Transcendentist: A Model of Holistic Dentistry


Transcendentist ® takes dentistry to a higher level. Their unique office is not only well-known as an innovative, eco-friendly, sustainable dental practice, but it is equally well-known for its holistic wellness offerings and relaxing atmosphere. Transcendentist offers meditative music, color therapy glasses, and even a foot massage during teeth cleanings. The folks at Transcendentist are not only transforming smiles, they are transforming dentistry.

Transcendentist Inc., founded by Dr. Fred Pockrass and his wife Ina Pockgrass, opened its doors in Berkeley, California, in March 2003. The goal of Dr. Fred and Ina was a dentist office that embodied a conscious, sustainable and holistic approach to dentistry. They took every area of their business into consideration including sustainable environment, eco-dentistry practices, and holistic health and wellness. transcendentist ® offers an innovative model of sustainable dentistry that takes the needs and desires of their patients into consideration, and reflects them as a conscious business at every turn.

A Holistic Wellness Atmosphere

Transcendentist does everything possible to transform a potentially stressful situation into a comfortable, relaxing experience that leaves the patient feeling nurtured and serene. The office resembles a peaceful yoga studio with thriving plants, the scent of jasmine wafting through the lobby, orchids, Tibetan bells, a soothing fountain, statues, and beautiful bamboo and teak décor. Clients are offered herbal tea and spring water while they wait in their soft, custom-made Polartec slippers. When the appointment begins, they are provided a Polartec blanket, color-therapy glasses, noise-canceling headphones with meditative music, and a relaxing foot massage with every teeth cleaning. Transcendentist is a not simply a dental environment, it is a holistic dental wellness spa that stimulates the senses and puts the mind at ease.


Green Business Practices and Environment

To Transcendentist, conscious sustainability means green business practices and an eco-friendly atmosphere for their clients. In the transcendentist atmosphere you will find recycled paper, digital patient charting, untreated wool carpets, Marmoleum® floors (flax, wood flour and rosins), wallpaper made of bark and pulp, no VOC paints, recycled wood furniture, and environmentally-safe cleaning products.

In their business practices, they use steam-based instrument sterilization, a special filtration system for disposing of old mercury fillings, biocompatible dental materials, digital imaging with 75 to 90 percent less radiation than X-rays, high-tech, environmentally-friendly dental processes, and bamboo-organic, cotton fleece and surgical-grade cloth for wrapping instruments and patient bibs.

Using cloth instead of plastic or paper in the Transcendentist office has many positive results; it saves them approximately $2,000 a year, and is estimated at saving over 40,000 pieces of paper and 20,000 pieces of plastic from ending up in landfills each year.

Eco-Dentistry ®

In 2003, Dr. Pockrass and his wife Ina trademarked the term ‘eco-dentistry’ to describe their specific style of dentistry, and in 2008 they cofounded the Eco-Dentistry Association (EDA). According to their website, the Eco-Dentistry Association’s mission is to “provide the dental industry with the tools needed to integrate green practices efficiently and effectively and to support the public in taking personal responsibility for their dental health care choices”. In essence, the association was created to provide tools that help the dental industry attend to the health of their patients, while also attending to the health of the planet.

The EDA offers its members information about green, high-tech dental solutions, eco-tips, how to integrate ecologically sound practices, how to green their offices, and provides an extensive list of specially priced, eco-friendly dental products. The EDA also helps guide dental practices through the process of becoming EDA certified; this program is called ‘Green My Office’.


For visitors to the website, the EDA provides a one-stop place to find sustainable dental professionals, and offers a pre-written letter to send to your current dentist to thank them for being such a wonderful establishment for oral health, while also asking them to please consider becoming an environmentally-friendly practice.

Green Certifications and Social Involvement

transcendentist is a member of the Sustainable Business Alliance, serves on the Steering Committee for Sustainable Berkeley, and in 2007 they won the Susanne Wilson Award for Pollution and Prevention/Resource Conservation for creating the first comprehensive model of environmentally sound dental practices. In addition, they use wind power to offset their electrical use.

As a conscious business, Transcendentist gives back to the community. When their clients refer a friend or family member to the practice, Transcendentist makes a donation to a non-profit organization in their honor. They also donate toothbrushes to needy children, host community programs, and donate time to sustainable business efforts.

Transcendentist supports social profit organizations such as Circle of Life, The Engage Network, ASAPROSAR, The Green Pharmacy, The Teleosis Institute, Rainforest Action Network, and Pachamama Alliance, and supports businesses such as Back to Earth, Sun Light & Power, Give Something Back, Numi Teas, TerraPass, and Clif Bar.

Conscious Dentistry

Conscious dentistry is the very foundation of Transcendentist. Before the office even opened, it was established that it would be unique, warm, caring, green, eco-friendly, and above all, conscious.

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