Dr. Daniel Pestana: Tooth and Nail
By James Florence, Diamond Certified Resource Reporter
WALNUT CREEK — Having a family background in construction, Daniel Pestana learned how to use a hammer at an early age. However, following a revelatory experience, he found himself gravitating toward a profession that employed a very different set of tools. “When I was about 10 years old, I watched Dr. Goodman, our family dentist, install a crown for my mom, and I thought it was the coolest thing ever,” he remembers. “From that point on, whenever someone asked me what I wanted to do when I grew up, I told them I wanted to be a dentist.”
Preserving his professional aspirations through high school, Daniel went on to study dentistry in college, during which time he interned with Dr. Goodman, the man who sparked his initial inspiration. However, as he neared the end of his college career, he knew he had to make a final decision regarding his profession. “My dad wanted me to join the family construction business, so when I graduated from college, I had to fish or cut bait, so to speak,” he explains. “In the end, I decided to follow my heart and become a dentist.”
Today, as a seasoned dental practitioner, Dr. Pestana says his favorite part of his job is building relationships with his patients. “One of my professors in dental school said, ‘You’ll never have a tooth walk into your office, only patients.’ That really emphasized the relational aspect of dentistry, which is why I take a patient-centered approach in my practice.”
A resident of Concord (where he lives with his “sweetheart,” Lisa, and his son, Lucas), Dr. Pestana expresses his appreciation for its small-town vibe. “A lot of the East Bay towns I’ve lived in have a close-knit feel, and Concord is no different,” he says. “We have a lot parades, festivals, and other events where the community comes together and hangs out, and I enjoy being a part of that.”
Outside of work, Dr. Pestana spends most of his free time with his family. “We’re a pretty active family, so we enjoy things like hiking, golfing, biking and swimming,” he says. “Lucas and I also like to wrestle and watch movies—just your typical guy stuff.” Daniel says he also enjoys working on his house. “Since I come from a family of contractors, I’ve always maintained an interest in construction. I even remodeled my home about 10 years ago.”
In his life and career, Dr. Pestana espouses the virtues of giving back. “I have a passion for helping people, both in my profession and personal life,” he explains. “As a member of the Knights of Columbus, I volunteer my time to charity drives and similar events that benefit the community. To me, it’s just a rewarding way to live my life.”
When asked the first thing he’d do if he were to retire tomorrow, Dr. Pestana says he’d go on a cruise. “I would take everybody on a cruise to the Bahamas. There’s a resort there called Atlantis, and I would love to just hang out with my family and play for a while.”
Ask Me Anything!
Q: What’s your favorite movie?
A: I have a few, but the first one that comes to mind is “Guardians of the Galaxy.”
Q: What’s your favorite local restaurant?
A: Digger’s Diner in Concord.
Q: Music or talk radio?
A: It depends on the season. In the summer, I tend to prefer music, but in the winter I lean more toward talk radio. Usually, though, it’s a combination of both.
Q: Do you collect anything?
A: Coffee mugs with family pictures printed on them. I get a new one every year, usually for Father’s Day.
Q: Who’s your favorite superhero?
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A: The Hulk.