2651 Oak Grove Rd | Walnut Creek, CA 94598

Our Team

Life Dental & Orthodontics is thrilled to employ an experienced team of professionals with diverse abilities who all function collectively to improve the dental and overall health of our patients in Walnut Creek, CA. Each member of our team has been trained to utilize our state-of-the-art collection of technology. We are committed to understanding your dental needs so we can partner with you to address dental conditions from the source of the problem. Each individual on our team highly values the relationships they have established with the women and men they serve at our dental clinic.


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Brian J. Hockel, DDS

General Dentistry and Orthodontics

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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Michaela Ching, DDS

General Dentistry

Dr. Michaela Ching is a 2013 graduate of UCLA. She pursued her dream of becoming a dentist by excelling in dental school, also at UCLA, where she received her Dental degree with an award acknowledging her Excellence in Restorative Dentistry. Dr. Ching then continued her education in Fresno by completing a General Practice Residency.

Dr. Ching is a meticulous, detail-oriented practitioner who truly cares about each patient and strives to provide quality care with a gentle touch. Her passion for dentistry is seen every day in her attention to detail and steadfast work ethic.

Dr. Ching is an active member of the American Dental Association and the California Dental Association. She enjoys giving back to the community and has participated in medical/dental missions to Honduras, Guatemala, and China.

Dr. Ching grew up in the East Bay area and has two younger sisters, who are also pursuing careers in health care. She is fluent in Cantonese and enjoys hiking, traveling, cooking, reading, and arts and crafts.

Adam Blais, DDS

General Dentistry

Dr. Adam Blais was born and raised in Westbrook, Maine where he was very active in academics and athletics. Following high school, Dr. Blais attended the University of Maryland on a swimming scholarship. After graduation, Dr. Blais pursued his dental degree at the University of Connecticut School of Dental Medicine and earned awards in restorative and implant dentistry. He then moved to Baltimore where he completed a one-year GPR residency and received advanced training in oral surgery, endodontics, and implant placement and restoration at the Baltimore VA Hospital. Following residency, Dr. Blais was in private practice in Maryland for 5 years before relocating to Utah in 2015, and more recently, to California.

Dr. Blais is excited to be living in the East Bay with his wife Allison and their three boys Ben, Charlie, and Lucas. Beyond spending time with his busy young family, Dr. Blais enjoys watching football, traveling, and skiing. He loves all of the outdoor activities and beautiful parks that California has to offer. Dr. Blais prides himself on making sure that his patients feel comfortable during their visits to the dentist. He enjoys all aspects of dentistry but particularly enjoys cosmetic dentistry and seeing his patients smile.

Hygiene Team

Rachel, RDH

Hygiene and Nonsurgical Periodontal Care

Pleasanton native Rachel joins us to pursue her lifelong dream of being a dental hygienist. She loves providing the education needed to achieve good oral health and values her time with her patients. When she is not at the office, Rachel enjoys hiking, exercising, and traveling, especially to Disneyland or Maui.

Samantha, RDH

Hygiene and Nonsurgical Periodontal Care

Our hygienist Samantha grew up in the East Bay in a family of dental professionals and is an expert in the latest dental hygiene procedures and techniques. She loves to share her cheery personality and passion for detail with her patients. During her free time, Samantha enjoys painting, yoga, traveling, and spending time with family, especially at the beach.


Clinical Team

Lexie, RDA

Registered Dental Assistant

Brentwood native Lexie enjoys chainsaw sculptures, singing in the car, and working out. She is the proud owner of the cutest fat little dog ever, Parker. When she is not spending time with family and friends, she is indispensable as Dr. Hockel’s “right hand woman” at the dental office.

Karen, RDA

Registered Dental Assistant

Karen started dental assisting back in 2018. She is originally from a small town named Huron in the Central Valley of California, close to Fresno. She is a very hands-on person and enjoys the fast pace of dental assisting. When Karen is not at work, she loves spending time with her husband, going out on long walks, cooking new foods, and learning new recipes.

Alba, RDA

Registered Dental Assistant

Alba loves her job as a Registered Dental Assistant and has been in the dental field since 2018. She has lived in the Bay Area for over 22 years and has three fur babies: two cats (a Flame-point Siamese named Casper and a Bombay named Marceline) and a dog, Bella, who is a terrier/Maltese mix. When she is not at our office, Alba enjoys hiking, working out at the gym, and trying new restaurants with friends.

Jody, DA

Dental Assistant

Our Sterilization Manager Jody ensures that our treatment rooms and dental instruments are sparkling clean for every patient! She also helps with taking x-rays and CBCT scans. When not working, Jody enjoys spending time at the beach with her daughter and family. Her hobbies include camping, baking, gardening, and crafting.

Katie, DA

Dental Assistant

Our Imaging Coordinator Katie helps the doctors with CBCT imaging, intraoral scans, and behind-the-scenes processing of our patients’ digital records. Her attention to detail and technological expertise are key elements in helping our patients’ appointments run smoothly. Born and raised in Walnut Creek, Katie recently earned a degree in Biology from the University of Nevada, Reno, which will help her achieve her career goal of becoming a hygienist. When she is not at work she enjoys country concerts, wakeboarding on her family’s boat, and going to the gym.

