Mellown earns Gold Certificate

Published 11:35 am Wednesday, July 15, 2009

Dr. David Mellown of Demopolis recently received the Gold Certificate Award from the Alabama Dental Association for 50 years of memebership at their annual state meeting in Perdido Beach. Mellown was one of only four dentists to qualify for the award this year.

“The Alabama Dental Association is designed to promote good dentistry in the state,” Mellown explained. “It also provides continuing education programs for dentists in different districts thoughout the state.”

Mellown joined the ADA in 1959 after completing his undergraduate degree at the University of Alabama and receiving his doctor of medical dentistry degree at the University of Alabama at Birmingham. Mellown then served in the Navy as a dentist on Parris Island for two years.

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“The Navy was my best training of all,” he said.

Born in Camden and raised in Livingston, Mellown has practiced dentistry in Demopolis for the past 48 years.

“Demopolis is a great place to raise children and have a family, and I’ve enjoyed living here,” Mellown said. “I would like to thank all the patients I’ve had here all these years. I’m now working on the grandchildren of a lot of the patients I started with.”

Mellown has witnessed several changes in the profession over the past half-century.

“When I was in dental school from 1955 to 1959, there were no female dentist students,” he said. “Now it’s about half-and-half. There are a lot of opportunities now for women in dentistry. There is also a lot more specialization with oral surgeons doing much more complex things. Materials and equipment are much more advanced. People know a lot more about dentistry now, and children’s dental health is much better now than two generations ago.”

Mellown’s philosophy when it comes to treating patients is straightfoward.

“Treat people with kindness,” he said. “Use the Golden Rule. A lot of people are uptight about seeing the dentist, and I get satisfaction from treating people with dental phobia and easing their fears by keeping things on a light level.”

After 50 years, Mellown remains passionate about his profession.

“Dentistry is a wonderful occupation,” he said. “I enjoy dentistry, and the good Lord has kept me healthy long enough to practice [for this long].”