Five Pines News


We’re Vaccinated!

We are happy to announce that the entire Five Pines team is now vaccinated against COVID-19!

We know there are still uncertainties even after being vaccinated (protection against variants, long-term immunity, etc.) but the team felt the best way to protect ourselves, our patients, and the community is by getting vaccinated.

We also want to emphasize that none of our COVID-19 safety procedures at the office will be changing. We’ll still be wearing masks, conducting daily screenings, keeping up with our strict disinfecting protocol and monitoring state and federal guidelines for PPE usage.

Since many in Portland are still waiting for their turn in the vaccine rollout, let’s chat about mRNA vaccines! We love reading about science, particularly when it’s broken down by health professionals, doctors, and scientists. We’ve compiled a helpful list of links that explain how your immune system works, what viruses do, and how the SARS-COV-2 virus vaccination was created: 


Patient Profile: Meet Chef Umut Matkap of Lokanta

One of our favorite things about connecting with patients is learning about their passions and the exciting endeavors they’re working on in their lives. We recently had the pleasure of meeting Umut Matkap, chef and owner of a new rustic Turkish restaurant called Lokanta. No one on our team had ever tried authentic Turkish cuisine, so we asked him to cater our recent staff meeting and he gladly introduced us to his food! Here’s the amazing menu he had lined up for our lunch:

  • Etli pide (Turkish flatbread with ground beef-lamb)
  • Peynirli pide (Turkish flatbread with Feta-dill and parsley)
  • Vegan pide (Turkish flatbread with House made vegan garlic-lemon ricotta)
  • Pancar Tarator (dip w/ fresh & pickled beets, greek yogurt, labneh cheese, garlic, pistachio)
  • Topik (garbanzo bean ball stuffed with caramelized onions, tahini, currants and pine nuts)
  • Borulce salatasi (black eyed peas, arugula, Turkish pickles, roasted red peppers, walnuts, Sumac dressing)  
  • Cig kofte (bulgur patties seasoned with urfa peppers, mint and pomegranate. Served on leaf lettuce wraps)
  • Fava pate (fava beans, fresh dill, almonds, charred garlic)
  • Cop sis (grilled beef ribeye skewers marinated in yogurt, served w/ bulgur)
  • Sekerpare (farina cookie dipped in homemade syrup, lemon zest, dried apricot compote, hazelnut sprinkle)

Everything was so delicious! Every dish was packed with flavor and felt incredibly light and refreshing, even after eating… a lot. And believe us when we say we all ate a lot! 

Umut was also kind enough to answer a few questions via email to share more about himself and Lokanta. He had to overcome many challenges with both finding a location that would rent to him and opening during the pandemic. He persevered and set up shop at SE 26th and Clinton in late 2020.

Tell us where you are from and your background as a chef. 
“I am from Antakya, Turkey where I learned to cook from my mom and grandma. Many people don’t know that I wasn’t always a chef. I studied Economics in university and was a banker for years, but could never stop thinking about cooking. I never smiled as much as when I was making food, so I left my job at 30 years old to go to culinary school. I was one of the oldest in my class. At 35 I started over and moved to the U.S. with my wife. I was really scared at times, wondering if I could ever have my own restaurant. At 40 years old I opened Lokanta. Sometimes it’s hard to believe that I have my own restaurant, but I’m so grateful for everyone who has helped make my dream come true.”

What assumptions do you think are often made about Turkish food, and how did you go about creating your menu?
“Unfortunately, Turkish food is not represented well in Oregon and I believe we are the only one who makes authentic Turkish food. Most importantly there is something called Mediterranean Cuisine which does not exist. I was born in a mediterranean town and haven’t seen Falafel, shawarma, gyros ever in Turkey. Only one that I can think of would be hummus which is mostly served with clarified butter and pine nuts in Turkey. It’s a stereotype for most places in US. Turkish Cuisine is not a meat/poultry heavy Cuisine. It’s mostly vegan and vegetarian and with influences from Armenia, Syria, Greece, as well as Georgia, North India, and Mongolia.”

What is your favorite meal on your menu and why? We didn’t get to try any alcoholic beverages for obvious reasons, but are there any must-try beverages you are excited to serve?
“Topik is my favorite because it’s sweet and savory. Peeled garbanzo bean balls stuffed with caramelized onions, pine nuts and currants is an old Armenian recipe which pairs well with raki (aka lions milk). It’s distilled grapes with anis seeds. It a drink similar to a licorice taste drink that is 90 proof, 45% alcohol. Perfect for sipping while eating Turkish food. That’s the most traditional drink in Turkey.”