Business Team


Office Coordinator

Our office coordinator, Tamara (aka Tam), moved with her family to the U.S. from Jordan when she was only 12 years old. She attended San Jose State University where she majored in Hospitality, Tourism, and Event Management. She still enjoys event planning and adds her creativity to many of our marketing campaigns. Tam likes to travel and is an avid Bay Area sports fan.  You can usually find her on her days off at either a Giants, Warriors, Sharks, or 49ers game!


Office Coordinator

Cynthia has been an asset to our patients and our team since 2006. She is an Office Coordinator and brings a wealth of customer service experience to her position, helping patients daily with concerns regarding their appointments and accounts. She is a mother to three daughters and has been married for over 25 years. Cynthia is also great at remembering details about our patients, their families and life events;  we are all fortunate to work with her. Cynthia spends lots of time with her family at their sporting events such as swimming, tennis, and fencing.


Office Coordinator and Marketing Lead

Billie is happy to help our patients with scheduling or account questions in her role as Office Coordinator. One of her two older sisters has been a Registered Dental Assistant for over 10 years, which inspired Billie to join the dental field as well. When she is not at work, Billie enjoys working out, going to the beach, traveling, and spending time with family, friends, and her two boxers, Rusty and Tucker.


Office Coordinator

Jessie was born and raised in California and currently lives in the same house where she grew up.  She briefly lived in Washington State while her husband was in the Navy. They have two sons as well as a pitty/lab mix named Nova and a kitty named Slinky. In her past, Jessie did ballet in Walnut Creek for 13 years at Contra Costa Ballet. She enjoys baking, puzzles, going to the movies, and taking trips to Disneyland.  Random fun fact: Jessie once appeared on Judge Judy (and won her case) !


Financial Coordinator

Barbara is our Financial Coordinator, aka “The Bookkeeper.” She returned to the job she had over 25 years ago to help her brothers Dr. Hockel and Steve with the behind-the-scenes accounting responsibilities. She is very detail-oriented and is a perfectionist by nature. She and her husband Matt have a son who’s a professional video game beta tester, four daughters, a son-in-law, and four grandchildren.

Beth Hockel

Business Office Manager

Beth Hockel is Dr. Hockel’s wife, and mother to their eleven children. Our longtime patients may remember her at the front desk helping as Scheduling Coordinator, beginning in 1990! Originally trained as an electrical engineer, she now uses her analytic skills behind the scenes as our Business Office Manager. In her spare time Beth enjoys biking and singing in the choir at the Cathedral of Christ the Light, Oakland.

Lab Team

Steve Hockel

Owner, Hockel Dental Lab

An unbelievable combination of artist and technical craftsman, Steve takes great pride in the results of his meticulous work. He runs as his own separate business Hockel Dental Lab, our on-site high-tech laboratory which is located in what used to be the garage of the Casey home. This lab is where crowns, bridges, veneers, inlays, and other restorations are made. Many of the high quality services we provide to our patients benefit from such a close relationship between doctor and dental technician. Steve, Dr. Jack Hockel’s second son and Dr. Brian’s brother, is married to Francine, and in his spare time also plays drums and is a big fan of both the San Francisco Giants and 49ers.


Lab Technician

Jason came to the US from Korea when he was 14. Immediately after high school, through friends of his parents, he was introduced to dental technology. Jason is amazingly meticulous and pays great attention to detail, so being a dental technician is a perfect fit! Jason has worked at Hockel Dental Lab for over ten years. In his free time, he likes to fish, ride bikes, and follow the San Francisco Giants.


Lab Technician

Norm is a valued member of the Lab Team, bringing his discriminating artist’s eye to the creation of our dental restorations. He is a coffee connoisseur and loves to listen to music, especially country. Norm is happily married to his wife, Kellie.

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2651 Oak Grove Road,

Walnut Creek, CA 94598

Call: 925-934-3434

Trusted, Proven

Sam was personable, professional, and answered all of my questions! ♥️

J.M. Google

I was very impressed with Dr. Ching and the staff. I will be having a lot done and feel confident I’m in very good hands.

L.A. Google

I’ve been a patient of Life Dental since around 1976, first as a patient of Dr. Jack Hockel, then Dr. Jack and his son, Dr. Brian Hockel, and now Dr. Ching, an associate dentist with Dr. Brian under the new business name,  Life Dental and Orthodontics.  My experience with what I call the Hockel team has been nothing but exceptional.  The quality of their work is outstanding - all services from reception, to dental hygiene (shoutout for Rachel!), to restorative care...I’ve had it all. I recently had a filling redone by Dr. Ching, my first  visit with her, and she was wonderful - very gentle, checked in periodically to make sure I was doing ok, and shared some parts of the procedure she was doing along the way. I felt like an artist was performing the work and, indeed, when given a mirror, the result was amazing. The spot was on a front tooth and it looked like I had a new tooth. I can’t recommend this practice more highly.  One visit and you feel like the most important patient in the practice.

N.G. Yelp

Everyone is nice and friendly. Came in for cleaning and had no problems. Very gentle on gums and teeth. Left feeling great! Thank you!

R.H. Google

I took my young boys to Life dental & Orthodontics because they were airway focused and that was really important for a family! We were mostly helped with Katie the RDA and she was so great with the boys made everything fun and super patient with them. I also really appreciated how in-depth Dr. Hockel explained everything to myself and our kids. My boys can get easily overwhelmed and he had such gentle and calm energy throughout the whole process! I really appreciated that! Highly recommend this team! :) Jessie at the front desk is also super helpful and sweet!

J.P. Yelp


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