He had them taken off right before highshool which worked out well. 

    He’s 18 now and just thanked me yesterday for spending all that money on braces. He says  people remark on his perfect teeth all he time. 

    It is much easier to deal with teeth and jaw stuff in elementary school. Don't wait until she is older! I suggest you get a second opinion. Then a third if you feel that you need it. I was reluctant to put my child through the process, but I am so glad I did. 

  • seeking an orthodontist in berkeley

    (4 replies)


    i am looking for a good orthodontist for my 15 year old son who will need teeth extraction and braces.  i would prefer an orthodontist in Berkeley.  thanks!  

    Immi Song on Solano Ave. she is a perfectionist. She is on the lower mid portion of Solano so it’s officially in Albany.

    I have found Dr. Iezman and Osterman to be fantastic with both my kids.  They have been conservative and totally reasonable and rational in their interventions, they explain everything in understandable language, they are very competent, and their staff are skilled and super-friendly.  The only caveat is I've found their prices to be higher than others, so you may want to compare.  They have 2 Berkeley offices and they want you to generally attend one office or the other, so this restricts scheduling a little.

    Robert Iezman - two offices one Walnut Street and the other in south Berkeley.

    Good luck. 

    I and 2 of my sons have gone to Berkeley Orinda Orthodontics and have been very pleased.  They are efficient and have both great orthodontists and staff.  

  • I have a 11 year old son.looking for an orthodontist who doesn’t believe in teeth ctraction as the first thing of the treatment

    Any suggestion will be highly appreciable 

    we like Dr. Boschken in los Altos and San Jose

    I'd go see Dr. Burnett in Los Gatos. He was an associate of my father's for several years and took on my dad's best staff when my dad retired. Dr. Boshken bought my dad's practice in Los Altos but the best staff didn't enjoy working for him and went to Dr. Burnett's office instead. I've known Tammy, one of Dr. Burnett's assistants, since the 1980's. She's one of the nicest, most competent people I know. There are often times that I think What Would Tammy Do? And Ricki at the front desk is truly amazing. I don't know the rest of the staff but Tammy and Ricki wouldn't have changed offices (Tammy worked for my dad for 30 years) if they didn't think that it would be a great place to work.

  • ALF vs. braces - advice needed

    (3 replies)

    My 7 1/2 year old has a very narrow pallet, a bit of an under bite and teeth that have seen alot of movement because of her narrow jaw and thumb sucking. Her old pediatric dentist recommended an ALF appliance. Does anyone have experience with an ALF and/or braces at this age?  

    And if you have a dentist you can recommend for the ALF, please share the info. Thanks so much!

    I would make a trip out to Walnut Creek to have a free consultation with Dr. Hockel. ( He is a sleep apnea specialist, general dentist who does amazing cosmetic dentistry and orthodontics. He is gifted at clearly explaining the reason for the treatment and how it works and would be fabulous for a second opinion. He really loves what he does and is an upstanding trustworthy person with a lot of specialized knowledge. He has worked magic with my two kids doing palate expansion so they didn't need any teeth pulled. He takes into account the whole person with special attention to jaw function and airway preservation. What a difference that makes.

    I will be interested in the replies on ALF. But in the meantime, you might see if your child is tongue-tied. 7 1/2 is old enough to tolerate the procedure and the after care of stretching. While releasing the tongue now can't make up for the fact that it wasn't widening the palate by resting their earlier, she can be taught to rest it there now and help maintain what any appliance accomplishes. It could also free her chin and lower jaw to grow and help with underbite. Dr. Yazdi in Castro Valley may consult. He mostly focuses on releasing breastfeeding infants but he is the best in the Bay Area for tongue tie. It is likely that body work and Oral Myofunctional Therapy will assist your daughter in 'waking up' and strengthening underused oral muscles as well.

    My daughter just completed her treatment with Dr. Claire Ferrari in Kensington/North Berkeley. From the serene office environment, to the warm and friendly staff, Dr. Ferrari has a way with kids and adults. My daughter sucked two fingers each night until she was 9 years old and the braces helped create space in her jaw to accommodate her growing palate. Of note is that Dr. Ferrari uses 3D imaging that I didn't see in other offices I visited for 2nd and 3rd opinions before I chose to have her treated by Dr. Ferrari. This imaging gives a much more comprehensive look at not only dental alignment, but jaw movement and even airway breathing. Good luck!

  • Pediatric orthodontist for sleep apnea

    (8 replies)

    Can anyone recommend a pediatric orthodontist or someone practicing orthodontics with young children? My son is 4 and has a severe overbite, snores at times, grinds teeth, and results from sleep study show mild sleep disturbance.  I'm mostly worried about the effects of obstructed airway on his development, physical and emotional health.  His dad has severe sleep apnea and we fear our son is headed down the same road.  We are interested in early intervention and prevention.  We've explored dr. Hockel in walnut creek but would like another opinion before pursuing costly, serious treatment.  As a parent, I want to be sure we can trust the provider before signing on and that treatment is appropriate and effective.  We live in Oakland but are willing to travel up to 45min or an hour if need be. I'm all for thinking outside of the box but also want to pursue treatment substantiated by evidence, especially since our son will be scared and resist treatment to the best of his ability. Thanks so very much.


    I've been looking for an orthodontist for my 13 year old. I came across Dr. Ferrari in Kensington at and we have a consultation in a few weeks. On the website, she discusses airway issues and treatment for this. Hope this helps.


    Dr Patricia Choi in Fremont is an excellent Orthodontist. She is excellent with kids and fixed my daughter's teeth. 

    Dr Jennings in Alameda is an orthodontist who is also a cranial facial practitioner.  He has a holistic view on orthodontics and has treated my daughter with congenital scoliosis and my other daughter who was recommended oral surgery prior to being treated at Berkeley Ortho.

    Thanks to Dr Jennings we were able to postpone my daughter's back fusion surgery by 5 (!) years, and my other daughter never had to have oral surgery. 

    The cons to going to Dr Jennings is that his office is at the very tip of Alameda, and his treatments take years- so you need to be fully committed. It was waaaay worth it for our family!

    Moderator Note: Dr. Jennings is not an orthodontist and does not describe himself as such on his website

    Have you visited an ENT?  My daughter had her adenoids removed at age 4 and it really improved things.  Hers were extremely enlarged and caused breathing difficulty especially at night.

    We saw a pediatric ENT after a sleep study confirmed our 10 year old had sleep apnea.  They removed the tonsils and adenoids and all was good after that.

    I would highly recommend Dr. Claire Ferrari in Kensington.  I have two children and they have both  received treatment from her.  One of them had suffered from sleep apnea, and Dr. Ferrari  and her team have worked wonders to transform his airways. Not only is she a superb orthodontist, she has done advanced training studying airways and sleep. Her office uses the latest imaging technology to help her see patient airways much better than normal orthodontists. She takes the time to talk about the symptoms and helps get necessary information to the ENT. Apparently making the jaws bigger with orthdontics at an early age can prevent sleep apnea in adulthood.   

    Strongly recommend Dr Ferrari in Kensignton. She has state of the art 3-D scanning and the expertise required for your case. Also, since she is a small practice you can't beat her personal care towards patients.

    Dr. Claire Ferrari is fantastic. I cannot recommend her enough. She has guided and helped me for about a decade in the orthodontic care for my son. Her office is in Kensington. You will not be disappointed. She is brilliant!

Archived Q&A and Reviews

Need orthodontist recommendation N.Berkeley

June 2013

Hello dear BPN community, My daughter is 12 and entering 7th grade on the fall. I've decided it is time to get her teeth straightened We live in N.Berkeley and would love to find a great orthodontist in the area. Please recommend one that you like and also I would appreciate if you can share how much to expect to pay for it. Of course I understand it could vary. Her teeth are not too bad, I think she has a moderate overbite and some gaps between her teeth need to be closed. Thank you! mom of a pre-teen

Dr. Robert Iezman in N Berkeley around the corner from the Peets on Vine He will give your daughter a full written treatment plan with costs. They worked wth us on a payment plan and around our flex ifund payments He also will not pull permanent teeth. Don't let anyone pull your child's permanent teeth to make room, it's now documented that this causes problems in later life. And don't go anywhere you don't get a complete treatment plan. We had one orthodontist give us a piece of paper that said Phase one and phase two with a price in the thousands for each. And this was more than Dr. Iezman who kept to his plan and costs over the 5 years we worked with him. Anon

Dr. Iezman, in Berkeley, is the best. Not only is he a skilled (& friendly!) orthodontist, but he is very honest about what is needed, what is not needed, and how to maybe find a cheaper solution. For instance he recently recommended my 18-year-old go to UCSF dental clinic rather than to him, for further treatment because we have already spent a lot on orthodontia (around $5000). I trust him completely. anon

Looking for excellent orthodontist for 2nd opinion

March 2013

Can anyone recommend an excellent orthodontists in the Bay Area for my 13 year old daughter? Have received two very different diagnostics. First one from Solano Smiles and second one from Dc Ding in Elcerrito. Thank you.

Dr. Iezman in Berkeley. I was his patient as an adult, and both of my kids are, too. He explains things well, understands kids, and has done a great job for all of us. His staff have also been very helpful. My kids actually like him a lot, even though having your teeth worked on is not always much fun. Sounds like you need another opinion to help you decide what to do. Very happy with orthodontist

Orthodontist Berkeley or north to Pinole

Dec 2012

My child needs braces. We have MetLife Dental Insurance. Can people please recommend an orthodontist in the MetLife Dental group? They can be located in El Cerrito, Albany, Richmond, Berkeley, Pinole, or San Pablo. We have a great dentist, but now need an orthodontist. Thanks a million!! Braces here we come

My daughter has had various orthodontia for 3 years (almost done, yeah!), and we've been really happy with Orthoworks in Hercules. We live in El Cerrito but they have Saturday morning appointments which we get to in less than 10 minutes. Since you will have to go in every 5 weeks, getting in and out fast, not disrupting work or school, and free parking, will be pluses. They have financial plans that make the cost about the same with or without insurance. The doctor and the staff are really nice and easy to work with and the office is clean and efficient. good luck

Need an orthodontist recommendation/Berkeley

Dec 2012

Can anyone recommend a friendly, competent, trustworthy orthodontist in Berkeley that will accept DELTA DENTAL insurance for our teen daughter who needs braces? Thank you! Susan

I don't know about insurance coverage, and I realize that Montclair's over the hill a bit from Berkeley, but I highly recommend Dr. Straty Righellis and his associates. He and his partners and staff provided orthodontal care for my two kids. Dr. Righellis is top-flight and his entire office is stellar. A quick phone call to them might be a good idea. anon father

Berkeley Orinda Orthodontics has a great team and takes Delta: 510-849-2434 Maggie

Our Berkeley dentist recommended an Albany orthodontist, who I think is terrific. Immi Song on Solano, just east of the BART tracks, She is friendly and knowledgeable, and her staff is great, and her office is lovely. happy parent of two teens with braces

7 year old needs an orthodontist

Aug 2012

Just got word from our SF dentist that we'll need an orthodontist for our 7 year old daughter sooner rather than later. He didn't have any recommendations for anyone in Oakland which is where we live now, thus I turn to you all. We live in the North Oakland area and would love to find a great orthodontist close by. Thanks! Jessica

Dr. Righellis in Montclair is really knowledgable, and my child's teeth after braces for 18 months show a winning smile. Very impressive - highly recommend. Office also very efficiently run. Very satisfied

Orthodontists in Berkeley/El Cerrito

April 2012

Orthodontics here we come. I'm looking for current reviews for Aubrey Barrett in El Cerrito. Also, any other suggestions other than Berkeley Ortho and Dr Iezman. Thanks anon

The only orthodontist to see is Dr. Iezman. We had 3 consults with recommended orthodontists when we were at that phase. He was the only one to give us a detailed written explanation of the issues with a detailed treatment plan and quote, that did not change over the 4 years we worked with him. One of the docs you mentioned when I asked for a written treatment plan gave us a piece of paper that said Phase 1 with a price and phase 2 with a price - much higher than Dr. I. Dr. I also does not pull adult teeth, which has now been shown to cause problems when children become adults. My daughter had a small mouth and crowded teeth with a bad bite. She is now beautiful and healthy. He is nice, friendly and warm, as are his staff. We did not have ortho coverage and he worked with me to do payments and to arrange around my flex funds pay outs as well. anon

Orthodontist for daughter's braces

August 2011

Hello, My daughter needs braces and I have to start my ortho consults. This is something new to me and not sure what to expect. Will you please provide feedback on these orthodontists: *Dr. Frank Helm *Dr. Michelle Agazzi *Dr. Straty Righellis Any information you can provide will be grateful.

