Brian J. Hockel, DDS

Dr. Brian J. Hockel grew up in Walnut Creek, CA where he now provides expert dental and orthodontic care to the community. He followed in his father's footsteps, practicing with him for over a decade before taking over the family practice. Combining his distinguished education with commitment and expertise, Dr. Hockel serves individuals with outstanding patient care. At Life Dental & Orthodontics, patient-centered care is our primary priority. We look to prioritize the welfare and needs of every patient, utilizing the latest technologies and techniques to attain that mission. Dr. Hockel cherishes family time with his wife, Beth, and their 11 children, a testament to his dedication to both his career and personal life.


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Education and Training


With a strong foundation in dental technology and hands-on experience as a dental technician, Dr. Hockel embarked on his journey toward becoming a dentist. He graduated from the UCSF School of Dentistry in 1989 where he learned advanced skills and honed his expertise even further. Throughout his career, he has continued to stay at the forefront of dental innovations and techniques. Dr. Hockel is actively involved in several professional organizations, including:

  • The Academy of Airway and Gnathologic Orthopedics
  • The American Academy of Cosmetic Dentistry
  • The North American Association of Facial Orthotropics
  • The American Academy of Dental Sleep Medicine
  • The American Academy of Physiological Medicine and Dentistry
  • American Dental Association
  • California Dental Association
  • Contra Costa Dental Society 

Specialties and Expertise

Dr. Hockel has an extensive understanding of cosmetic and restorative dentistry, airway orthodontics, and gnathology (the study of how the bite fits together), which allows him to implement comprehensive treatments that offer significant improvements in both dental and overall health. Notably, he stands out as one of the few Northern California dentists who practices and teaches Orthotropics®, a groundbreaking process for guiding facial growth for growing children.

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2651 Oak Grove Road

Walnut Creek, CA 94598

Call: 925-231-0070

Trusted, Proven

I came to Doctor Hockel due to problems with sleep apnea. He diagnosed a narrow palate and some other issues that ultimately are obstructing my airway and recommended a course of palate expansion (upper and lower) before going for more extensive surgery to correct problems with my jaw. It's been really great working with him and his staff! They're all extremely knowledgeable and very helpful. They've answered every question I had and taken the time to explain what's being done each time (in what's going to be a couple-year-long process.) They're definitely using the latest tools and techniques and I feel completely comfortable with whatever they recommend. All in all, a *really* great dentist! [Edit from 2+ years in the future - 10/18/2023] I had my jaw surgery (total TMJ replacement and MMA (Maxillomandibular advancement, to move the upper teeth forward) in St Louis in May (via the only surgeon Dr Hockel trusts to do the surgery, who really is great) and returned to Dr Hockel's care in late June. Sleep apnea is cured, my bite was lined up and everything went well. Today was a great day - I got my braces off! We're now in the process of stabilizing the teeth with a retainer, but they look great and feel even better, with everything in my bite closing in the right places and all the teeth nice and straight and even. Dr Hockel's staff were awesome as usual - I showed up 20 minutes early and they said "come right in!" and we got to work. If you ever need to deal with airway issues (or indeed with orthodontia and other dental procedures), definitely give Life Dental and Orthodontics a call. They're the best!

D.C. Google

Very friendly and knowledgeable.

T.Z. Google

I want to thank you from the bottom of my heart for being so kind. You have taken excellent care of me during every visit. Dr. Hockel, Dr. Chin and my Hygienist always do amazing job! Very professional and care for patient. It is truly a pleasure being under your care! The office is beautiful, clean, organized, and comfortable, which make coming here more enjoyable whenever I come in for an appointment. I am highly recommend for everyone. Again, thank you so much for all your services Dr. Hockel! You are Best@

A.T. Google

Life Dental has an excellent Dental staff! Everyone is friendly & accommodating. Please consider Life Dental & Orthodontist for your next visit.

L.B. Google

Absolutely love this place! Friendly and accommodating staff and I really appreciate Dr Hockel’s knowledge of what’s going on with not only my teeth, but how it all works together with my airway and everything else too!

J.R. Google


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*Individual results are not guaranteed and may vary from person to person. Images may contain models.