We are so happy to have you as part of the Five Pines family Umut, and hope all of Portland is soon able to experience your amazing cuisine! 

Lokanta is located at 2601 SE Clinton Street in Portland. Menu items and more information can be found on the restaurant’s Instagram


Sustainability Goals for the New Year

Good riddance 2020. Did anyone else look back on their resolutions from last year and laugh? We know that many of the challenges from 2020 will continue into 2021, however, in honor of the new year we decided on a reasonable and achievable goal as an office: reducing waste!

The pandemic has caused an increase in waste all around us – reusable grocery bags were restricted in stores, paper bags were used up and were replaced with plastic bags, masks and gloves strewn across sidewalks, not to mention the increase in barriers and PPE in medical/dental offices. So we figured it’s a good time to revisit our current sustainability standards, make some adjustments, and do better.

Here’s our plan to reduce waste in the new year and beyond (some of these have been our standard since Five Pines opened in 2016 and others will be implemented throughout the year):

  • We are a paperless office! Patients fill out health history forms on their own mobile device or on one of our tablets. All patient charts are electronic, eliminating cross-contamination while transferring paper charts from treatment rooms to and from the front office area.
  • Our staff changes treatment gowns between each patient; however, we do not use disposable gowns. Our gowns were lovingly handmade by Dr. Zeller’s mom and we launder them throughout the day with our lab coats. Thanks, Pam!
  • Five Pines uses digital x-rays, reducing the waste that comes along with developing and mounting traditional photos. X-rays are immediately uploaded into the computer as we take them and can also be transferred electronically.
  • Our staff breakroom does not use disposable cutlery or plates. Additionally, in the post-pandemic waiting room, we will no longer use disposable cups and mugs. Ceramic mugs and glassware will be available for patient use.
  • We are currently phasing out patient bibs, AKA “trash necklaces”. We will be laundering small hand towels to use during your appointment. Plus, towels are more absorbent and keep your shirt nice and dry during treatment!
  • Our treatment rooms are phasing out plastic trash bags and switching to biodegradable trash bags.
  • Dr. Zeller does not place silver amalgam (mercury) fillings, however, when any existing amalgam is removed during procedures we dispose of it safely and appropriately. Biohazard waste is also disposed of correctly through strict OSHA and CDC protocols.
  • Don’t want a goodie bag? Only want some of the goodies? Please feel free to decline your post-appointment treats – We are happy to save them for the next patient.

Speaking of reducing waste, many of you have inquired about Bite toothpaste bits. Bite toothpaste bits come in plastic-free refillable glass jars and while they do not have fluoride, bite bits contain cavity-preventing ingredients. We reached out to Bite and received a promo code for new subscribers – use SUBSCRIBE1 for $5 off!

We also tried Unpaste tablets, found at Well Earth Goods (based in Oregon). Unpaste uses tablets that are chewed before brushing as normal. They feel refreshing and come with about a two-month supply of tablets! Unpaste tablets can be found here.

With a collective effort from the Five Pines team, we know these small but impactful changes will benefit our planet. Cheers to the new year!


Holiday Hours

We will be closed on:

Wednesday, December 23
Thursday, December 24
Friday, December 25
Friday, January 1

On Thursday, December 31 we will be open from 8:00 am – 1:00 pm.

Email us anytime at or leave us a message at 503-482-2160 and we’ll get back to you as soon as possible.

Happy Holidays from the Five Pines family to yours!


All Are Welcome Here

A note from Dr. Zeller and his wife Catharine:

These past months of protests against racial injustice across the country have had a powerful impact on our family. They’ve led to lots of soul-searching for us as healthcare providers, as business owners and as humans. We feel strongly that this is an opportunity for positive change in this country – starting with change within ourselves. You might not be concerned about your dentist’s opinion on all this, and that’s fine, but we wanted to write this blog post to make one thing abundantly clear:

We are committed to treating all patients justly no matter their race, gender identity, or sexual orientation.

Sure, we wish this was already a universal truth and didn’t need to be made into a “statement”. But that is not yet the world we live in. These past few weeks we’ve been humbled by the stories of people who have experienced social injustice in this country – including within healthcare settings.