We have been very pleased with Dr. Helm. He is personable and professional, and so is his office staff. I like the way he talks to my daughter (and not just to me). I don't think you'll be disappointed with him! Debbie

Straty Righellis is in a league of his own - he consults on the craniofacial deformities at Children's, has fabulous results, and to quote a very respected oral surgeon, there is no one better for function and beauty. He has done my three children (one of whom had a very complicated mouth/jaw situation, and the results are fabulous) and has done a lot of family and friends who are thrilled with Righellis' work. He also is quite expert at adult orthodontia, which is more challenging than pediatric orthodontia. Anon

Dr. Paul Kasrovi - Berkeley Orthodontics

May 2011

We were recently advised to get an orthodontic splint for our eight-year-old daughter to correct her jaw alignment. We were advised to use Dr. Paul Kasrovi of Berkeley Orthodontics, since he would be familiar with the very specific treatment desired by our non-traditional doctor (a board-certified Craniopath specializing in Cranial-Dental integration). Does anyone have experience with either working with Dr. Kasrovi or using an orthodontic splint on a young child? Any comments would be greatly appreciated. Thank you! Concerned Parent

Dr. Kasrovi is great as are all of the doctors in the practice. We have been seeing him for about 4 years (two kids, phase 1 and 2) My kids love going the ortho, the office is well run and the doctors are all very kind. kristi

I wanted to mention that the fine doctors of Berkeley Orthodontics have very different approaches and often do not make the same recommendations. Dr. Kasrovi is the most aggressive of the lot, i.e., he is an interventionist who will recommend many procedures and devices in the interests of speeding up your child's treatment. Others in the practice are more inclined to wait and see what your child's teeth will do with fewer interventions. Whomever you choose, make sure you know and are comfortable with his/her approach, and do your best to see only that doctor, so you can count on consistency in the treatment plan. veteran of Berkeley Orthodontics

Orthodontist for 6 year old

May 2011

My daughter is going on 6 and has large teeth and a fairly crowded mouth. The x-rays of her adult teeth show them also crowded and one of her upper front teeth is rotated almost sideways. I'm looking for a good orthodontist who can give me advice on when to start treatment. I don't want to wait too long and end up pulling teeth as my dentist suggested! My daughter was a very late teether, so there is no sign of loose teeth yet. Thank you for your thoughtful advice. Overwhelmed and overcrowded

I have been very satisfied with Dr. Iezman, on Walnut in Berkeley. My son was able to walk to his appointments from King and they have a neat sign in where he just presses his thumb on the screen and he is checked in. He just finished treatment, has lovely teeth, and our daughter will also use Dr. Iezman in a year or so. cocosar

We can highly recommend our children's orthodontist. He is Dr. Cameron Aboudara @ 1001 Country Club Drive, Moraga, CA 94556-1952 (925) 376-1350 He is very thorough and good with kids. Our son (14) still has a couple of baby teeth, and he has been examining him for years at no charge. In our son's case, nothing is needed until all his permanent teeth are in. --Moraga Resident

Orthodontist that does not pull teeth

Jan 2011

Hi all. I am in search of an orthodontist that does not pull teeth. I am an east coast transplant with 2 children in stage one of their treatment. They have removable palate expanders. I went to Dr Agazzi, since she was recommended here, and ended up walking out on her for enough reasons to make my head pop off--always messy, that. Help! Can you recommend an ortho that does not believe in pulling teeth? I need one that will do expanders and a mara for lower jaw. Wendy

Dr. Iezman on Walnut Street in Berkeley does not believe in pulling teeth and we really liked him.Prior to going to him my daughter went to a different orthodontist who gave lip service to the idea of not pulling teeth, but then said it would be necessary.I was so glad we went to Dr. Iezman. Ellen

Dr. Robert Brown in Danville does not believe in pulling teeth - he is quite against it. My youngest has a very crowded mouth and Dr. B. is working to expand the palate (using something called an 'e-arch') without pulling any teeth. My two kids go to him and we like his approach to orthodontia. That said, he is scaling back his time and has taken on a brand new partner whom we are not familiar with. Also, we live in Berkeley and drive to Danville which can get rather difficult as we (the parents) work full-time. It might be worth talking to his office if there are no other options in the Berkeley/Oakland area. Good luck! - have 2 'phase 1' kids

2009 - 2010 Reviews

Experienced orthodontist in Berkeley

Oct 2010

One of my daughters started orthodontics treatment at 8 years old, and 8 years later she had gone similar treatment again with unpleasant results. The first orthodontist retired and sold his practice. He pull out her canines. the second, wanted to pull more teeth... Now, I am looking for an experienced orthodontist in the area of Berkeley or around it. I appreciate your recommendations. It will be for my second daughter. Mom

Our 13 year old daughter just completed her orthondontal work with Dr. Robert Brown in Danville. It is worth the drive! He and his staff are phenomenol. His approach is wonderful. Their number is 925-837-8161 and the website is Their orientation is to not pull teeth and they often find they don't have to do that if the child is not yet at puberty. We've been extremely happy with them. ....Linda

Immediately call Robert Iezman at 845-3511, he is on Walnut off Vine. He will give you a thorough and complete written assessment. Most good orthodontists do not pull adult teeth anymore as its been found to cause issues later in life. Please call Dr Iezman right away to solve your child's issues. anon

One of my children went to Dr. Iezman in Berkeley and had great results. He does not believe in pulling teeth unnecessarily. My other child went to a different orthodontist who said he was not going to pull teeth, but then after I spent a lot of money he insisted it was necessary.I highly recommend Dr. Iezman and if Berkeley is far from you, I would call him and ask if he knows someone in your area. Ellen

Robert Iezman, DDS 1525 Walnut Street Berkeley, CA 94709 510-845-3511 Both of our children went here and he did not pull any teeth. Don

New Reviews of Orthodontists

Oct 2010

I am looking into braces for my son and have read lots of the reviews of orthodontists on the site, so I was wondering if people had new experiences/names to share. Also, we've been to see some of the most popular (Berk Ortho, Immi Song, Izeman), but from talking to friends outside of Berkeley it sounds like these places are all charging ''Berkeley prices'' -- around $6K for two years of treatment (instead of around $4500 for two years in the suburbs). Has anyone found better deals locally by heading to El Cerrito or Oakland (we're also thinking of taking him to Dr. Carrington in downtown Oakland). Thanks Sarah

We live in Oakland and go to Aubrey Barrett in El Cerrito. She bought the practice from our previous orthodontist so we pretty much inherited her. She seems competent and if my second child needs braces we will most certainly go to her. Her office is located in the shopping center with TJ so that's an added convenience. I can't speak to her fees because we paid up front with the first ortho., but he was surprisingly reasonable. anon.

Glad you asked about orthodontists! I've been itching to recommend my kids' orthodontist for a while now, Dr. Agazzi in Oakland. I felt the same way as you did when I was reviewing the old reviews of orthodontists, so I cold called a few reputable dentists in Oakland and asked for who they would recommend and each came up with Dr. Agazzi independently. That was what initially got me to schedule a visit, but the treatment from Dr. Agazzi and her staff are what have kept me there. She is really fantastic! Great chairside manner, caring, organized, clean and efficient office. The charges seem very fair, and I've never had the feeling that she or the office is trying to gouge or trying to squeeze me. In fact, I'd say she has gone over and above to make the whole process as affordable for our family as she can, a true professional. She does really top notch work, and is a mom, and a Berkeley grad to boot! Anon

Orthodontia--any opinions on Frank Helm?

Sept 2010

My daughter inherited the wacky teeth of both my husband and me and she needs orthodontia. We've gotten referrals to Dr. Righelli and Dr. Helm. I found plenty of reviews for Righelli in the archives, but nothing recent on Dr. Helm. Has anyone had their child under his care, and do you have any opinions on him or his office? Thanks! crooked teeth

My son is currently seeing Dr. Helm and we couldn't be any happier with the care he has received. Dr. Helm is extremely approachable and open. His staff is wonderful and efficient. In the year my son has seen Dr.Helm we have only had to wait once past our appointment time. We highly recommend his office! One Happy Mom

Orthodontist in Pinole

May 2010

My kid needs braces. Our dentist referred us to two different orthodontists in Albany/Berkeley but I am tired of planning ahead for all the parking issues that come from medical offices that exist in residential neighborhoods. Any recommendations for a good orthodontist in the Pinole area? There are so many dentist/medical offices just off Appian, with parking lots, that I think it will be easier to use one of them. tired of circling the block

hi. my daughter goes to axelrode orthodontics at 2000 appian way tele: 510 724-8855. My daughter really likes them. The practice is great, affordable (well, more affordable than others i checked out) and we commute from berkeley!! p.s. parking lot in front of building. betty

Berkeley Orthodontics vs. Dr. Iezman?

May 2010

We may be heading for braces for our 8 year old, and were referred to Berkeley Ortho. However, there are not many reviews of them here, and none that sound great. Can you please share your recent experiences with Berkeley Orthodontics, or with Dr. Iezman, who got many great reviews, but the reviews are several years old... Thanks!

Both my children went to Dr. Iezman, and we were very happy with him.He has a nice personality and I was very pleased with how it all worked out.I would definitely go back to him if I had another child who needed braces.I trust him and do not see him overcharging or selling you something you do not need. Ellen

We considered both for our daughter and chose to go with Berkeley Orthodontics becuase they seemed to have a more conservative approach to doing the work (to not do too much, too fast). We couldn't be happier with our choice.

Our daughter's situation was compicated by the fact that she has some mental health issues. They have gone out of their way to accomodate her, have been very patient with her anxiety and intolerance of pain, and have really gone the extra mile to work with us.

Their more conservative plan is working just as hoped and in a way she could tolerate. We are very pleased.

our 8 year old got her braces at berkeley ortho at age 7. we've been very happy with the experience thus far. my only comment is that we rarely see the same tech or orthodontist, but it doesn't seem to bother our daughter. from the beginning they were very good at explaining what she needed, how and when it would happen, and sending information home with us. straight teeth

Oakland/Berkeley Ortho that takes Metlife Dental

May 2010

We have MetLife Dental coverage and our daughter needs braces. I have looked at the list of local providers in the network and none are mentioned in the BPN archives. Does anyone have any experienced with the following: Western Dental, Gentle Dental, Kevin Carrington ... Anyone else who accepts Metlife Dental that you recommend? Thank you! Elizabeth

Check out Dr. Diana Fong in Oakland Chinatown on 9th and Webster - 510-272-0967. She's been my dentist for over 10 years. I know that she reserves Saturday mornings for her young orthodontic patients and has treated her own daughters and family members. She's very friendly, has an amazing memory, and is a perfectionist when it comes to cleanings and fillings, so I imagine she would be just as precise with braces. - Actually enjoy going to the dentist

Experienced yet affordable orthodontist needed

Sept 2009

Does anyone know of a great orthodontist/ place to get braces done for under $6,000? My daughter is 11 and in desperate need of braces at a time when we cannot even come up with the $2,000 ''downpayment on the typical $6,000 charge. We've already determined (3 different consults) that what is needed is somewhat complex so requires the help of an experienced orthodontist. And the work needs to be done soon, before she quits growing and, in part, to save a couple of her adult teeth. Any suggestions on where we might look are much appreciated. Mother of a kid with an LA traffic jam in her mouth

Dr. Hoss Abar in Pinole offers several payment plans for orthodontic patients and I know many people who have been able to get braces who normally would not be able to afford the large lump sum of money. 1500 Tara Hills Dr Pinole, CA 94564-2577 (510) 724-4746 ANON

My daughter and I have been very pleased with Orthoworks in Hercules ( I never would have considered Hercules but my insurance sent us there, even though not much was covered. There is no traffic at all for Saturday morning appointments. My daughter has a lot of work scheduled over a four year plan for about $3300; the downpayment was $1100. The orthodontist, the techs and the office staff (all women) are very nice and their work seems totally fine. -- a mom

I am very pleased to recommend Dr. Agazzi and her staff. Dr. Agazzi was recommeded to me from several dentists, and has done a superb job with my youngest child who needed braces and other interventions early. Although she assessed my daughter as well, she determined that it would be best to defer treatment for her to allow for more permanent teeth (she's 12) and to avoid treating too early and requiring braces twice. She and her staff are clean, organized, professional, and caring. She is very easygoing, and set both me and my children at ease with her chairside manner. She is located in the pill hill area of Oakland. I believe her rates to be competitive and worth a visit. $6,000 sounds expensive, but I don't know what you need done. P.S. Among the many diplomas hanging in her office, is her diploma from UCB which always gains some extra points in my book! Very Satisfied Mom

Adult Orthodontia?

Aug 2009

I'm in my early 30s and stuck in a dental situation where I really shouldn't wait any longer to get braces. Of course, I don't have any adult orthodontia insurance coverage, so I'll be paying out of pocket. I tried out Berkeley Orthodontics, but they seem really kid-oriented, and I was pretty freaked out by the open space and all the patients watching each other (my dentist says that almost all orthodontist offices are ''open plan'' so maybe this is something unavoidable), especially as I'll need to bring my newborn to my appointments most of the time. Has anyone had successful adult orthodontia work at a practice they liked? I'm looking for an ethical, efficient, respectful of adults office, preferably in Berkeley. Thanks! need braces!

