Our caring dental team is committed to providing you with the best care possible so you can achieve and maintain a beautiful, healthy smile. Each member of our team is highly trained, educated, and dedicated to ensuring that your visit to our dental office in Palmdale, California, is pleasant and comfortable. We will care for you and your family on an individual basis, making sure that you understand all of your dental options and treatments. To learn more about us and to schedule your next appointment with our dentist, Dr. James D. Powell, we welcome you to contact our office today!


James D. Powell, DDS
Dr. James Powell has been a part of the Antelope Valley for more than 50 years. He played Little League, Pony League baseball, and worked in his dad’s business, Green Pastures Dairy on Division Street in Lancaster. He married his high school sweetheart and they raised their five children in the Antelope Valley, where they are surrounded by family and lifelong friends. The family enjoys hiking, camping, swimming, and many other outdoor activities that allow them to take advantage of what the desert and the state of California have to offer.

Dr. Powell attended local elementary schools and graduated from Antelope Valley High School and Antelope Valley College. He pursued undergraduate studies in biology at the University of the Pacific and also attended California State University of Northridge for additional courses in science and business. Later, he graduated from Loma Linda University School of Dentistry, earning a Doctor of Dental Surgery degree in 1985.

After working as an associate with a family dentist, Dr. Harold Brockman, Dr. Powell began his own practice in Quartz Hill in 1989. He has pursued in-depth studies in advanced aesthetic restorative techniques using the most current materials available with Dr. Bruce Crispin, former director of UCLA’s Cosmetic Dentistry Center, and at the world-renowned Las Vegas Institute of Advanced Dental Studies, of which he is a Fellow.

Dr. Powell started in-depth studies of treating TMD in 1992 and became a member of the International College of Cranio-Mandibular Orthopedics in 1995. His advanced training in CEREC® (CAD-CAM) single-visit restorations began in 2003 with Dr. Rick Masek at Dentistry by Design and continued with Dr. Mark Morin at the Great Lakes Education Center in 2004. Dr. Powell continues to advance his education and training through regular, in-depth courses, enabling him to transform from being a tooth doctor to becoming a comprehensive mouth doctor.

Dr. Powell started studies of Dental Sleep Medicine in 2009 with Dr. Kent Smith at Las Vegas Institute of Advanced Dental Studies, and he has been very successful in treating patients without the use of the CPAP. He is committed and dedicated to providing the highest quality, lifetime dentistry that is available.

Education, Certification, & Licensing

Dr. Powell believes in maintaining the highest level of education and as such has spent a lot of time and money in continued education in addition to his degrees and licenses.

  • Antelope Valley High School ‘73
  • Antelope Valley College ‘74
  • University of the Pacific ‘79
  • California State University, Northridge ‘80
  • Loma Linda University – Doctor of Dental Surgery ‘84
  • Myotronics (Advanced Occlusion and Case Finishing) ‘93, ‘98-’00
  • University of Missouri-Kansas City (Continuing Dental Courses) ‘95
  • International College of Cranio-Mandibular Orthopedics ‘96
  • Esthetic Professionals (Advanced Fixed Prosthodontics and Occlusion) ‘00-’01
  • CEREC® CAD-CAM ‘03, ‘04, ‘10
  • Nobel Biocare (Implant Restorations) ‘04,’05 – (Placing and Restoring Implants) ‘05
  • Las Vegas Institute (Advanced Dental Studies) ‘00, ‘07-’09 Received Fellow Award
  • 3D Cone Beam Computed Tomography ‘09
  • Member of International Association of Comprehensive Aesthetics (IACA) since ‘09
  • Advanced Radiological & CBCT Interpretation, Computer Guided Implant Surgery ‘10
  • Scottsdale Center for Dentistry (Level 6 CT Guided Implant Surgery) ‘10
  • Las Vegas Institute for Advanced Dental Studies (Primespeak) ‘11
  • ClearCorrect™ (Clear Aligner Therapy) ‘11
  • Scottsdale Center for Dentistry/ Academy of General Dentistry (3rd Annual CEREC Owners Symposium) ‘11
  • SybronEndo (Essential Endo) ‘11
  • ClearCorrect (Aligner Therapy) ‘11
  • Implant Direct Sybron Int. (Multi-Dimensional Approach to Implant Dentistry) ‘11
  • Las Vegas Institute for Advanced Dental Studies (Non-Surgical Endodontics) ‘11
  • Advanced Treatment Planning Seminar ‘11, ‘12
  • The Shield Group (Infection Control) ‘11, ‘12
  • Nobel Biocare (Esthetic Alliance – Module 1) ‘11, ‘12
  • Esthetic Professionals (Surgical Implant Placement, Grafting and Prosthetic Design Series)’12
  • LVI (Advanced Computer – Aided Occlusal Evaluation Systems & Interpretation) ‘12
  • Myotronics (The Power of Neuromuscular Dentistry) ‘12
  • FOY Dentures (Training Program) ‘12
  • Esthetic Professionals (Surgical Implant Placement, Grafting & Prosthetic Design Series) ‘12
  • Patterson Dental (CEREC Study Club) ‘12
  • Patterson Dental (Placing Implants with CEREC and GALILEOS) ‘12
  • Great Lakes Education Center ‘12
  • LVI (The Physiologic Approach to Treating OSA) ‘12
  • LVI (Post Core Continuum) ‘13
  • ACT 260 Lasers in Restorative Dentistry NightLase® & Smoothlase™ ‘13
  • ACT 260 Lasers in Restorative Dentistry Laser Operative, Endo, & Perio (2 Courses) ‘13
  • LVI (Cranio-Cervical Physical Therapy’s Role in Neuromuscular Dentistry) ‘13
  • LVI (Post Core Continuum: level 1) ‘13
  • LVI (The Physiologic Approach to Treating OSA: level 2) ‘13
  • LVI (Practical Advanced TMD: level 2) ‘13
  • Great Lakes Education Center (CEREC Owner’s Tips & Tricks) ‘13
  • The Shield Group (Infection Control) ‘13
  • LVI (Pediatric Orthodontics) ‘13
  • LVI (Neuromuscular Ortho Mechanics) ‘13

