Tamal Vista Family Dentistry

Tamal Vista Family Dentistry - General dentist in San Rafael, CA
1447 4th St, San Rafael, CA 94901
Closed today
Opens tomorrow at 10:00am
Monday7:30am - 5:00pm
Tuesday10:00am - 7:00pm
Wednesday7:30am - 5:00pm
Thursday7:00am - 4:30pm
Friday8:00am - 2:00pm

Dr. James McDowell grew up in Alberta, Canada where he developed his love for the outdoors and winter sports like skiing and ice hockey, which he still does regularly. He moved to California with his parents and finished high school in the East Bay, then attended UC Davis for his Undergraduate degree. It was during a lottery rotation for an externship at UCD that he was paired with a local dentist for a semester and he realized that dentistry was a great profession. Dr. McDowell liked the opportunity that dentistry could provide, to own his own business, be part of a community and use his medical training to help people. It was also at UC Davis, that Dr. McDowell met his future wife, Cristy, who joined him on his path as he became a dentist at UCSF.

In 1998, Dr. McDowell graduated from UCSF Dental School with the Clinical Excellence award ~ one of highest honors given by the faculty, recognizing a graduate with top clinical skills. After dental school, Dr. McDowell completed an Advanced Dental Residency at the University of the Pacific (UOP) focusing on more complex treatment in dentistry, including implant panning and surgery, cosmetic procedures and root canals.

Dr. McDowell and his wife moved to San Rafael and started the practice on Fifth St in 2000, and in 2015 built our new and improved facility on the corner of 4th and E St. Dr. McDowell takes pride in practicing dentistry with some of the most modern and clinically proven technologies in order to provide his patients with the highest level of care. His practice embraces technology such as lasers, digital x-rays, intra-oral cameras and digital impressions to provide patients with a level of treatment not seen if most offices. Dr. McDowell loves dentistry and continues to raise the level of his services with continuing education and training.

Outside of the office, his wife and 2 boys keep him on his toes, not only enjoying winter sports, but also mountain biking, hiking and paddle boarding. Dr. McDowell has dabbled in wine making, enjoys a good movie, and much to his wifes appreciation, is pretty handy with home fix it projects!


Rating 4.9 out of 5 based on 64 reviews

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Nancy Sheppard
a year ago
My new patient visit with Dr. McDowell was the best encounter I've had with a dentist. He read all the information I had put in the online new patient information and followed up with questions that showed he really spent time looking at some of the complications I've had. His "chair-side" manner is GREAT. He actually did the first cleaning so he could get to know my overall dental situation... .that's a first to have a dentist do that for me. I'm very, very pleased with my decision. The staff was efficient, welcoming and informative.

Holly Smith
a year ago
Dr. McDowell is amazing! I have been going to him for years. I just had a filling done and it was a piece of cake as always. So good at what he does.

Amanda Denny
a year ago
Always gentle, kind and professional. Thanks, Dr. Scott and team!

Michael Szymanski
a year ago
A great dental practice. Excellent work.They go above and beyond! Very caring, professional, fantastic results.

Didi Kaiser
a year ago
Very good and friendly staff. It is a pleasure to go to the dentist!

Christina Peretz
a year ago
This was the most comprehensive, thoughtful, educational, informative dental visit I have had in my entire life. That's saying a lot considering the degree of work I have had done!! Dr. Scott was personable, professional and very competent.

amanda martinez
a year ago
I've been to this place a few times ans let me tell you the staff are very awesome and kind, on my birthday I got a text from them thst was special to me, also they sqeezed me in when I called freaking out about my tooth both doctors here are fantastic woukd totally recommend to come here if you are looking for the best dental care!

Jodi Yandle
a year ago
All the hygienists do a fabulous job at this practice. Today I worked with Affie. She has wonderful attention to detail, and I appreciate her high level of expertise! Get your teeth cleaned! It's an important part of your overall health,

Jim Lesser
a year ago
This place is flat out awesome. Everyone I've interacted with is great, from front desk to hygienists. I wish I could find a doctor's office that was this good of a customer experience!

Cameron Woodruff
a year ago
Exceptional all around. The office is in a great location easy to park etc and has a welcoming comfortable feel, staff is friendly, most importantly the dentists and the assistants are highly skilled and professional and you can tell they genuinely care for their patients

e miranda
a year ago
I love the convenience and customer service of Tamal Vista Family Dentistry. They are flexible and can even text me for appointment changes or confirming appointments. The ladies at the front desk are helpful and efficient. Everyone in the office is kind and hardworking.

Brian Seg
a year ago
Dr. Scott is one of the most wonderful dentist I have ever come by. Having recently moved to multiple states and going to multiple dentists, Dr. Scott knows exactly what he's doing through care, empathy, and passion for his job. The entire office staff were very professional, kind, and supportive for any needs. The office has a warm welcoming and happy ambience that makes it comfortable for all patients. Thank you Dr. Scott for being fully transparent, compassionate in your practice, and humble throughout my entire visit. Truly an awesome time meeting you and look forward to telling my close peers about you! Shoutout to Talita for being an incredible assistant as well! Thank you, all.

Saundra Muncy
a year ago
More than 100% satisfied there really isn't a number to judge the level of my dental satisfaction! The staff as well as the dentist were just fabulous! They were knowledgeable professional and sincerely compassionate! I am beyond thrilled that I've connected with this dental practice! There are not enough stars to give these awesome dental professionals so maybe I'll just say for real five stars times 500 and that still wouldn't be enough!

Sam Rodriguez
a year ago
Comprehensive cleaning and attention to details with outstanding personable interaction .

mary richerson
a year ago
i am so lucky that over 20 years ago i met dr. mcdowell at his berkeley practice. He is one in a million - understanding, kind, and always explains clearly what he is doing- he stops and checks in often. He never shames or blames- he has been caring for my problem teeth (many crowns, and implant, root canals and more )for many years. Including today when he saw me in a emergency- he cleared the time and never made me feel rushed or that he had three other patients at the same time- He is a special someone and i am grateful for him as my dentist!

Gina Farr
a year ago
If you're looking for an artistic, skillful, and kind dentist, Dr. Dan Scott is your guy. I'm speaking as someone who is dental phobic and needs nitrous even for cleanings! Thank you Dan for this beautiful fix today of a horribly chipped front tooth. You always get me through and amaze me with your perfectionism and care.

Bari Barkley
a year ago
I wouldn't go to any other dentist! Dr. McDowell is the absolute best there is. I drive in from Oakland and I am greeted by a very caring staff and then treated with exceptional care by Dr. McDowell!

Grayson Stewart
a year ago
I am a very anxious dental patient, and started an extraction / crown replacement with a different dentist. The former dentist was awful and unsympathetic towards my anxiety. My father recommended I try calling Dr. McDowel. From my first visit, it was clear that Dr. McDowel and his team were one of a kind. They showed patience, care, and understanding toward my anxiety around dental procedures. The final result looks amazing! Dr. McDowel is a fabulous doctor who prioritizes his patient's care! Thank you so much!

Daniela Gramajo
a year ago
Amazing team! Always very kind and knowledgeable. Would not go anywhere else for my dental work.

Cooper Rinzler
a year ago
Dr. Scott and the Tamal Vista team are fantastic. I followed him over from his SF practice and I'll keep following him wherever he goes. It's such a relief to find a dentist to trust!

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