I used Dr. Irving of Montclair Orthodontia. (Depending on where in Berkeley you live it may or may not be a quick trip.) I was in my late 20s when I started going there. I actually got my braces on when my #1 kid was 2 months old. I have been taking my kids with me (now we are up to 3 kids!!) for almost every appointment (except for the big, long ones like when I actually got the braces on and off!). The patient ''work'' area is in the back, separate from the waiting room, but all the patient chairs are in one room. Not sure if that's what you were talking about, but it was never really a big deal. I think there was usually at most maybe 3 patients there at once. All the office staff are super wonderful and helpful and they were always warm and welcoming to both me AND my kids which was a huge plus. ~old lady brace face

Dr. Brehnan orthodontist

Feb 2009

My 9 year old needs braces. She has overbite and some spacing issues. We got 3 opinions. Two of them (Izeman and Berkeley ortho) said she needed braces and retainer in phase 1 and probably braces again phase 2. Dr. Brehnan said she only needed retainer and head gear in phase 1 and then braces probably in phase 2. Dr. Brehnan was about $1000 cheaper. My daughter wants to go to Brehnan, his office is fun and why not go with the guy who said no braces? Does anyone have experience with Brehnan? I have not seen reviews on the site for him for several years. Is Brehnan not being as thorough or are the other guys being over-zealous? I know I will need to do a phase II I figure if we did not like him in phase 1 we could switch for phase 2. Any thoughts? Amy

Go with Dr. Iezman. My oldest child went there with great results. We moved and sent my younger child to Dr. Brennan as it was more convient. We were misled about the cost, 4 teeth were pulled even though we were first told this would not happen,and we ended up switching to Dr. Iezman later anyway. Elle

Orthodontists Kasrovi, Ferrari, Meyer etc

Feb 2009

My child and I have just begun working with the ortho offices of Kasrovi, Meyer, Ferrari etc..One office on Ensenada and the other on Colby. They are definitely friendly and kind but I am still not clear what is happening with my child's teeth and we get a different practitioner every time. My greatest fears are that he is getting appliances that may harm his developemnt. He has wires on the roof and the floor of his mouth and can't speak properly and his teeth are always bothering him. His eyes have dark rings around them and he has had a few headaches during this time and their response was that maybe he's not drinking enough water. It would be comforting to know that people have had good experiences with them despite the fact that their child is suffering. Not to mention the money that is automatically pulled out of my acct. each month and the agreement to pay in full no matter what. I am really questioning my decision to begin this work. Maybe his teeth would figure out how to adjust to his mouth anyway or maybe just pulling a few teeth would be better??? worried mom

While I can't speak specifically to your experience, we have been very happy with the care and results at Berkeley Ortho. My 12yo son has already gone through one treatment and yes it was uncomfortable for a while. And I can tell you that the change in speech and discomfort in our case was expected and temporary. (I've had braces myself, so it didn't come as a surprise.) Have you considered that his headaches and dark circle could be unrelated? (my son used to get dark circles with his seasonal allergies). And while it's true that you get to see different Dr. sometimes for each visit, they always seemed to know what was going on and what the goal was, etc. And they're very good about emergency appts (like if a wire hurts or something just doesn't feel ''right''). Right now we're starting a second phase (now that all of the baby teeth are out) and I feel very comfortable taking him there again. IMO, pulling teeth should be a last resort. The goal of the whole process is to get all of your son's teeth to meet as they should so that his jaw closes correctly. I know that it's hard in the beginning but I was amazed at the progress and how quickly things changed for the better. I guess that if I were in your position, I would ask to have a visit where you can really talk about your concerns, and then maybe even get a second opinion. It is ultimately your choice but you should have all the information necessary to make an informed decision. ruth

My daughter had very successful treatment with Nelson, Meyer, et al that involved several steps over five years. I remember the first consultation in which Dr. Nelson said he couldn't guarantee that permanent teeth wouldn't have to be removed. I told him straight up no removal of permanent teeth, find another way--and they did. My daughter's teeth are beautifully straight and she is diligent about wearing her retainers at night even though she's had her braces off for almost 4 years. We were very happy with these orthodontists and even though my daughter saw different practitioners, they all knew the plan and could answer any questions. They also explained the side effects of the appliances, like some speech difficulties, and were available for a couple of urgent issues (poking wires, broken retainer). If you do not fully understand your son's treatment plan, then you should ask for a meeting with their treatment coordinator or orthodontist and discuss specifically what the ! problems are with your son's teeth. anon

Although there are several orthodontists in the office - I would suggest finding the one orthodontist you feel most comfortable with and ask to be seen only by that one doctor. You can request to go to any of the offices as long as you see that one doctor. I would suggest Dr. Meyer. He is one of the original founders of the practice as the other co-founder retired. He is really knowledgeable and will listen to your concerns. However, you need to advocate for your child and ask them questions about the treatment, why, etc. If you don't understand ask them to explain it to you. I am sure their treatment is not cheap and you have the right to ask what is going on. I'm sure there will be some discomfort with treatment and I remember being young with braces, etc and in pain as my teeth moved but if your child is in constant pain....that would be a red flag. Ask for a consultation with Dr. Meyer. Good luck to you. Anonymous

Please stop, go see Dr. Robert Iezemen in Berkeley. He will give you a detailed treatment plan and a bottom line price for all work. You will see him each and every time you go, you will see the same group of assistants each and every time. They will work with you on payments if you don't have insurance. You will know exactly what is happening, he will spend time answering all your questions and you child will be well taken care of. You should never feel like you don't know or understand what is happening to your child and your child should never be that uncomfortable, although orthodontia does have its discomfort. anon

Our eldest child had a miserable experience with orthodonture at the Meyer/Kasrovi/Ferrari etc. office, one that I deeply regret. Like you, we had no continuity of care at the Meyer et al office. There was no effort to keep us with the person who began the treatment plan (Meyer), and we saw a different person every time, as well as different technicians, one of whom in particular was really unpleasant. My daughter was in a lot of pain, trouble sleeping, and they were of little help. Things improved a bit after a friend suggested that I insist on seeing the same orthodontist each time. Once we adhered to seeing Dr. Ferrari, things improved a bit. Nevertheless, the assembly line feeling of the place remained. We took our second child to Dr. Immi Song, and the experience has been night and day.

Take a look at your contract and see if you can take the treatment plan and xrays and go to another orthodontist. I assume you can. Try either Dr. Immi Song on Solano, 528-2220 or Dr. Robert Iezman on Walnut Street, 845-3511. Both are solo practitioners with a great reputation for individual care. In fact, you might try calling Dr. Song and/or Dr. Iezman's office first, tell them you're interested in changing orthodontists, and see what they advise. Believe me, you won't be the first to jump ship from the Meyer et al practice. Just wish I had sooner and spared my eldest child unnecessary misery. = sadder but wiser mom

2007 - 2008 Reviews

Nov 2008

Does anyone have experience with using Denta PMI for orthodonture? I have to make a benefits choice at work, and Delta PMI is the only one that includes orthodonture. The catch is that they won't give any information about which providers we can go to for orthodonture until I sign up. I'm told that there are very few places that accept Delta PMI and that our whole family will have to switch from our current dentist and go to a PMI provider for all of our care. A few years ago, when I first started at my job, we had PMI for a few months and went one time to one of the approved places. We waited a long time (at a place that did both dental and orthodonture) for the orthodontist, who was was very friendly, but didn't recommend braces for my daughter based on her age and didn't make any follow-up or a plan (requested by her dentist at that time). Then our chart was lost and they had no record of us ever having been there. The following year, we switched to Delta Premier and! we've paid for a few follow-up exams at the second orthodontist and she's had a few teeth extracted (the extractions are covered by our current plan) etc, in preparation for getting braces. She'll likely need them this coming Spring. My other choice is Delta Premier, which doesn't have an orthodonture benefit, but allows us to stay with our current dentist who we've seen now for a few years. I work in un/underinsured healthcare and I'm not looking for any special treatment, but I'm interested in what anyone's experiences have been with this choice, whether anyone has switched to PMI for orthodonture and what their experieces were. Is it worth it to change everything to get the orthodonture covered by a PMI provider? Can anyone recommend any local (Oakland) PMI providers? Thanks. Michele

You can see what orthodontists are available by going to the Delta Dental web site at, clicking on Find a Dentist and selecting DeltaCare USA. There are, unfortunately, not a lot of choices under this plan. anon

Oct 2008

We are deciding between Dr. Izeman and the Berkeley Orthodontics Group for our child's orthodontic care. We would love any input or opinions on these two options. Thank you!

Dr. Izemen is our children's orthodontist. We like him a lot! He is very honest and fair and knows his stuff. I have heard that if you go to an orthodontist group you may go to a different orthodontist at different visits and end up with conflicting opinions and procedures. I like that Dr. Izeman is the doctor we always see and that he is familiar with my children. The office staff is wonderful!! They really seem to like and respect each other (including the doctor). My dentist recently told me some orthodontist horror stories. I guess I'm naive because I have always had good doctors and dentists (including our orthodontist) that I couldn't even imagine the things that orthodontists(and other doctors too, I'm sure) do to prolong the process and keep the money coming in. I trust Dr. Izeman and know he loves what he's doing and takes pride in his work, treats his staff well, and is kind and professional to his patients. Mom of Dr. Izeman patients

Sept 2008

John Ogro is one of several orthodontists recommended by my son's dentist. We met and liked him, but would like to get the opinion of others that are using him or have used his services. Susan

Our dentist also recommended Dr. Ogro. We consulted with one other orthodontist in Lafayette, who we also liked, but in the end chose Dr. Ogro. In a word, he is fantastic! Everything was very up front (no hidden surprises or fees). My son is currently seeing him and has been for the past 18 months. Sally, the office manager is also fantastic. She took care of billing our insurance and was very knowledgeable about our coverage, etc. We would highly recommend him. Joy

I would highly recommend John Ogro as an orthodontist. I just got my braces off and I love my new smile. Dr. Ogro and his entire staff are friendly and gentle people. I never, ever had to wait more than 5 minutes for an appointment, in fact most of the time Dr. Ogro was ready to see me within a minute of walking in the door. He was excellent at communications -- something that a lot of doctors and dentists have trouble with -- from letting me know what to expect (e.g. any discomforts), to explaining the entire orthodontic process. He was also able to squeeze me into his schedule at the last minute whenever an emergency came up, and once even scheduled me after hours because our schedules didn't mesh. And to top it all off, my teeth look great!! Finally free of braces

Sept 2008

Can anyone recommend a good orthodontist in Alameda? Looks like we'll be pretty good customers and I would rather avoid having to go to Berkeley since these visits will be more frequent than most doctor visits. A Dr. Dwight Jennings was recommended on this forum in the past but his yelp comments are pretty alarming and I'll have to skip him. toothy kids mama

By far best orthodontists in Alameda are Dr. Dave Johnson and his associate Dr. Jolly (sp?) Dr. Johnson is smart, warm, and has assembled an incredible staff. You get the best people plus the latest technology and knowledge in orthodontia. Alamedan

April 2008

Hello, My daughter is 10 and our dentist recommends Dr. Robert Iezman in Berkeley for orthodontic assessment and treatment. If you have experience with Dr. Robert Iezman, could you please share your experience? Does he present reasonable treatment plans for kids? Is his fee reasonable? Are he and his staff nice? Thank you so much. Anonymous

Our 9 y/o daughter loves going to Dr. Iezman's office. His staff is very gentle and competent. They get us right in if an adjustment is needed or if we have a problem. They schedule appointments at all times of day - even after school! The atmosphere is very professional yet fun as they always some kind of cool contest going on for the kids. Their prices are fair and they seem to have all the latest technology. Kelly

Two of my kids have had lots of work with Dr. Iezman and we have always found him and his staff to be very professional. I cannot comment on price since we did not really shop around, but we have been very happy with Dr. Iezman. Orthodontia mama

I also recommend Dr. Iezman in North Berkeley. He did both my children, now in their 20's. I think his prices are somewhat in the middle perhaps. His office has a nice casual feeling & he relates to young people very well. He teaches at UCSF too so, while his appointments may be more difficult to schedule, he is up to date informed on the latest research in the fields. Sandra

We have been very happy with Dr. Izeman -- he is always cheerful and reassuring. When one approach did not work for our son, he tried another that did. His staff are great, even if you're flakey and lose track of things like we did. He had a set amount for the treatment, and once we reached that, he did not charge us for additional appointments, except for XRays. I highly recommend Dr. Izeman and his staff. There's even parking. Avi

March 2008

We have been told by the dentist that it is time to find an orthodontist for our twins. The past postings are several years old. Can you recommend an ortho that you have been happy with that is in the Lamorinda, WC, or PH areas? Also, how much can one expect to pay? I've heard of some orthos who have a package ($3-4K) that you pay up front and all visits are taken care of until the end of treatment. Anyone heard of this arrangement? Thanks! Anon