We want to be better for our community. We want to recognize areas where we fall short of being anti-racist. We pledge to:

  • Keep the discussion going. We’ve added an agenda item to all monthly staff meetings going forward to check in on this commitment. We want our team members to be able to share, be heard and feel comfortable discussing topics such as this as a team.
  • Educate ourselves. We’re making a commitment to participate in continuing education courses on inclusivity in healthcare, unconscious bias training, and other pertinent topics at least twice a year.
  • Listen to others’ voices. We’ve added a form on our website where our patients and community can send us feedback directly (and anonymously if you choose). And while we understand the responsibility to educate ourselves lies with us, if you’d like to share any tools or resources from which we could benefit, we would be both open and grateful.

This has been a challenging time for so many. We hope you are doing okay. Please don’t hesitate to reach out to us.

Richard and Catharine


New Protective Measures

COVID-19 has changed a lot here at Five Pines, but our top priority remains the same: the health of our patients. Here are some of the changes we’ve implemented to ensure our clinic is as safe as possible for our patients and our team members: 

  • Social Distancing. Our waiting room has been rearranged and new floor markings have been added to encourage social distancing. Please wear a face covering to your appointment. Extra masks and hand sanitizer are available at our check-in counter.   
  • Daily screenings. Patients will be texted a COVID-19 screening form to complete on their cell phone prior to their appointment. Once in the office we will check your temperature. Our staff is also screened daily!
  • Decreased patient traffic. We are limiting the number of patients in the office at a time and staggering appointment start times. We encourage you to come alone to your appointment if at all possible.
  • More touchless options. Patients can complete forms on their own cell phone instead of our iPads. Touchless payment options are now available as well. 
  • Hourly disinfecting. We are cleaning high-contact surfaces and common areas every hour. As always, our treatment rooms are disinfected using CDC’s Standard Precautions between each patient.
  • Additional PPE. In accordance with state and federal guidelines, our clinical team will be using N95 masks and gowns during procedures that commonly produce aerosols. 
  • New air purifiers. All treatment rooms are now equipped with HEPA air filters.
  • Our entire staff is vaccinated! We’re thankful Oregon prioritized healthcare workers and that the whole team was willing and able to receive the vaccine.   

We will continue to monitor and follow regulatory guidance and will update this list as appropriate. Reach out anytime with any questions.


COVID-19 Update

Update 05/14/2020: We are open! Read about our procedural changes for future appointments. We are looking forward to seeing our patients again soon. In the meantime, stay safe and take care of yourselves!


Update 05/12/2020: We have officially reopened for restorative treatment and are hopeful hygiene will be added soon. We are still limiting the number of patients in the office at one time and prioritizing urgent treatment – but if you are interested in getting on the schedule please call 503-482-2160.

Things look quite different around the office and we’re working on a post outlining all the changes so you know what to expect when you come in for an appointment.


Update 05/04/2020: We will begin to see a limited number of patients this week for urgent treatment. If you are interested in getting on the schedule please call 503-482-2160 or email


Update 04/24/2020: We are aware of Governor Brown’s announcement that dental offices can reopen as soon as May 1 but we’re still evaluating guidance from the CDC and ADA and are in the process of acquiring PPE and other supplies to ensure the safety of our team and patients. So while we cannot commit to a reopening date yet, we are working hard towards that goal. In the meantime we can still treat dental emergencies so please call if you need us.

Hope everyone is staying safe and well.


In accordance with Governor Brown’s Executive Order 20-10 mandating health care providers postpone all elective and non-urgent procedures, our office will be closed until further notice. 

We are still equipped to treat dental emergencies on a case-by-case basis so if you are experiencing dental pain please call 503-482-2160 and when prompted, press 1 to reach Dr. Zeller.     

If you have an appointment coming up, we ask for your patience until we know how long the closure will last. Once we have a reopening date set, we will contact you to reschedule.

In the meantime, the best way to reach us is by email: Reach out anytime with any questions, just note our response time will be slower than usual.

We are working on some fun updates for you on social media during the closure so please consider giving us a follow:

We hope you and your loved ones are staying healthy. We can’t wait to see you again soon in better days.


Holiday Hours

We will be closed on:

Thursday, November 28
Friday, November 29
Tuesday, December 24
Wednesday, December 25
Wednesday, January 1

Email us at or leave us a message at 503-482-2160 and we’ll get back to you as soon as possible.

Happy Holidays from our Five Pines family to yours!