Dr. Jenkins and Dog Make a Great Team at Dental Office

(Mimi Bommarito, Photographer)<BR.Dr. Jasmine Jenkins, DMD and her loyal canine home and dental office companion, took over the practice of retired Orinda dentist Ernest “Ernie” Kahl Feb. 2021.

    Do dental appointments rattle the nerves?
    If so, check out the practice of Jasmine Jenkins, DMD and her canine sidekick Kenzie: Critters for jitters at a cheerful practice where “Take Your Dog to Work Day” is a regular occurrence. Although Kenzie is not allowed to roam the office, a quick peek at this shy little “mystery mix” curled up in her doggy bed under Jenkins’ desk, should soothe potential angst. “Seasoned adults” compare Kenzie to Benji, a popular canine film star of the 1970s.
    Jenkins took over the dental practice of Ernest “Ernie” Kahl, DDS in February of 2021 when the well-known and beloved Orinda dentist retired. Longtime Orindans may recall James Wasley, DDS, whose downtown Orinda office was established in 1949, over what is now La Piazza Pizzeria Trattoria.
    Kahl took over Wasley’s family dental practice in 1973. Kahl’s second-floor office, located at the corner of Camino Pablo and Orindawoods Drive “was a brand-new building in 1973,” Kahl said. “I was one of the very first tenants.”
    The practice continues to thrive in this same location nearly 50 years later.
    In a “double retirement” of sorts, Kahl also decided the time was right to leave his longstanding professorship at the UCSF School of Dentistry, golf happily filling the void. He and his wife Phoebe are delighted to have found “a perfect fit,” as they describe it, in Dr. Jasmine Jenkins’ approach to dentistry. Although multiple contenders vied for the keys to this solid, local practice, “We feel blessed to have found Dr. Jenkins – the best way I can explain it,” Kahl said.
    In her spare time, Jenkins, a native Californian raised in San Jose, enjoys – among many other artistic endeavors – hiking and outdoor activities, and spending time with Kenzie, her beloved rescue, acquired from a shelter in Orange County about four years ago.
    After attending the University of California, Los Angeles for her undergraduate Bachelor of Science degree in molecular biology, Jenkins obtained her Doctor of Dental Medicine degree from Tufts University in 2015.
    She completed her residency at Boston University where she later taught. She and Kahl share a love of teaching – as well as practicing – dentistry, Jenkins tacking on a few extra years in Boston teaching at BU before returning to the Golden State. Although she thoroughly enjoyed her years on the East Coast, she was happy to return to the Bay Area to be closer to her mother and sister.
    Jenkins’ practice welcomes the entire family, meaning children as well as adults. She explained how, at a very young age, some children might be more comfortable with a pediatric dentist. But if the child can participate in more of an adult setting, like a young teenager for example, the practice is happy to include the youngster.
    “When I’m treating an entire family, often predispositions reveal themselves and preventative action can be taken,” said Jenkins.
    A solo practitioner, Jenkins firmly believes in going the extra mile for her patients. If a dental emergency arises after hours, patients can reach her on her cell phone. She has a staff of five, six if you count her canine sidekick: Roxana Trutner, Lisa Alva, Adrienne Holland and Julie Fletcher, dental hygienists and Lisa Martinez, office administrator.
    The office is open Monday, Tuesday and Thursday from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m., located at 6 Orinda Way, near City Hall. New patients are welcome. Schedule a check-up today 925.254.2318.

Mimi Bommarito can be reached at editor@theorindanews.com.

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