We were referred to Orinda Orthodontics (a.k.a. Berkeley Orthodontics) by our kids' dentist, and have been happy with treatment so far. Our son has been in treatment for overcrowding (expanders for 18 months plus braces on the front teeth for 4-6 months) since last September, and our daughter has been in for a consultation for the same (we expect she will start next fall). They do charge a flat rate, with a discount for paying up front. I'm sure the price varies depending upon the treatment required, but for an 18-month session of expanders plus front-teeth braces, the current rate is about $3800. Since my son got the braces in January, he's managed to dislodge three brackets, and they've always been responsive about getting him scheduled and repaired. Mom to kids with expensive teeth

Highly recommend Dr. Seth Osterman in Lafayette. He is at 895 Moraga Rd. Suite 3. Office number is 925.283.1921. website is LogicalMama

try steve tanner DDS. he's a very nice guy and down-to-earth. suzie

For both the orthodontist questions...I take both my children to the office of Dr. Robert Conner and Dr. Cameron Aboudara in Moraga. Dr. Connor was my orthodontist (a number of years ago!), and Dr. Aboudara is the younger orthodontist who has purchased his practice. Dr. Connor is still there part-time, and I am glad to have his expertise, and Dr. Aboudara who went to Stanford and UCSF (I think) seems very knowledgeable also. Their office is very well run and accommodating. I believe their usual practice is to give you a total amount for the service to be provided (for example, a retainer to move teeth or phase I or phase II of braces), and that includes all the care required during the procedure. They also will generally allow you to spread the payments over a number of months without any finance charges and they accept Delta Dental. Their office number is 925-376-1350. Claire

Nov 2007

Does anyone have recent experience with Iezman or someone else in the Berkeley/El Cerrito/North Oakland area? We want to switch from Meyer. The technicians, with one exception, don't explain well what they are doing or what to expect, so we are always unprepared for major changes, especially those involving pain. We were given headgear with no explanation of how to put it on! There is such an assembly line feeling in there - two of the technicians have been pretty nice, the other two quite grumpy. There is no continuity of care - we kept being scheduled with different orthodontists until we caught on that we should empatically request certain people. The last straw was being told that the braces would be removed on a certain date - my daughter was elated, we planned a celebratory lunch - only to discover that what they ''really meant'' was removing some back brackets and then putting on some heavier duty, more painful stuff in their place for 2 weeks until the ''real'' removal date. That kind of miscommunication keeps happening. So we really want an orthodontist with good assistants, a clear communicator, and a more personal touch. Does s/he exist? It's bad enough having braces, especially through adolescence, so an office that really explains and pays attention to the individual patient would make a difference! ...many thanks...

We love Straty Righellis in Montclair, Oakland. Very friendly, competent place in all respects. Village Square, 2220 Mountain #104, 482 0600. Linda

I am happy to recommend Dr. Iezman. My first child went to Nelson, Meyer, etc. and my younger two (12 & 14) are with Dr. Iezman--I much prefer the Iezman office. Dr. Iezman was very patient with me as I was deciding who to go to, calling me back and explaining his recommended approach including his philosophy of not pulling teeth unless necessary which felt right to me. He's totally available & I chat with him at pretty much every visit, plus the kids like him.

Though there's been turnover in the front office staff, all have been friendly and helpful & they have monthly contests with prizes which my kids get a kick out of. I definitely feel like I'm getting very competent care & personal attention in a small practice environment. Also he was highly recommended to me by a local dentist. Tisha

I highly recommend Dr. Iezman in Berkeley. My daughter has been seeing him for about two years, has had braces for about a year, and we have found Dr. Iezman and his staff to be efficient, friendly and good at explaining what's happening. He was very open and thoughtful about the pros and cons of pulling permanent teeth, and explained our options thoroughly. mg

Nov 2007

Looking for feedback on local orthodontists (Berkeley area) and their approaches to orthodontia. We have an orthodontist we like for our older kid, but, for our younger kid (almost 10), we are exploring alternatives to pulling permanent teeth. Can anyone speak to the pros/cons of pulling permanent teeth, as well as other alternatives? It's clear that the kid does have a crowded mouth, but we're wondering about our options... ortho recommendation sought

I really like the practice where my daughter is having orthodontia. The main guy is Gary Fredrickson, he is a mensch! He seems to be the only orthodontist in the practice, but there are other dentists there as well. They practice what is called, functional orthodontics ( It is concerned with jaw care which is why we went there to begin with as my daughter has TMJ. We are really just into it and I can't tell a difference in my daughter's teeth, but she started having jaw pain (she grinds her teeth when she's stressed) and the Dr. made her a special appliance that would both relieve the pain and keep moving the teeth along. It really helped her. She will have ''crozats'' for 6-8 months and then the regular railroad track braces. Crozats are wire appliances that fit inside of the mouth on the inside of the teeth. They are not visable on the outside. They do not come out, though the dentist will take them out and adjust them ever! y 3 weeks or so. The cost is really very similar to other orthodontists that I priced. The practice is on Gilman in Berkeley, there is always parking in front, the office staff are amazingly nice and helpful working out insurance details. We do have to wait for her appointment sometimes which is a pain. The number is 526-7546 anon

I heartily recommend Dr. Iezman. We recently finished up about 5 years with his practice, we had no dental insurance and had to pay out of pocket. I went to several orthodontists and got estimates on costs. Dr. Iezman was the only one to spend time, do a thorough evaluation, put the entire plan and costs in writing and those plans or those costs did not change. His staff was warm, friendly, my daughter always felt comfortable going there. In the end what makes you comfortable may be different and you should check out several orthodonists before you decide. Good Luck, love my daughter's smile

Our son is seeing Dwight Jennings in Alameda - 522-6828. He is a very unusual orthodontist and people come to him from far away - definitely worth the drive from anywhere in the Bay Area in my opinion! Most of Dr. Jennings' clients are adults who have TMJ problems, some because of orthodontia in their teens. We're hoping that the way he's working with our son is not only addressing current problems, but also preventing later ones.

His approach is completely different from other orthodontists. It's like Western medicine vs. Holistic medicine. If you're inclined toward alternative approaches, I would highly recommend him; even if you're not into holistic medicine I would recommend him, actually. The cost is about the same as a regular orthodontist, but he works with the whole jaw and alignment rather than aligning the teeth only. Our son had pretty serious problems so we got started when he was 7.5. Other orthodontists recommended braces, pulling teeth, and cutting some of the gum line to correct these problems. Dr. Jennings worked on jaw alignment, making room for teeth that didn't have room without any need for pulling teeth or cutting the gums. There was some mild discomfort in getting used to the appliances, but no pain. And the appliances were barely visible!

The only drawback to working with him is that there's often a wait, but that's because he never rushes the patients. He's been very nice, and so have the assistants we've worked with. Our son has felt comfortable there. Grateful parent

Oct 2007

Hello there, My 9-year-old daughter's dentist told us that it's time for us to get her an orthodontist assessment. We were recommended Berkeley Orthodontics and Dr. Immi Song. Do you have any experience with these two orthodontists? Any insights would be greatly appreciated. Also, do you have any recommendations for other orthodontists who are good with kids and charge reasonable fees? We have CIGNA dental insurance. Thank you very much. Anonymous

My advice would be to visit a couple orthos for consultations before you pick one. They all do things differently, from the way they go about fixing teeth to the way their offices are set up. Consults should be free. Like anything else, you'll get a feel the place and whether or not it's for you (and your kids).

I used Immi Song as an adult patient. She has one of the nicest offices around, is good at what she does and her staff are terrific. She's not the cheapest however and tends to be pretty strongly opinioned about the treatment you receive. After visiting several other local orthos, I felt like she was probably worth the extra money. I'm not sure about insurance but most will work with what you have. Anon

I would definitely check out Berkeley Orthodontics ( -- offices in Berkeley on Colby Street near Alta Bates and on Ensenada just off Solano. We're particular fans of Dr. Meyer, but I think the entire practice is great. There was a comment in a recent post (maybe it was even this request for recommendations) that the practice seems to like pulling teeth, but our experience has been exactly the contrary. They have been extremely patient over a number of years as my daughter's teeth developed, fell out, didn't fall out on schedule, etc. -- to the point where it turns out she may not need braces after all.

That said, the recommendation that you check out a couple of orthodontists is very good advice. You want to feel very comfortable with the practice you select. I had my teeth straightened as an adult by John Merchant (on Regent Street near Alta Bates), and I think he did a great job.

Sept 2007

Hello everyone, I am looking for some current feedback/opinions on the orthodontic office of Dr. Kevin Carrington in Oakland. The BPN archives has some older posts. Has anyone had recent experience with him? Were you happy with the results of his work? Any feedback would be appreciated. Many thanks. anon

I have been a patient of Dr. Carrington's for a couple of years (with my Invisalign braces). I only go once every six months now but I had a very good experience with him as well as his assistants and the office staff. Let me know if you have specific questions. klp

kevin carrington is my dds and i'm satisfied with the work he does, with his partner and with the office. anon

Hi, my kids are both clients of Dr. Kevin Carrington. We went to Dr. Carrington for a couple of reasons, after having read reviews on BPN. 1) He is way cheaper then other orthodontists that we saw (maybe half the price) 2) he is more conservative in his approach, and willing to do only parts of treatment if you don't want to commit to more extensive treatment. He is very understanding about people's cultural choices around treatment for cosmetic vs. non-cosmetic reasons. His staff are always very professional. The only thing for me, living in Albany, is that it is quite a trip for us and we go monthly and have been going monthly for over a year at this point. When my kids get older, maybe I'll send them on BART, because it is right next to the station. Fine to contact me directly if you have other questions :) Eden

We like Dr. Carrington and his office staff are nice and efficient. We particularly like that he has a nice sense of humor along with being knowledgeable and thorough. Diane

Sept 2007

I checked online, but don't see any recent postings for pediatric orthodontists in Lamorinda. Any recommendations? Thanks!

The orthodontic group of Nelson, Meyer, Kasrovi and Ung have an office in Orinda. The group has a good reputation. Our trusted dentist referred both of my children to that group. It is mostly Drs. Nelson and Meyer who work in the part-time Orinda office, and they are the most seasoned and likeable members of the group, IMO. As to the quality of their work, it's hard for me to know, since I'm mostly aware of the appearance aspect. One of my children has completed treatment, and his teeth look great. A couple of irritations for me are: 1. they don't bill insurance, you have to do the paper work, and 2. they seem to like to pull teeth, baby and adult. For the pan x-rays, patients are sent to one of the two Berkeley offices. The Orinda phone number is 925-253-4900, and the address is 96 Davis Road, suite 1, in the Theater Square area. *want good teeth*

We've been going to Amybeth Harmon in Pleasant Hill ( for almost a year now. She's done a tooth extraction and fillings for my 6 year old. No complaints; we're very pleased. Craig

Dr. Hudson in Moraga is very popular - though a bit expensive. But, kids that go there seem to like all the stuff that he has in his office. His number is (925) 376-2800. Judy

We are going to Seth Osterman in Lafayette, 925-283-1921. He is conservative in his recommendations. He has done an expander on my older son and is waiting for all of his teeth to grow in before deciding if more work is done. The other orthodontist we interviewed wanted to do two sets of braces, but couldn't give us enough reasons to do it. Dr. Osterman gave us plenty of reasons not to do it. Also Dr. Osterman does all the work himself. Lastly, he always checks on our younger son's teeth whenever we are in there. BTW, Friends of ours go to Dr Salmann and like him. Linda

July 2007

Hello. Has anyone received orthodontic treatment by Dr. Immi Song, on Solano Avenue? If so, I would like to hear about your experiences. I need braces and am doing some research before making this costly decision! Thanks! anon

My daughter is currently going to Dr. Song. We have been happy with her and with her staff. Everything has been explained very clearly, esp. the financial side of things which can be confusing depending on your dental plan. Her office is convenient and we can usually get an appt. when we want (this was not the case at another practice we looked into early on - where phones would ring and ring and then when answered, the staff would be less than helpful). SM

March 2007

Does anyone have a recommendation for an orthodontist who works with adults? I had braces as a child and now that I'm in my 40's, I noticed that my teeth have moved somewhat so that they are no longer as straight as I'd like them to be. Anyone else have this experience? I'm hoping that maybe wearing a retainer or a short bout with braces (I think maybe they're less conspicuous now than when I was young) will fix the problem. wanting to smile again

I highly recommend Dr. Frank Helm, 3931 Grand Avenue, Oakland, CA 94610, Tel: 510-653-2205. My situation was slightly different from yours. I never had braces when I was younger. My dentist recommended that I get braces when I was in my early 40's, because I had a slight overbite and my teeth were overcrowded. Dr. Helm and his staff were great. I had braces for 2 1/2 years, and I still go for yearly checkups. I like Dr. Helm's office, because it is small and personable. Susan

Feb 2007

Looking for a reputable pediatric orthodontist practice in Berkeley for two children (ages 9 and 11). (1) Does anyone have experience with Berkeley Orthodontists on Ensenada and Colby? (2)Any other good orthodontists for kids? Thank you. anon

