MEET DR. LYNN YAMAMOTO, DMD
JOINED: September 1985
Dr. Lynn Yamamoto graduated from Washington University in St. Louis in 1983. In 1984, she completed a general practice residency at Southern Illinois University, Alton, Illinois. She has completed mastery courses at Seattle Institute for Advanced Dental Education. Lynn purchased the practice from Dr. Larry Feist in 1985, and practiced solo until 1995, when Dr. Steven Lee joined. The two met on the Dental Health Committee for the Sacramento District Dental Society, and had done a Flying Doctors trip to provide dentistry to the village of Bacadehuachi, Mexico. On that trip they found that they had similar philosophies and values.
She is a fellow of the Academy of General Dentistry and a faculty mentor at the Scottsdale Center for Dentistry. She is a member of the American Dental Association, California Dental Association and Sacramento District Dental Society. Prior to dental school, Lynn worked as a researcher for the Statewide Pollution Research Center, and did independent biology research at University of California, Riverside.
Dr. Yamamoto resides in her native Sacramento with her husband, Tom, and their very spoiled golden retriever. She is passionately involved in the fight against breast cancer and finding a cure. She also loves her involvement in hula and Hawaiian culture.
University of California, Riverside: BA Biology 1977; Washington University School of Dental Medicine, 1983; Southern Illinois University: General practice residency 1984; Visiting Faculty, Spear Education
American Dental Association (ADA); California Dental Association (CDA); Sacramento District Dental Society; Academy of General Dentistry (Fellow); Spear Education Faculty Club
Although Dr. Lynn Yamamoto is the fifth of six dentists in her extended family, she really came into dentistry on her own. While encouraged to pursue a profession, she was not steered toward dentistry. “I liked going to the dentist (I know–I was odd!),” Lynn says.
She initially planned on becoming a dental hygienist. When she was applying to college, a family friend asked why she didn’t want to be a dentist instead of a hygienist. “Back in 1973, I had no idea that there were any female dentists! That conversation changed my career course.” She worked in a dental laboratory and for her uncle’s dental office in the summers, which was incredibly helpful early in dental school. Lynn had a context for the lab exercises that were assigned and felt it was a great fit for her. “I love helping people, I love fixing things, and I love meticulous work.”
In 2002, she was diagnosed with breast cancer, the first in her family to have breast cancer. She had led a relatively healthy lifestyle, and was 8 marathons into reaching her goal of running 10 marathons by her 50th birthday. Following her treatment, a friend asked her to do the Avon Walk for Breast Cancer with her, which is a two-day, 39.3-mile walk to raise funds for education, treatment and research. The event changed her life, and gave meaning to her having cancer. “I was tired of being a breast cancer patient, and I knew that if I could finish another marathon, I would no longer consider myself a patient. I would take my life back from cancer.” In 2013, Lynn and her husband completed their 10th Avon Walk, and will continue walking until a cure is found. “AND!” says Lynn, “I finished 10 marathons before my 50th birthday!“
Dr. Lynn Yamamoto loves Hawaii and its music and dance, and she has been dancing hula for many years. She continues to develop a deeper understanding and love of the culture, and loves being a part of the Hawaiian community here in Sacramento. Lynn grew up in Sacramento, and lives here with my husband, Tom, and their sweet golden retriever, Clancy.
WHY I LOVE MY WORK:
“Other than the dentistry itself, what I love most about practicing is definitely the people–the patients and the staff. Getting to know them, hearing their stories, helping them achieve their dental goals, seeing their face beam when their smile is transformed. I love working with people who have so much integrity. And I love working with Steve Lee.”
“When a patient refers a family member or a friend, it tells me that they trust me, my knowledge and my skill. I also love to hear a patient say that I helped them get through their fear of dentistry.”
WHY WE’RE UNIQUE:
“The most unique thing would be me and Steve, and our approach to patients and dentistry. We’re thorough, but conservative, and at the end of an appointment, we want the patient to have had an excellent experience as well as excellent treatment. I spend lots of time and money improving my skills so that I can offer patients the opportunity to have the best dentistry possible for their optimal health.”
“I feel so fortunate to be practicing here in Roseville. We have a wonderful community of patients, and I’m honored to be entrusted with their dental care. (I know that sounds hokey, but I really do feel that way.)”
ACTIVITIES: Dancing hula, hiking, spoiling my dog, reading, knitting. Oh, so boring!
FOOD/RESTAURANTS: Sandra’s chocolate chip cookies
BOOKS/MAGAZINES: “Angle of Repose” by Wallace Stegner, “The Remains of the Day” by Kazuo Ishiguro
WEB SITES/BLOGS: How about podcasts? 99% Invisible, The Moth, SmartPeople, TED
ARTIST/MUSICIANS: Local artist Diana Kwan does the most beautiful wood-cuts. I love Hawaiian music, particularly Keali’i Reichel
CELEBRITY: I think I’m in the process of throwing Denzel Washington over for Colin Firth
PLACE TO SHOP: Island Soap Works in Old Koloa Town, Kauai
TRAVEL DESTINATION: Kauai, Japan