Terrie Ballinger, RDA
Terrie is a Registered Dental Assistant who graduated from Western College of Dental Assisting in 1979. She holds licenses for Registered Dental Assisting in California, Coronal Polishing, and Dental Radiology. She is also certified in TMD and sleep apnea treatments.Terrie attends continuing education courses to keep up with the ever-changing field of dentistry in order to offer our patients the most up-to-date and exceptional dentistry. She attended courses at the prestige Las Vegas Institute for Dental Assistants.

Terrie started her career in Lancaster, then moved to North Carolina, then to Colorado, and back to Lancaster. She married her high school sweetheart, has two great kids, and even a couple of grand-kids.

In her spare time, Terrie enjoys painting, arts and crafts of all kinds, reading, baking, and spending time with her grand-kids.


Diala Chahda, DA
Diala graduated from Dental Advantage with a certificate in dental assisting. She’s currently working towards her RDA license. Diala has attended continual education courses for exceptional customer service, and she has over 7 years in the customer service industry.
She enjoys working in the dental field because she loves putting a smile on people’s faces. It’s a joy for her to help patients and their families receive the best care. She also finds it rewarding to hear about the positive impact the team has on the lives of our patients.

Diala enjoys being part of Exceptional Dentistry team because she values building strong relationships with patients. and being able to provide the most up-to-date treatment options possible. She feels it’s wonderful working with professional, ambitious, caring, and dedicated team members. She says, “We have fun working together, it doesn’t feel like a job”.

Outside of the office, Diala enjoys being outside. She loves camping, hiking, and spending time with her family and her dog Mac. Also, she likes to take her little cousins on fun adventures and being cool, fun aunt Diala.

Megan Sheldon, Insurance & Finance Administrator
Megan has ten years’ experience in customer service. She holds a certificate in Dental Assisting from Charter College. She has worked with insurance billing for eight years and is proficient in maximizing patients’ insurance benefits. She is also five-star certified through Jay Geier’s Scheduling Institute.

Megan likes working at Exceptional Dentistry because everyone is attentive and focused on the patients. She loves being a part of a team that is patient centric and a part of an office that is equipped with the latest technology for exceptional patient comfort and care.

In her spare time, Megan loves taking road trips and spending quality time with her family. She enjoys cozying up with a good book and doing creative arts and crafts. She’s also an active volunteer at Linda Blair’s Pitbull Rescue in Acton.


Michelle Shoop, Receptionist & Hygiene Coordinator
Michelle has worked in customer service for eleven years. She has taken courses in coronal polishing and radiograph safety. She is also five star certified through Jay Geier’s Scheduling Institute.

She enjoys working at Exceptional Dentistry because the office is technologically advanced and she values the efficiency and comfort it gives to our patients. Michelle enjoys working with a team that is passionate about dentistry, educated, and patient centric.

Michelle enjoys outdoor activities such as camping and trips to the lake. She also enjoys spending time with her family and loved ones.


Kendra Powell, Marketing Director
Kendra holds a BA in Criminal Justice, with a minor in Business. She has attended marketing courses with Paul Moon, President/Chief Marketing Officer at PanCom International, Inc. She is also five star certified through Jay Geier’s Scheduling Institute.

Kendra likes working at Exceptional Dentistry because it has the latest advancements in technology and the team performs state-of-the-art techniques on a daily basis, which gets our patients excited about dentistry. She loves how the team is incredibly knowledgeable, empathetic, fun, and professional.

In her spare time, Kendra enjoys music, drawing, DYI projects, the beach, and loves spending time with her loved ones. She is also a licensed cosmetologist and professional makeup artist. She plans to start her own makeup line and company.


Brian Montenegro, RDH
Brian is a registered dental hygienist who graduated from the University of Northridge, California, with a degree in biology. After completing his bachelor’s in biology, he received his bachelor’s degree in dental hygiene from West Coast University in 2012. Brian is trained in the latest techniques for periodontal treatments, such as soft tissue laser therapy, antibiotic therapy, and advanced instrumentation. He enjoys hygiene because he is able to create a bond with his patients and educate them in regards to their overall health.

In the future, Brian plans on receiving his Registered Dental Hygiene AP license, which will allow him to provide hygiene services to underserved communities.

Brian really enjoys working with Dr. James D. Powell and the entire team because they focus on teamwork, which is really valued by Brian. He also loves the fact that Dr. James D. Powell is motivated to use new and cutting-edge technology in order to provide the best possible care for his patients.

When Brian is not practicing hygiene, he enjoys spending time with his wife, son, and his dog Pugsley. He also loves to watch NBA basketball, especially his favorite team, the San Antonio Spurs.


Aja Suarez-Huff, Hygiene Assistant 
Aja went to Charter College and received her certification for coronal polishing and radiograph safety. She enjoys working in the dental field because she enjoys serving others and being able to help them get the smile of their dreams.

She enjoys working at Exceptional Dentistry because of the high level of customer care, where each patient is treated based on individual needs. She also loves the technology that is in the office because it allows us to be proactive about patient needs instead of reactive.

Aja loves to spend her free time baking and lounging with a good book. She also loves to spend as much time as she can with her family.