Our son is just finishing up his treatment at Berkeley Orthodontics. We always go to the Ensenada office. We couldn't be happier with his treatment there. The staff is great. While there are a number of doctors in the practice, they all make themselves familiar with all the patients' treatments and every doctor that we met was great, too. They give a free first consultation, so it doesn't hurt to get their opinion. Good Luck

Berkeley Orthodontics is a reputable practice however, it has gone through some management changes in the past few years since the founder of the practice, Dr. Nelson is moving into retirement. His original partner, Dr. Meyer is WONDERFUL so if you go there...ask for him specifically. He is a great orthodontist and great with the kids. Not to sure about the new Dr. who has recently bought into the practice. Originally it was Dr. Nelson & Meyer. Still....they are good orthodontics...on the high end though. Good luck. anonymous

2004 - 2006 Reviews

Dec 2006

A friend is looking for an orthodontist. Ideally, this doctor would be: 1) within 15 miles of Berkeley 2) Good with children 3) female. She may be willing to take 2 out of the three. Who's seen a wonderful orthodontist lately? Bling on the teeth

My daughter sees Dr. Immi Song in Albany. She's located on Solano Ave. about 2 blocks above San Pablo Ave. My daughter has always been a highly sensitive person that doesn't take well to doctor or dentist office situations. I work as a dental hygienist and really like her, her staff and the way the office is run. It's quiet and they run on time. My son went to another orthodontist (he had good results), but I knew that office was too busy and noisy for my daughter. Most orthodontists will do free consults. Her # is: 510-528-2220 RDH

You can tell your friend about Dr. Song on Solano Avenue. She has her own practice and does her own work. She is very nice and professional. I brought my daughter there for a consultation. She was not high pressure and in fact recommended that my daughter NOT begin treatment yet. Wow. How refreshing. My dentist thinks a lot of her and has seen beautiful work that she has done for adult clients Mom

Oct 2006

I am looking for an orthodontist for myself, but the past reviews on BPN are pretty old. Does anyone have any recent experience with an orthodontist? I appreciate any advice/recommendation.

I recommend Dr. Frank Helm, Tel: (510) 653-2205. I never had braces as a child. Five years ago, my dentist recommended that I get braces to correct a slight overbite and teeth overcrowding. After consulting a few orthodontists, I decided to go with Dr. Helm. I wore braces for 2 1/2 years, and now wear retainers at night. Dr. Helm still follows up and checks how the retainers are working for me more than 3 years after my braces came off. His practice may not be as large as some other orthodontists, but he and his staff are always friendly and responsive Happy Smiles

We've been very happy with Doctor Iezeman in North Berkeley. Our son had some problems with certain kinds of rubber bands and Dr. Iezeman worked around them. It's also nice to find out that it's a flat fee, and they will take as long as necessary to finish the treatment. The staff is nice, there's a bit of parking, and it's a very positive place. Address: 1525 Walnut St / Berkeley, CA 94709 / (510) 845-3511 Avi

Oct 2006

I have been looking for an orthodontist for my teen son. Back in the East, I had a great orthodontist for an older child. Now in Berkeley, I went to two of the orthos recommended on this site. The first that I went to see seemed great, and communicated with my child very well. But - there were photographs of his patients on the wall, and when we looked at them we were unsure whether they were before or after pictures. I asked the receptionist, and she didn't know either, until someone else behind the counter said ''those are the after pictures, when the braces come off''. The other orthodontist, also highly recommended in Berkeley, said that it might be best to take a low key approach, and not to align my son's midline - and since that was the main thing my son wanted braces for, it didn't seem a good idea to proceed. This was radically different from the other guy - I like to leave things natural where possible too, but I think moving the midline is pretty standard orthodontics. So we are back to the start. I think that I may have been more lucky than I realised with the orthodontist back in the East - but in Berkeley I'm not confident about spending $6000 or so unless I'm convinced the results are going to be worth it. Does anyone have recommendations for orthodontists in San Francisco or anywhere else nearby, that might be more convincing? loves Berkeley but can't find ortho

My 12-year old is seeing orthodontist John Ogro in Orinda. The braces are not on yet - or off - so we don't have final results, but so far with the xray and molding stages, I trust his knowledge, ethics and equipment. Unlike another orthodont, in Moraga, he did not rush my son into treatment. He suggested waiting for more permanent teeth to come in rather than do extractions. Another friend, brand new to Orinda from out of state, got the same recomendation, independent from me. A good person to interview. His office is tel.925-254-2133.Best wishes for your hunt anon

My dentist, whom I've seen for many years, recommended Dr. Douglas Tinloy, on Park Ave. in Oakland, and said he sent his own grandchildren to Dr. Tinloy. My daughter is about halfway through the braces routine with Dr. Tinloy, so I can't vouch personally for the results, but I'm very pleased so far. I also know several other parents whose kids have gone to Dr. Tinloy and they have had only good things to say about him. Good luck! summergal

There's a fantastic orthodontist, Dr. Doug Johnson, for kids of all ages in Pinole. I went to him for my braces as an adult and he did a great job. He has apple computers to watch movies and a reward program for good maintenance. His phone number is 510- 724-0777. Angela in Richmond

A good ortho is hard to find!! We are VERY happy with the orthodontic work being performed by Drs. Peikoff and Reghellis - they work together as team through both the consult and treatment. The consult is usually no charge until treatment begins. All the kids/teens that I have seen when they get their braces off look fabulous. Confident to smile! The office is located just off Mountain Blvd. in Montclair phone 482-0600. Kate's mom

April 2006

Berkeley Orthodontics has recommended multiple tooth extraction and then braces for my son. I'm looking for second opinions from orthodontists who might suggest other options such as expansion. Any recommendations for other orthodontists? Thanks!

Regarding your request for 2nd opinion for an orthodontist who wants to pull teeth: I would strongly urge you to reconsider any orthodontist who is planning to pull permanent teeth. IT has now been shown that pulling permanent teeth to make room causes problems later on. There are many orthodontists who can do the work without pulling permanent teeth, altho occasionally they may recommend having baby teeth that have not yet come out removed. My daughter, who had a very small crowded palate went to Dr. Iezman in Berkeley. She had several rounds of procedures including time spent making room and doing preliminary straightening. Sometimes that's enough, but to improve functionality (not just esthetics), she had a second. She is now all done and beautiful. He is very good with the kids and will give you a thorough professionally prepared treatment plan and cost breakdown. Another orthodontist we went to when asked for a plan and cost breakdown wrote phase 1 with an amount next to it on a piece of paper and handed it to me (and it was more!) been there

I also recommend Dr. Iezman-I got a 2nd opinion from him for my two sons and and ended up going to him in part because of his approach to avoid taking out teeth unless necessary. My daughter had a successful experience at another larger practice, but I really like dealing with Dr. Iezman & Dr. Osterman and his office staff, Dr. Iezman was really responsive about my questions about his recommendations and costs. Plus in the smaller office setting you know the orthodontists and dental assistants and they know your kids individually. The kids like it because they have entertaining contests going on all the time and it adds an element of fun. Tisha

Sept 2005

My 11-year-old has been treated by the orthodontics office of Brehnan and Proul in Albany for the last 2 years. She was fitted with a retainer that corrected a cross bite and most of the misalignment of her upper and lower teeth. This cost apprx. $2,000 and we were told at the outset she might then need braces, but this would need to be assessed when the retainer had done its work and her adult teeth had all begun to come in. We've reached that point and, unhappily, been told that she now needs braces at the cost of another $5,000 to move her front teeth into better alignment. We have no insurance coverage for orthodonture; this is a lot of money at a time when we don't have lots of extra cash. Her teeth look good and the ''cosmetic'' issue would not be the main factor in our decision. I am wondering how other parents assess the information they've been given and make choices. I would imagine thatorthodontists' offices routinely recommend further treatment because it is what they do (and in their financial interests). How can I determine if this is really necessary? unsure

We've had the same situation with our son in that office. He now has braces.Yes, it's a lot of money. Here are my thoughts. Millions of kids who need braces badly neer get braces, or need braces maybe slightly never get braces. The worst that can happen in most cases, is the kids teeth will be crooked somewhere in their mouth. My husband never had braces and he has a lower front tooth that sticks behind his others. Really no big deal. My son had crowding of some teeth so he would probably have a similar look if he never had braces. Maybe he will anyway, who knows!! It's never too late to get braces. You can wait and see what happens to your daughters teeth. If they start to crowd or whatever, you can get her braces later. Plenty of young and older adults have braces these days. In rare cases a kids teeth are so crooked that not getting braces could affect their bite or cause jaw or pallet problems, but I think that's rare. In general I trust those guys, but yeah, maybe most orthos are too quick to say ''yes, braces'' when they could possibly be more relaxed about it. Just my 2 cents. mom of braces guy.

As with any other medical procedure, you are perfectly within your rights to get a second opinion, and, if you have any doubts about the advice you're getting, you definitely SHOULD do so. You can find recommendations for other orthodontists on the Berkeley Parents website. Two of my favorites are Dr. Merchant (did my teeth) @ 849-3613 and Dr. Nelson (will be doing my daughter's) @ 849-2434. Call and explain your situation, and I'm willing to bet you can be seen for a consultation.

I suggest you call our orthodontist, Dr. Iezman at 845-3511 and make an appointment to get a second opinion. He is a great orthodontist, and I am confident he would be very honest about what was necessary and what was optional and what the consequences might be if you did not get braces. Melinda

Wow, that sounds like a lot of money. My son goes to Berkeley Orthodontics to stretch his palette because some of his teeth did not come in due to a lack of space. We were told right of the bat that he would need a retainer first, then braces, and then another retainer. The whole treatment plan, including the 2 retainers & braces cost $2000, so it seems a lot to me that you would pay $7000 for only two devices. You might want to get a second opition. Jannette

April 2005

I have used Berkeley Orthodontist Group for all of my three children and I have been very happy. I also have braces now, at age 55, and they are doing a great job with my difficult mouth. They are not cheap, but the results are absolutely fabulous! They are the best around. I have also heard that the orthodonist, Dr. Ricelois, or whatever, in Montclair, is also very good. Good Luck. You do not need to go to UCSF to find a good orthodontist. peggy

March 2005

My orthodontist is in Montclair -- Dr. Irving of Montclair Orthodontics. Depending on where you are in Berkeley, this could be a quick skip to the ortho or a bit of a haul. I love him and his staff is awesome! They aren't cheap, however (is ortho ever??). I'm 28 but he seems to deal well with younger folks, and they are always very welcoming of my infant when I bring him, too! Kimberly

June 2004

Has anyone had any experience with the Orthodontist,Dr. Kevin Carrington on Broadway in Oakland. He has been recommended through my insurance co. I can chose him or another dentist, but I would like any recommendation or information of present or previous patients.This is for my 13 year old daughter. Alix

Hi, we're using dr. carrington for our son's braces. I think his practice is fine. They have several chairs where kids are tuned up and the dr. will drop in to check on progress and direct the work of his assistant's. The practice is very diverse and has a polite casual atmosphere. However, I do feel they are a bit on the laid back side. They don't give reminder calls and you have to call to check in on progress with them.

That said, i think he's one of the more affordable orthondontist's in the area. He will also give you realistic options considering your budget, your kid's situation and what he has seen work. Before choosing him, we visited several other practices and our son liked him the best. Some of the other places were much more stuffy for his taste, as well as costly! good luck!

Dr. Kevin Carrington has served as our daughter's orthodontist for several years. We really, really like him and his office. All the staff know my daughter, great her personally, and she has come to know them by name and actually looks forward to going there. It is very welcoming.

Unlike a previous poster, we have found his office to consistently remind us (by several postcards and calls if necessary) to bring our daughter in for follow up. It's a good thing too because I often forget!

Dr. Carrington himself is very competent, personable and actually has a good sense of humor that puts his patients at ease. He has helped our daughter's smile look great. We highly recommend him. Diane

2003 and Earlier

Orthodontist in Lamorinda

Dec. 2003

I am looking for an orthodontist near Lafayette and have been told about Seth Osterman (Lafayette) and Doug Hudson (Moraga). Osterman practices in Berkeley as well. I didn't see them on the website. Could you share any experiences with and opinions about them? Thanks. Linda

Orthodontistry is definitely an area where you should check out a few doctors, as they often have different approaches which can make a big difference financially!

Many people in Lamorinda see Dr. Hudson - he has a busy practice and it is well respected by many. His office is very high tech and flashy (game boys available for play), and he has a reward system for the kids who wear their appliances. Dr. Hudson recommended a jaw expander for 12-18 months and head gear for my daughter (at over $3000) for her crossbite. He likes to really spread the teeth/jaw at an early age, so you have to decide if you like that approach or not.

I don't know the other orthodontist you mentioned, but I would like to give a plug for Dr. Sammann in Lafayette. We visited him, and his recommendation was for a jaw expander for 6 months, and no head gear. The cost was half the price. We saw Dr. Sammann EVERY time we visited for checkups, etc. I can't say enough good things about him.

