James W. Mellert,
DDS and Associates
The dentists at James W. Mellert, DDS and Associates offer comprehensive and compassionate patient care through conservative and cosmetic dentistry. All three attended the University of Southern California School of Dentistry. The doctors have completed extensive additional education and training in all aspects of dentistry.
Dr. James Mellert is a South Bay native and has been in practice for 40 years. Throughout his career, he has had special interest in periodontal surgery and cosmetic dentistry. He finds satisfaction in helping patients overcome their dental anxiety.
Dr. Mellert’s daughter, Dr. Jamie Houck, joined the practice six years ago. She is grateful to practice alongside her father in the same community where she was raised. Her practice emphasis is Invisalign, and she is passionate about providing preventive and conservative dental treatment for patients of all ages.
Dr. Steven Brown has been in practice for nearly 40 years and joined the Mellert team almost 30 years ago. He focuses on restorative dentistry, cosmetic bonding and sleep dentistry, including sleep-related breathing disorders and dental appliances. He has participated in seminars presented by the California Sleep Society and the American Academy of Dental Sleep Medicine.
What is your practice known for?
Our practice is known for generations of enhancing smiles through skilled and compassionate dentistry. Dr. Mellert is a third-generation dentist, and Dr. Houck is a fourth-generation dentist. The Mellert family has been practicing dentistry in the Los Angeles area since 1925. There are even a handful of patients who have been treated by all four generations of Mellerts.
What services do you offer?
We offer all phases of dental treatment including teeth cleanings, fillings, extractions, crowns, bridges and implants. We also offer Invisalign, sleep apnea treatment, cosmetic dentistry and gum grafting. Additionally, we take special care in treating children.
Why is it important for patients to see their dentist regularly?
Skipping out on your checkup because of anxiety, cost or any other factor puts you at risk. You can wind up paying much more for a treatment that could have been avoided by simply seeing your dentist regularly.
What do you love about your office’s location?
Our office is centrally located by the Del Amo Fashion Center, which allows patients to easily travel from Palos Verdes, Manhattan Beach, Torrance, Long Beach, Santa Monica or Pasadena.
What skills are necessary to achieve success as a dentist?
Dr. Houck: Dentistry is a unique field, as it is a combination of medicine, artistry, psychology and engineering. All of these skills must be delivered with gentleness and compassion for a patient to have a great dental experience. This is what we strive to give every patient.
What are three phrases that describe your team?
Dr. Brown: 1. Committed to patient care and comfort. 2. Striving to achieve excellence in dentistry. 3. Enjoying the process.
In what ways is your industry changing with the times?
Dr. Mellert: Technological advances in dentistry are revolutionizing patient care. We have a cone-beam computed tomography system that allows us to view teeth and jaws in 3D for more accurate diagnosis and better treatment. To aid in surgical procedures, new therapies such as L-PRF utilize patients’ blood cells—aiding in the healing process of bone and gum grafting. Clear aligner therapy (Invisalign) has revolutionized adult orthodontics, resulting in excellent outcomes in a much more efficient time frame.
Tell us something unique about your work that others may not know.
Dr. Houck: I recently was awarded my Fellowship with the American Academy of Clear Aligners (AACA), which is the highest level of recognition for experience, knowledge and talent that a general dentist can achieve in the field of clear aligner therapy. Currently, there are only 59 Fellows of the AACA in North America. I am also on the board of directors for the AACA. I am passionate about providing the best Invisalign treatment for my patients. Straightening teeth through the use of clear aligners has allowed me to give patients life-changing confidence in their smiles.
What do patients like best about your office?
Dr. Brown: Patients appreciate our kind and caring staff—many of whom have worked with us for 20+ years. In taking care of generations of patients, our patients become like family to us.
What issues do older adults face in terms of oral health care?
Dr. Mellert: The mature population experiences increased problems with dental decay on tooth roots, advanced periodontal disease and oral cancer. We strive to diagnose and treat these issues as early as possible and take a conservative approach to the prevention of future problems.
How do you balance career, personal life and passions?
Dr. Houck: As a wife and mom of two toddlers, the balance of career and personal life is incredibly important to me. Some days it feels more like juggling than balancing, but I truly believe being a mom makes me a more compassionate and caring dentist, and being a dentist makes me a better mom—allowing me to use the different skills and passions God has given me.
Photographed by Shane O’Donnell