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Frequently Asked Questions

I am experiencing pain, how do I make an appointment?

Severe pain in a tooth is considered a dental emergency, and should be examined by a dentist as soon as possible. First, try texting us (510)701-2520. During normal business hours, give us a call at (510)834-4321, and we will make every effort to schedule you for a same day appointment. During your appointment, a diagnostic exam and localized X-rays may be necessary.

Do you offer discounts for patients without dental insurance?

In order to address the problems with dental coverage, we have started our own in house dental membership plan! For a low monthly membership fee, all of your preventive care needs are covered. Learn more.

Do you accept Denti-Cal or HMO?

We are a PPO and pay per service office, and do not accept Denti-Cal or HMO plans at this time.

Do I have to make an appointment to be seen?

Yes! Please make an appointment by emailing us at, or by calling (510)834-4321. Carrier pigeons are not always accurately received. Walk-ins and emergencies may be seen on a case by case basis, however, we strive for efficiency in our scheduling and may not always be able to make same day appointments.

How long is a new patient appointment?

All new patient appointments (excluding emergencies) will take approximately 1 hour, and will include a thorough dental exam, x-rays, and hygiene care and further instruction.

Do you offer inhalation sedation?

Yes, we offer nitrous and oxygen to patients with dental anxiety to ensure a comfortable experience.

Which specialists are available at Lake Merritt Dental?

We have a staff of 3 general dentists, 1 hygienist, and a specialty team comprised of a prosthodontist, endodontist, orthodontist, and oral surgeon. Between our 7 doctors, we are able to take on the vast majority of cases. In rare situations, a dental emergency may require resources not readily available at our office. These cases may still be referred to our local trusted colleagues.

Why is there a fee for last minute appointment cancellations?

Your reserved appointment requires careful treatment room preparation and guarantees the time of your dentist, their assistants, and the patient care coordination team. In order to maintain the quality and efficiency that we strive for, we require that appointment changes be requested at least 2 business day in advance to allow for sufficient time to offer another patient that appointment time. Failure to do so may incur a cancellation charge of $75.

Do you accept X-rays from my previous dentist?

Yes. We can accept X-rays from a prior dental visit with another practice that have been taken within the last 6 months. Digital files are preferred, and can be sent to X-rays are critical diagnostic tools, and are necessary as a part of your comprehensive dental exam. X-rays older than 6 months may not accurately reflect your current state of oral health, and may misguide the doctor from proper diagnoses of potential current problems.