Good luck! sherry

We visited Dr. Hudson's office, and know many families who are patients of his. I wasn't comfortable with his recommendation and my daughter and I are very pleased with the Orthodonist practice of Drs. Nelson, Meyer and Ung in Orinda (near Theater Square), 96 Davis Rod, 253-4900. They also have an office in Berkeley, but we really like the staff in Orinda. Contrary to Dr. Hudson, they recommended we wait and see. When they did begin work on my daugher, the professional & support staff were all very knowledgeable, professional, warm, kind, and informative. They patiently answered all our questions, contrary to Dr. Hudson. My daugher, who is not very brave, felt very comfortable with the treatment. We had one occassion to call the office after hours, because of unexpected pain, and the person on call was very patient and helpful (despite the fact he had to call us while attending a concert in the City). My son was also evaluated by their office. He could use orthodonture work, but it wasn't really necessary structurally; it would have been merely cosmetic in nature. If he were going to be an actor it might be helpful. They did not pressure us in any way. I'm glad we decided on this practice. anon

Braces for an adult

Sept. 2003

I can't handle my crooked teeth any more. I'd be grateful if anyone will share their experiences with braces as an adult. Also, any info about cost and time commitment, as well as orthodontist recommendations would be appreciated. Thanks

Recommendations received:

  • John Merchant Berkeley
  • Robert Quinn San Francisco
  • Dr. Righellis Montclair

    Other advice:

    I think it is great that you are considering going to an orthodontist, and getting braces, as an adult..... I don't remember what the percentage is, but it is quite high (25%?) of orthodontal patients who are now adults.

    Types of braces -- 1) Metal outer on top and bottom, 2) Clear plastic outer on top and bottom, and 2) inner braces on the top and clear plastic on the bottom.

    I choose the third option which was more exepensive. Costs of course vary by what you need done, and how long you will have braces. My total cost was around $7,500 and I wore braces for two years. I believe the total cost would have been about $2,000 less if I had chosen the first option....... I also received a 10 percent discount for paying upfront - rather than over time. It is my assumption that just about any orthodontist would take credit cards.

    My experience with braces was perfectly fine. Because I had the interior braces on the top (I forget the technical name for them) my speech was effected for about two weeks until my tounge got used to them. So I slurred my words for two weeks.

    I went to Dr. Robert Quinn in San Francisco. 415 433 4045 He was highly recommended and my experience with him was fine. I believe something like 75 percent of his patients are adults.

    I kind of forgot that I had them on after that. Good luck to you and hope this helps. margo

    Orthodontist in San Leandro

    August 2003

    Can anyone recommend a skilled and patient orthodontist in the San Leandro area who's good with kids? Thanks! Joyce

    There are several orthodontists in San Leandro. They really have to be pretty comfortable with children as that is the most common age group to get orthodontia. Dr. Nancy Ung is very good, has had an office for a long time at 441 Joaquin Ave. and has done good work for our family. Phone:483-5524. Dr. Dante Gonzales is good too. He's at 532 Joaquin Ave, phone: 483-2700.Their approaches are different and it helps to have consultations first. They do not charge for any consultations before a contract for braces (or any treatment) is signed. X-Rays are charged though. lk

    Don't want braces and surgery (adult)

    July 2003

    I recently visited Dr. Kenneth Brehnan, DMD for an evaluation on my teeth. He believes I should be put back into braces for 18+ months, have jaw surgery and myofunctional therapy. I am 37 years old and the thought of braces again makes me really depressed (even more so than getting my jaw broken and realigned). Here are my questions if anyone has recs.:
    1) Do you have any experience with Dr. Kenneth Brehnan? 2) Can you recommend another orthodontist for a 2nd and 3rd opinion? 3) If you've been through orthognathic jaw surgery who could you recommend? 4) Does insurance cover adult braces? Does jaw surgery come under medical insurance (e.g. Cigna)?
    Thank you! MBM

    Our daughter went to Dr. Brehnan for an evaluation and he wanted to remove 4 permanent teeth, which made me decide to get a second opinion, since I have had dental problems and hated the thought of getting rid of teeth. The second orthodontist (Frank someone on Grand Ave. in Oakland) was quite nice, and said he would only remove 2 teeth. Since they didn't agree, we got a THIRD opinion, and I'm so glad I did, because I much preferred the third orthodontist. Dr. Peikoff, in the office of Drs. Righelis and Peikoff in Montclair, was very impressive. [Editor] see Peikoff & Righellis for the rest of this review.
    Other recommendations received:
  • John Merchant Berkeley
  • Robert Quinn SF

    Orthodontist in Oakland for 10-year-old

    Jan 2003

    Our regular dentist recommends that my 10 year old son have an orthodontist evaluation and does not have anyone to refer to close to where we live. I would like to find an orthodontist near the Montclair/Glenview/ Lakeshore neighborhoods that runs an efficient office with parking. I can't stand doctor and dentist offices that routinely run 30 - 40 minutes behind schedule. That drives me crazy. I'd be willing to drive a little further to appts. if when I got there I could easily park and have things run on time. Thanks in advance. Helene


  • Bradley Irving Montclair (2)
  • Peikoff & Righellis Montclair

    Just moved here, braces in progress

    October 2002

    I am in a quandry. My 15 year old son started orthodontia in Santa Cruz a few months ago. At the time we consulted with every one we knew with braces, met a few doctors and tried to make a good decision. Within weeks of contracting with this doctor we were informed that he was retiring and another doctor would take his place. For simplicities sake we stayed with the new doctor. A month or two later we decided to make this move to Albany and are now in search of another orthodontist, close if possible. Our present doctor, whom we know very little, recommended someone in Oakland. I don't wish to go that far necessarily. My son, who is fairly distressed about the braces thing over all, would appreciate, I'm sure, a new situation that would be simple and stable until he is done with treatment, in about 18 months or so. Any thoughts? Susan

    To the parent looking for an orthodontist in Berkeley. We have had great experience over the years with Doctors Nelson and Meyer. They have an office on Colby Street across from Alta Bates and another off of Solano Avenue. They did my orthodontia (as an adult), my eighteen-year-old son's orthodontia, and are currently working on my fourteen- year-old daughter's mouth. My son hated the whole idea of braces and both of these orthodontists were great with him-- they were as much psychologists as they were orthodontists. I highly recommend them. e
    To a parent who is seeking a new Orthodontist I recommend Dr. Kenneth Brennen on San Pablo ave. in Albany or El Cerrito (I'm not sure). He treated my son when he need some work and I was very happy with his excellent work over the two years of treatment. His staff was also very organized and always helpful. You can find him from the phone book. Helen

    Shopping around

    Dec. 2002

    My father is an orthodontist and he recommends always getting at least two opinions of treatment before making any decisions. Any reputable orthodontist will evaluate your child for free. Just take the models and x-rays along with you from the first orthodontist. Orthodonture is an art-form as much as a science. There are many different approaches to the same problem, most of which will work, some may not, and some will work better than others. The judgement as to which is best often has to do both with the outcome and the treatment itself, as well as the patient's relationship to the doctor. There are issues surrounding the shape of the persons' profile and jaw after treatment, as well as to the effort involved during treatment itself. Make sure the orthodontist is Board Certified. Discuss with the orthodontist your concerns. If money is one of them, let them know. If you think your child will not be diligent in handling retainers or wearing night gear, let them know. Personally, with my two sons' treatments (both from different orthodontists) we found that braces were much less of a hassle than any of the retainers involved. We went to different orthodontists for the two boys because my dad evalulated their prospective treatment plans (we actually got three opinions) and picked the one he felt most comfortable with. He still has issues and wishes he could get his hands on my sons mouths himself, but, alas, he has retired. --Dr. Farber's daughter March 2002

    Our daughter's dentist referred us to the Nelson-Meyer-Kasrovi group for orthodontia. After an exam they sent us a treatment plan that included periods of retainers and braces for a total of something like 18 months at a cost of $3300. This may be followed by additional braces (for an additional cost) when she is a teenager. I mentioned this to another mom at her school, and she said she had heard that the charges can really add up at this orthodontics group, and she suggested getting another evaluation for comparison. (She recommended Kenneth Brehnan.) Can anyone advise, is this a reasonable thing to do? Do the charges seem excessive at the Nelson-Meyer group? Faced with two proposals, how would I make a decision? Thank you!

    I have been undergoing the orthodontist practice shopping since November. I decided to keep getting consultations until a couple matched. We went to Drs Brehnen, Nelson, Wells, and Iezman, and to an oral surgeon when the panoraminc x-ray revealed impacted wisdom teeth. After all the visits and a treatment plan range from $2100-5500, I decided that the treatment plan recommended by Dr Brehnen would not fix the problem. We liked Dr. Iezman the best, but he was by far the most expensive, and the furthest away for us. He didn't care for Dr. Wells, and liked Dr. Nelson. We opted for a less expensive route than preferred by the latter three, choosing to fix the lower teeth only instead of extracting four teeth and putting braces on both top and bottom. He's getting the x-ray and mold next week and starting next month, so I'm looking forward to reading any other responses. anon
    I was referred to Dr. Robert Iezman, and received a treatment plan for my son for $3000.00 too. I then went to get a second opinion from Nelson/Meyer and got pretty much the same t.p. for the same price. I decided to go with Nelson/Meyer because I really like the way they related to my son. They explained everything very respectfully and clearly. My son became very adamant about not wanting to go through with it, so I gave him the choice. I then phoned Nelson.Meyer's office again and asked if we could come in for an additional consulation - explaining my son's feelings. We went in and they spent about 30 minutes with us with models, etc. so that he would have a very clear idea of his choices. He chose to go through with it and we have been very happy with the treatment. So far, we are pretty much on track with the t.p.. anonymous

    Kenneth Brehnan

    Oct 2002

    To a parent who is seeking a new Orthodontist I recommend Dr. Kenneth Brennen on San Pablo ave. in Albany or El Cerrito (I'm not sure). He treated my son when he need some work and I was very happy with his excellent work over the two years of treatment. His staff was also very organized and always helpful. You can find him from the phone book. Helen


    I recommend Dr. Brehnan (sp?) on San Pablo ave north of Portland ave in Albany. His office has a big mouth hanging outside...big red lips with white teeth. My son doesn't need braces yet but we go there every 6 months for a check-in. He's always friendly, gives us the time we need...I never feel rushed or like he's trying to sell us braces. June


    I can recommend two orthodontists in El Cerrito/Albany area. One is Dr. Neal Wells whose office is in the El Cerrito Plaza across from the travel agency (if that is still there?) - 527-7111, and the other is Dr. Kenneth Brehnan whose office is now 591 San Pablo in Albany - 525-1772 (I got this from the phone book).

    When I first went to have my teeth straightened these two doctors had a joint practice. Later on I was seen more often by Dr Brehnan because of scheduling, and when they split we continuted working with him. My younger brothers also had all their orthodontic work done by Dr Brehnan, and I know that we were not ideal patients. He always had a good sense of humor when dealing with us despite the fact that my brothers frequently broke off their braces and refused to wear their neck gear and retainers. It was also a very kid friendly office with comic books and toys to entertain (and magazines for the parents.) Most of my friends went to the same orthodontist so we always made our appointments so that we could all go together which was great. Some times one parent would be available to drive, and sometimes we all just walked there together. Rose

    Kevin Carrington

    Oct 2001

    For the parent who wanted comments on Dr. Kevin Carrington, I can highly recommend him. He has been treating our daughter for several years. He is bright, thorough, pleasant, and has a good sense of humor (which we found refreshing). He has done a wonderful job on our daughter's teeth. Also, he has a very nice, friendly office staff. They get to know their patients well and are very welcoming. We never feel rushed. He and his staff take plenty of time to talk to us and our daughter. Also, when we arrive for our appointment, we never have to wait long. Overall, we have had a good experience with him and his office. Dianne

    Reply to person who wanted to know about Kevin Carrington, orthodontist We also have MetLife. We live in Albany and checked out two others which are right near us, one of which is a very popular office on San Pablo. Kevin's cost was substantially less for the same work, but what was more important is that both my daughters liked his manner, his explanations and the feeling that the office was not a factory, as did I. His office is very down-scale, and it is a bit of a drive, but parking is easy and if you go on non-traffic hours it takes 10-15 minutes from Albany. The office staff seems great. We decided to use him. My 13 year old started treatment last July and it has been fine so far. She does not have a complex treatment however, so I don't know about that. Diane
    From: Diane (6/99)

    Dr. Kevin Carrington of Oakland is a great orthodontist. His office staff is very friendly and conscientious.

    Charles Gillooly

    From: Diane (8/98)

    In case any one is interested, here's some feedback regarding my son's current orthodontist Dr. Charles Gillooly located in El Cerrito Plaza. When we started about 3 years ago to do my son's first phase, he gave us a free evaluation and discussed what needs to happen with us. That was very good and our fist couple appointments were on various days. After about the 3rd appointment, he suddently tells us he's only at the El Cerrito office on Thursdays ONLY so all future appointments will have to be on Thursdays. This is not a problem except when those wires start poking out at the end or rubber bands start popping out unexpectedly. Since we had already started, we just figure we'll work around it. Since then, things have been going ok and the last 10 months or so, my son has been able to go on his own after school and then home.

    A few months ago, I noticed they added more braces on my son's other teeth which I was concerned about. We were considering changing to another orthodontist because of the Thursday only issue so we didn't want them to start the second phase without being notified. Well, they said they would check and never called me back.

    A couple weeks ago, on a spur of the moment thing, I took my son in for the first time in months. They immediately pulled out a contract for me to sign which says I would pay another $900 for the second phase. I was very uneasy with this and this also reminded me of my experience with them 3 years ago when I felt tricked into staying with him.

    Fortunately, because I could document that I did call a couple months ago asking about this second phase, if I choose to change an orthodontist now, I would have to pay NOTHING for the work they've done. I think those of you that are new to getting an orthodontist, you should make sure they will be at the office regularly because those rubber bands, wires, etc always seem to come loose or poking a couple days after you've just seen the doctor. And even if they tell you they're sharing the office with another doctor and they would help in emergencies, it would have to be a REAL emergency before they help. If it's just a little pain or discomfort for your child, then they make you wait until next time they're in.



    Orthodontist -- we really like Dr. Iezman on Walnut Street. Well organized office, nice staff, and they call and remind us before each appointment. Oh, and he's very good and very nice Heather


    I consulted with several orthodontists including Dr. Iezman who I didn't care for. His diagnosis seemed weird and radical to me. Andrea

    I had a couple of estimates done with my daughter. I finally went with Dr. Iezman on Walnut - he's great and had the best cost (about $800 less than the other people). You can have estimates done. It sounds like getting your car fixed, but when one Orthodontist recommends the same treatment that another does, and it's quite a lot less, then it's worth it. Dr. Iezman is great and so is his staff. 845-3511 Veronica

    I recommend Dr. Iezman, who took over the practice from Dr. Brown who was killed in a car crash several years ago. We originally went to Dr. Brown because she was the only one that was willing NOT to pull my daughter's teeth. Fortunately, when Dr. Iezman took over, he concurred with her judgement and agreed not to pull her teeth. He is a really nice man who teaches a dentistry (or ortho) classes at UCSF. Toby

    Re a good Berkeley orthdontist, I highly recommend Dr. Robert Iezman at 1525 Walnut, across from Walnut Square. We're on kid #2 with him -- Tel. 845-3511. He's low-key, highly professional, and teaches at the dental school at UCSF in addition to maintaining a private practice. Brenda
    My daughter was told by one orthodontist that she should have at least four teeth extracted to continue with her work. I balked at that and took her for a second opinion to Dr. Iesman, near Walnut Square in Berkeley. I really like him, his office is neat, friendly and efficient and he is very straight forward to deal with. He said we did not have to take out any teeth, and in fact, it is probably better if we don't. No video games but lots of young people popping in and out for adjustments and they seem very comfortable, like they are in their own homes. We started treatment with him and, so far, it has been a really good experience. Check it out.
    We go to Dr. Iezman on Walnut Street. My daughter (6yo) is very comfortable w/him & his staff is very nice. He talks to her, not down to her, & all in all we have had quite a good experience so far.
    Dec 2002

    My daughter has been going to Dr. Bradley Irving at 6116 Merced in Montclair (off Mountain Blvd. right next to Safeway). Parking is on the street but I've never had a problem finding a place. I usually put a quarter in the meter for 30 minutes but we are in and out of there in about 15 max. We have never had to wait more than 2 or 3 minutes to get in. In fact, I lamented yesterday that I couldn't finish a People Magazine article during my daughter's appt. I like Dr. Irving and he seems to have done a fantastic job so far (we've been 4 time - one for consultation, one for placement, and two periodic adjustments.) My daughter's teeth look great already. quetzal

    My son goes to Bradley Irving in Montclair. We like him a lot, have never waited (in fact, when we arrive early we are usually seen early). He has done a truly wonderful job with a series of retainers, rather than pulling four teeth and braces as recommended by Piekoff/Righellis. Ben's teeth look absolutely great, and it has been no problem. I am very proud of what a good job my son has done with wearing the retainer, and it's made a huge difference in terms of effectiveness. Dr. Irving makes a strong effort to connect with my son, give him tons of postive reinforcement and is generally very personable.

    We really recommend getting more than one opinion. If we had gone with Righellis, the process would have been much more expensive, painful and difficult. We were also turned off by the hard sell that the Righellis office put on us. When we went for a second opinion, Righellis called us to try and get us to use him. Also, that office was very busy and loud which worked badly for our son, and you often get treated not by the orthodontist, but a technician. Good Luck. Myriam

    Raymond Matsunaga

    From: Kathy (8/98)

    My daughter (age 12) and several of her friends have gone to Dr. Matsunaga. Everything has gone well and we have no complaints, nor have we heard any complaints about his work or style. (Of course my daughter complained about the head gear but that is a different matter.) We are one year into a proposed two year program.

    We also use Dr. Matsuishi who shares a waiting room and find the arrangement very convenient. When it is time for teeth cleaning, we stop by Dr. Matsunaga first to have the wires all removed, then get the cleaning done, and return to be rewired!

    Nelson, Meyer, Ng, and Trosien

    Oct 2002

    To the parent looking for an orthodontist in Berkeley. We have had great experience over the years with Doctors Nelson and Meyer. They have an office on Colby Street across from Alta Bates and another off of Solano Avenue. They did my orthodontia (as an adult), my eighteen-year-old son's orthodontia, and are currently working on my fourteen- year-old daughter's mouth. My son hated the whole idea of braces and both of these orthodontists were great with him-- they were as much psychologists as they were orthodontists. I highly recommend them.


    Nelson & Meyer in Berkeley (offices on Colby and on Ensenada, as well as in Orinda) have been just great for my two kids, who are just finishing up orthodontia. They do good work, are very well organized and pleasant, readily available when there are problems or questions. The offices are attractive and full of things to fiddle with, helpful for fidgety kids. I have been told they are more expensive than some; I don't know if this is true. Their Colby St. number (main office) is 849-2434. Louise

    After checking out a few other orthodontists I decided on this office. I especially like dr. Meyer, he seems to really enjoy his work after all these years and has done a great job with my daughter's alignement.(but everyone else is great also) He recommended a mouth guard for my lower teeth for night grinding, but I hate using it-not his fault. I heard and read many recommendations for this officefrom firends and on this digest. Good luck, ksenija

    My family had orthodontic care from Drs. Nelson, Meyers, and Ung and the experience has been positive. They are a highly regarded practice. We fortunately had some dental coverage. You and your family will be in good hands. Lisa

    I would like to reply (again) to the request for information about orthodontists, specifically Dr. Gerald Nelson (and Meyer, Trosien and Ung). Both of my daughters have been treated by them over the past few years. We find them to be great--somewhat conservative in approach, very conscientious, caring, and most of all, competent. They explain everything in great detail, are always willing to answer any, and all, questions; they keep to their schedule--we are often in and out in ten minutes. They will squeeze us in when necessary, their office staff is friendly, and the results are great! We found them after a rather disastrous experience with another orthodontist who wanted one of my daughters to have teeth pulled and major work begun ASAP; we ended up waiting 5 years, she has had no teeth extracted, and she has 6 brackets on her upper teeth which will probably be there a total of 8 months. When I brought in the recommendation from the original orthodontist, Dr. Nelson (or Dr. Meyer, I don't remember which) read it, said he saw no need for any of the suggested work, and recommended that we just wait a while and see how her teeth came in. She is now 13, the work we are doing is quite minimal, and we are so grateful we found them! We know many other people who also use them, and I've heard only positive comments. They have offices on Colby near Alta Bates and also just off Solano Ave. in North Berkeley. J. Sanders
    Just about everyone's kids in my neighborhood--including my two--have had their teeth fixed at Nelson, Meyer & Ung. My kids had Drs. Nelson and Meyer, both of whom were great, very professional, gentle, and know how to talk with children. Their office is fun, full of entertaining, ever-changing displays and decorations, with nice people. My kids always enjoyed going to the orthodontist, and they had very good results. Irene
    While I agree that the practice of Nelson, Meyer and Ung is a highly respected one in the Bay Area, I have had both positive and negative experiences with them. My daughter had a problem that required braces. She had too many teeth for the size of her mouth and needed both baby and adult teeth pulled. She needed a retainer at any early age. She started seeing them in 1991 and continued with them until 1998. I was very pleased with their practice until 1998. Her primiary dentist was to be Dr. Meyer and up until that time her saw her almost exclusively. After she no longer needed the retainer and had had the necessary teeth pulled she was 11. I was told that the braces she needed could not be put on until she was 12 because some of the other adult teeth needed to move in. I was also told that she would have to wear braces until she was 15 (for 3 years) and then wear a retainer until she was 16 or 17. I became increasingly dissatisfied with their practice because I never saw Dr. Meyer anymore during the followup exams and my daughter was seen by a very nice, but young and inexperienced man. I sought a second opinion and found a truly marvelous practitioner in Walnut Creek...Dr. David Schleimer located at 1855 San Miguel Drive, right off the Mt. Diablo exit. He told me there was no possible way that my daughter would need braces for more than 12-18 months. Her problem was a simple one, with too many teeth crowding her mouth. I sought another opinion and they told me the same thing. David told me it was not necessary to wait until her adult teeth fully came in because the braces could be readjusted if necessary. My daughter is just 12 years old this month and today, she happily had her braces removed! If I had stayed with Nelson and Meyer, she would still be in mouth gear until 16 or 17, at a time when she would be in adolescence and feel more self-conscious. The prices were comparable, around $5000 for upper and lowers. Janis
    Regarding the request for information about orthodontists. We found Drs. Nelson and Meyer et al after a rather disastrous consultation with another local orthodontist (not Dr. Izeman) who wanted to pull teeth, do major work (braces on all teeth starting immediately), etc. on my now 13 year old. This was about 5 years ago. Drs. Nelson and Meyer were much more conservative, suggesting that we wait a couple of years, check back yearly and see how things developed. She has recently gotten braces on her top 6 teeth--this is all the work that will need to be done. My younger daughter (now 10) also has been seen by them. She required numerous retainers to widen her upper jaw and braces also on 6 teeth for about 6 months. We have found them to be very cautious, careful and non-interventionist.We've been quite pleased. James

    I highly recommend Nelson, Meyer, Ng, and Trosien. I don't know much about Ng and Trosien but Nelson and Meyer are great. I think there's a lot of art in addition to the technical side of orthodontia and they are both very artistic and very compulsive---and in orthodontia being compulsive is a very good trait. I don't think they are the cheapest; their offices are both aesthetically pleasing, no TVs or video games.

    I have some advice on orthodontists. My daughter (8) sees Dr. Nelson on Ensinada Ave in North Berkeley. He is very nice and gives options for treatment plans. He is pretty expensive, but maybe they all are.

    Orthodontists - We use Drs. Nelson, Meyers et al. Office near Alta Bates and Solano Ave. in Berkeley. We have no complaints. They have done well by us and seem well organized and professional as well as kid-friendly. Barbara

    John Merchant

    Re: Braces for an adult (Sept. 2003)
    I got my braces at 35 after years of thin smiles to keep my twisted lower teeth from showing. The upper ones weren't great either, but the lower ones were .... Anyway, I found it a really straightforward process. I have a fairly high tolerance for discomfort/pain, and so my orthodontist was willing to move things along as quickly as I wanted. Took about 13 months as I recall. He pulled a tooth, moved others around to fill the space, and did an amazing job of engineering to straighten a really weird lower fang that I had. There was some discomfort at the start (the day he put the back rings in that everything locks onto, I couldn't even eat a french fry for dinner), but I was fine the next day and generally had no problems. I had clear brackets on the front so all you saw was the wires, but all my coworkers were supportive anyways so I really don't think it would have mattered if I'd had a mouth full of metal. Once we were in full swing, I'd go in once a week (I think ... maybe it was every other week) for a tweak on my way to work (loved those early morning appointments) and then head into the office. I wasn;t the best patient afterward in terms of wearing my retainer at night (those nasty little teeth want to slip back to their lazy positions), but I have never regretted getting the braces -- not for an instant. Feel free to email if you want any details. Tried to keep this rather general. My orthodontist was John Merchant on Regent Street near Alta Bates. I recommend him highly. Norm
    Re: Don't want braces and surgery (adult) (July 2003)
    Dr. Merchant near Alta Bates was my orthodontist 11 years ago or so. He would probably be fine for a second opinion. My time in braces went well. I still wear my retainer every other night or so. One advantage to being an adult is that you don't lose your retainer as often. Also the braces arent as visible as they used to be. I just wish I had gotten the sparkly purple retainers! Darn! suzanne
    Re: Don't want braces and surgery (adult) (July 2003)
    I must have missed the original posting, or I would have chimed in with praise for Dr. [John] Merchant as well. Nice guy. Did a super job on my teeth. I'd smiled with my lower lip covering some really twisted teeth for 35 years. Now I grin a lot -- and have for the last 15 years. If you have any specific questions, feel free to email me. norm
    Jan 2000

    I was wondering if any one out there has had any positive or negative dealings with John W. Merchant DDS, Orthodontist, located at 2999 Regent Ste. 408. My daughter is 10 and has her first appointment with him very soon. Thanks

    As a grown-up I had braces and Dr. Merchant was my orthodontist (1995-6). For most of my care, he was excellent. But when I got my bite guard/retainer and subsequently lost my ability to bite down and chew my food (!), I was very concerned about his thoroughness and follow-through. I conferred with another orthodontist who promptly adivsed me to stop using this biteguard/retainer. Despite my request of privacy (and his failure to obtain my permission) this orthodontist called Dr.Merchant to discuss my case. I would have much preferred to have talked with Dr. Merchant myself. In any case, everything worked out in the end.
    My stepdaughter went to John Merchant starting when she was 7 for an open jaw (she's now 12). She had braces for a couple years and retainers. I think she completely finished when she was 10, but I can't remember for sure. She hasn't had any problems since then. We thought Merchant was fine and was pretty good about explaining things. We rarely had to wait excessively long in his office. My stepdaughter wasn't thrilled with some of his manner (he tended to joke a bit), but she didn't really have a problem with him. I found his office a bit odd, with all the chairs lined up in a row (no privacy, but a lovely view), but it didn't seem to matter to the patients and it allowed the parents to be right there too, without being in the way. I would definitely go to him again. Lucy
    I just wanted to put my two cents worth in. Both my best friend and I went to Dr. Merchant for our own teeth, 17 years ago. We both loved him, as did our parents. I was very happy to see your listing, which means of course that he is still practicing. He was goofy with us (and as a result, didn't put us off like most doctors did back then), but obviously took his work very seriously, and was good about communicating with our parents about what was going on with us. I also have a friend who takes her daughter there now. Her daughter flat out refused to go to an orthodontist, unless it was Dr. Merchant, because of how much she enjoyed him in her initial visit. And as for long term effects, my teeth are still straight! I would highly recommend him. Lael

    My son goes to Dr. John Merchant, 2999 Regent St in Berkeley next to Alta Bates. 849-3613 He takes Delta, which is the insurance I have. Many of my son's friends who have braces go to Dr. Merchant too. I'm happy with him - he seems reasonable.

    A big consideration for me was convenience, since my son has to go in every few weeks to get his braces tightened. So the main thing I like about Dr. Merchant is that his office is close to Joe's school. He can go to appointments by himself after school and then walk home. The office seems to easily accommodate kids' school schedules and also casual drop-ins for little emergencies like a loose wire. Ginger

    Montclair Orthodontics

    Re: Orthodontist in Oakland for 10-year-old (Jan 2003)
    My daughter has been going to Dr. Bradley Irving at 6116 Merced in Montclair (off Mountain Blvd. right next to Safeway). Parking is on the street but I've never had a problem finding a place. I usually put a quarter in the meter for 30 minutes but we are in and out of there in about 15 max. We have never had to wait more than 2 or 3 minutes to get in. In fact, I lamented yesterday that I couldn't finish a People Magazine article during my daughter's appt. I like Dr. Irving and he seems to have done a fantastic job so far (we've been 4 time - one for consultation, one for placement, and two periodic adjustments.) My daughter's teeth look great already. quetzal
    Re: Orthodontist in Oakland for 10-year-old (Jan 2003)
    My son goes to Bradley Irving in Montclair. We like him a lot, have never waited (in fact, when we arrive early we are usually seen early). He has done a truly wonderful job with a series of retainers, rather than pulling four teeth and braces as recommended by Piekoff/Righellis. Ben's teeth look absolutely great, and it has been no problem. I am very proud of what a good job my son has done with wearing the retainer, and it's made a huge difference in terms of effectiveness. Dr. Irving makes a strong effort to connect with my son, give him tons of postive reinforcement and is generally very personable. Good Luck. Myriam

    Elena Peikoff & EG Righellis

    Re: Braces for an adult (Sept. 2003)
    I had braces put on a few years ago (my students loved the idea of their teacher wearing them!). Dr. Righellis in Montclair is wonderful and sees many adults. My top braces were on for 6 months and the bottoms for 24 months (I had one stubborn tooth). The cost was $1800.00 and well worth it. I'm so pleased with the results.
    Re: Don't want braces and surgery (adult) (July 2003)
    Dr. Peikoff, in the office of Drs. Righelis and Peikoff in Montclair, was very impressive. Their office was the first one I saw that analyzed the jaw using a 3D model that was accurately attached at the jaw joint, rather than taking an impression of the top and one of the bottom and just sliding them around till they looked ''right'', assuming that was the way they actually fit in the mouth. They seemed very careful in their analysis and very creative in their approach. (They wanted to remove THREE teeth of course, but pointed out a number of things that neither of the other orthodontists had even considered.) My daughter had already had her braces put on by Dr. Brehnan, but after carefully considering all our options, we elected to have them removed and start again with Dr. Peikoff, because we felt so strongly that her approach was the most well thought out. Since then we have met many people with children who are clients in that office, and all of them are quite satisfied. I've also seen adults going in and out. mom in El Cerrito
    Re: Orthodontist in Oakland for 10-year-old (Jan 2003)
    I highly recommend Dr. Righellis in Montclair. He has followed my two daughters for years and has never charged us. He only charges for the orthodontia itself. He's very willing to explain things and his staff are pleasant. He does have a parking lot (shared with some other businesses). The phone number is 510-482-0600. Larry
    Jan 2003

    My child's dentist recommended the following orthodontists. Please let me know if you have or have had any positive or negative experiences: Dr. EG Righellis Dr. Elena Peikoff
    Thanks you, renee

    Dr. Righellis is superlative. He is highly thought of by both dentists (he treats a lot of local dentists' children) and Children's Hospital--he is involved in the complicated orthodontia related to congenital malformations: cleft palette and the like.

    He did my kid's teeth--transformed her bite and straightened her teeth when the permanent teeth came in. He also has state-of-the-art equipment that allows him to make realistic and ideal projections of the final product.

    Dr. Peikoff (also in his office) seems less knowledgeable and sure of herself. I think that Dr. R. is a tough act to follow.

    We are a medical family and think he has tremendous talent.

    Mom of a metal mouth

    Dr. Peikoff is my orthodontist, Dr. Righellis is her partner, and they are Grrrrrrreeeeeeaaaaaat. I am one year into treatment. They have very good assistants, I feel well taken care of. I am in my 40's with braces for the first time, but I see a lot of kids and parents, and have a friend whose son finishes with Righellis in March. No bad news, here. I had what I understand was sort of a rare anomaly, and I am very satisfied with their approach to correcting it. My dentist is, too. Having braces is pretty interesting, in and of itself, so I think it is worthwhile to have a really good orthodontist, which is what Righellis and Peikoff both are. Good luck! mary

    Dec 2002

    Dr. Peikoff is my orthodontist, Dr. Righellis is her partner, and they are Grrrrrrreeeeeeaaaaaat. I am one year into treatment. They have very good assistants, I feel well taken care of. I am in my 40's with braces for the first time, but I see a lot of kids and parents, and have a friend whose son finishes with Righellis in March. No bad news, here. I had what I understand was sort of a rare anomaly, and I am very satisfied with their approach to correcting it. My dentist is, too. Having braces is pretty interesting, in and of itself, so I think it is worthwhile to have a really good orthodontist, which is what Righellis and Peikoff both are. Good luck! mary

    Dec 2002

    I highly recommend Dr. Righellis in Montclair. He has followed my two daughters for years and has never charged us. He only charges for the orthodontia itself. He's very willing to explain things and his staff are pleasant. He does have a parking lot (shared with some other businesses). The phone number is 510-482-0600. Larry

    Dr. Righellis is superlative. He is highly thought of by both dentists (he treats a lot of local dentists' children) and Children's Hospital--he is involved in the complicated orthodontia related to congenital malformations: cleft palette and the like. He did my kid's teeth--transformed her bite and straightened her teeth when the permanent teeth came in. He also has state-of-the-art equipment that allows him to make realistic and ideal projections of the final product. We are a medical family and think he has tremendous talent. -- Mom of a metal mouth

    I consulted with several orthodontists. We finally choose and orthodontist in Monclair named Dr. Righellis. His office is on Mountain Blvd. and the number is 482-0600 and he was great. Nice office and office staff too. Andrea

    re orthodontists: I'll second the recommendation for Dr. Righellis in Montclair. Linda

    Robert Quinn

    Re: Braces for an adult (Sept. 2003)

    I went to Dr. Robert Quinn in San Francisco. 415 433 4045 He was highly recommended and my experience with him was fine. I believe something like 75 percent of his patients are adults.

    Re: Don't want braces and surgery (adult) (July 2003)
    Dr. Robert Quinn (415 433 4045) in San Francisco was highly recommended to me as an adult for braces. I had a great experience (or as great as wearing braces as an adult can be) with him. I have heard that about 80 percent of his practice is adults - and saw many adults there when I was there. Good luck to you. margo

    Russell Speer


    I had orthodontic work done by Dr. Russell Speer, whose office is near Alta Bates. He put braces on my teeth when I was 40. Also, he did some work on my daughter when she was 8. She wore an adjustable retainer for about 6 months. He was very cooperative about setting up a payment plan because Delta Dental paid only a portion of my bill. If you have any questions just write me: Olga

    I noticed that orthodontist Russell Speer was recommended. Dr. Speer packed up and moved to, I believe, Merced a couple of years ago. I, too, was pleased with him. However, he referred his patients to another group mentioned on the network, Nelson & Meyer, who seem like reasonable and competent types so far. Melanie

    Michael Teichman


    Re. Orthodontists. We had a very wonderful experience with Dr. Michael Teichman in Concord. It is a bit of a trek from the Berkeley side of the Hills, but well worth it. ajc1


    At that time we were on PMI and there were only two orthodontists in the East Bay that were on that plan. One in Berkeley, near Alta Bates, and one in Concord. We interviewed both and found that a Concord doctor, Dr. Michael Teichman (2881 Willow Pass Road, 682-1008) was down-to-earth, kid-friendly, and extremely conscientious. We instantly warmed up to him and his staff, and so did our son. Dr. Teichman no longer takes PMI patients but I know he's on Delta Dental. (The Berkeley orthodontist was condescending and just a bit too fast to give us a computer generated diagnosis and treatment plan. Sorry, but I can't remember his name.)

    Anyway, the answer is to shop around until you find someone you feel comfortable with -- just like a family doctor. Your child will go through the treatments (and follow the rules) much easier if they like their orthodontist. Good luck. Trish

    Douglas Tinloy


    We also would have liked to have found a low-key and nice orthodontist in the Albany-N.Berkeley-El Cerrito area. We've ended up going to Oakland, but have decided the orthodontist is worth it. My 8 year old daughter is using Dr. Douglas Tinloy, 530-4500. Our dentist referred us to one of those popular high-volume orthodontics offices with an aggressive treatment philosophy and Dr. Tinloy, who we were told is usually a little more conservative and measured with his treatment plan. At the popular high-volume place, I felt a little as though we were being sold a car with premium bells and whistles. They would have immediately started what sounded like a horrifying amount work on her mouth. Dr Tinloy advised us to hold-off, because he wanted to see if certain of the problems would correct themselves, circumventing the need for treatment. We took Dr. Tinloy's advice, and my daughter continued to see him while he tracked the developments in her mouth. (All of these visits were without charge.) Indeed, some of the problems DID correct themselves, and she ended up NOT needing the work the other orthodontist would have already completed. All they had to do was make a retainer which she'll have to wear for 3-4 months. She'll probably still need braces, but the other place had already planned that, too. Dr. Tinloy could be the poster child for low-key and nice health professionals. He's calm, gentle, friendly, and explains orthodontics well to children and adults alike. He's always taken the time to answer all of our questions in a thoughtful, unhurried way.

    Neal Wells


    I can recommend two orthodontists in El Cerrito/Albany area. One is Dr. Neal Wells whose office is in the El Cerrito Plaza across from the travel agency (if that is still there?) - 527-7111, and the other is Dr. Kenneth Brehnan whose office is now 591 San Pablo in Albany - 525-1772 (I got this from the phone book).

    When I first went to have my teeth straightened these two doctors had a joint practice. At the beginning I saw Dr. Wells. His office was always filled with comic books for kids to look at and he was very clear with instructions on what to do and how to take care of your appliance (retainer, braces, etc.)

    I am not sure if he still does this, but at the time, Dr. Wells even had early morning appointments (like at starting at 7:00 or 7:30 I think) so that one of our parents could take us in on the way to work. By the way, we used the Delta Dental Insurance with these doctors. Rose