620 W Alabama St. Houston, TX 77006 713-529-4364


Bruce W. Smith


Dr. Smith opened his private practice in 1981. He has built a thriving practice based on one principle: "The Art of Dentistry in a Gentle Style"

Between completing dental school and beginning his Houston practice in 1981, Dr. Smith worked with the United States Public Health Service National Health Service Corps. This experience, when coupled with his interest and background in microbiology, laid a strong foundation for particular concern with sterilization and infection control within his practice, and eventually led him to lecture and publish both nationally and internationally on universal infection precautions in dentistry.

Dr. Smith is an accomplished sculptor, having several of his pieces bronzed. One such bronze was auctioned for charity and another featured in several advertisements in OutSmart Magazine as a way to highlight his tagline, "The Art of Dentistry in the Gentle Style". He is able to channel his artistic talents in dentistry to create the most breathtaking makeovers. Most extraordinarily, he has the canny ability to calm the most fearful and anxious of patients. 

Honored with OutSmart Magazine’s Gayest and Greatest Dentist award since 2000, Dr. Smith has also been named as a “Top Dentist” in Houston by H Texas Magazine and Houston Press.

A patron of opera, Dr. Smith travels the US and Europe to see performances by his favorite composers.  In his spare time, Dr. Smith enjoys spending time with friends or catching up on the latest Hollywood feature films. 

Samuel A. Carrell


Dr. Carrell joined the practice in 2014, first as a part-time associate, then full time in 2016. It took the better part of 8 years for Dr. Smith to find the perfect fit in Dr. Carrell.

 Dr. Carrell's undergraduate degree in biology was obtained from the University of Texas at Austin. His dentistry degree (DDS) was obtained from the University of Texas School of Dentistry at Houston, where he was active in groups both on and off campus, having served as President of the local chapter of the American Student Dental Association. As a practicing dentist, Dr. Carrell is an active member of all major dental and patient advocacy group organizations, including the American Dental Association, the Texas Dental Association, the Greater Houston Dental Society, and the Academy of General Dentistry. 

An avid learner, Dr. Carrell is always improving himself and learning new technologies through continuing education. Since joining the team, Dr. Carrell has become certified in administering both Invisalign clear braces and in conscious sedation for patients with dental anxiety. He also understands the importance of giving back and in the value of dental community service, taking opportunity to volunteer with Special Olympics, Texas Missions of Mercy and Give Kids a Smile. 

Outside of dentistry, Dr. Carrell enjoys spending time with friends, family and pets Dorothy & Roy (poodles), and Oliver (cat). His free time is spent reading, trying new restaurants and travel with his partner, Austin, our newest dentist. 

Austin T. Faulk


Dr. Austin Faulk was born in Louisiana, but has lived in the Houston area for the last 17 years. He is excited to join Montrose DDS and work alongside Dr. Smith and Dr. Carrell.

Dr. Faulk received his B.S. in Biology and minored in Business Administration at Texas A&M University. Dr. Faulk graduated from the University of Texas School of Dentistry at Houston and was involved in many organizations throughout dental school. Dr. Faulk served as President and was a founding member of the American Academy of Developmental Medicine and Dentistry student chapter at UTSD, working to promote oral health for individuals with neurodevelopmental disorders and intellectual disabilities.

Dr. Faulk has participated in a dental mission trip to Jamaica where he and team of dentists and dental students provided free dental care to over 500 patients. He was also involved in the American Student Dental Association and the Houston Academy of General Dentistry Fellow Track program. He remains active in the Academy of General Dentistry, the Greater Houston Dental Society, the Texas Dental Association and the American Dental Association. 

Dr. Faulk enjoys spending time with friends and family as well as playing with his two poodles (Dorothy and Roy) and his cat (Oliver).


Carino Mendoza

Serving as lead hygienist for Dr. Smith since 2013, Carino takes great pride in patient care and education. With over 30 years of experience in the dental field, her greatest satisfaction is the impact she has on the overall health of the patient.

Born in Mexico City, Carino took the opportunity during high school to participate in a foreign exchange program in Sioux City, Iowa. After returning to Mexico she entered the School of Dentistry at the University of Mexico where she graduated in 1981 with a Doctor of Dental Surgery. After several years she and her husband, Jose, had an opportunity to move to the US. 

Carino got involved in the dental field in the US, first attending dental assisting school and finally dental hygiene school at the University of Texas School of Dental Hygiene where she graduated with the highest honors earning her entrance into the coveted Sigma Phi Alpha Dental Hygiene Society. 

Carino has been singularly instrumental in bringing evidence based dentistry to the hygiene department at Montrose Dental Group where her program has worked to improve the lives of countless patients using DNA testing to determine the host's inflammatory response to oral bacteria.

In her spare time Carino donates her time to serving underprivileged communities in US and Mexico. She loves to hike in the park with her husband Jose, spend time with family and friends, especially playing with her two-year-old grandson, along with traveling and cooking.

Hifa Taha

A native born Houstonian, Hifa always had a desire to help others. From this grew her need to work in the field of healthcare. During high school she participated in “hospital rotations” where she shadowed an experienced hygienist and began to understand the relationship between oral and systemic disease. This involvement deepened her wish to find a career that would satiate her yearning to help people and her need to work within the healthcare industry. 

After applying and being accepted to the University of Texas Dental Branch, Hifa attended the School of Hygiene where she graduated with a Bachelor’s of Science in 2012. After graduating, Hifa spent a couple of years working with an agency so they could place her in many different office settings. This experienced gave her the opportunity to witness first-hand the different practice philosophies and helped her settle on the type of practice that held her same model on delivery of care. 

Hifa began working part time in the hygiene department alongside Dr. Smith in the summer of 2014. In 2017 Hifa accepted a full time position with Montrose Dental Group where she has won the hearts of patients with her gentle style and instruction-based care. Being bi-lingual in English and Arabic has furthered Hifa’s reach to a broader spectrum of patients.


When not at work, Hifa enjoys spending time with her husband and two children, and friends and family. In quite times she likes long jogs and especially sleep, which always seems to be in short supply for a young mother of two. 


Phyllis Le Clair

Phyllis Le Clair is  Houstonian by birth, but grew up in a small town in the Texas Hill Country, just outside Austin. She moved back to Houston and studied Dental Assisting in 1986-1987 at Houston Community College after attending the University of Houston.

For more than 30 years, Phyllis has been providing exemplary service to patients. With years of experiences under her belt, Phyllis found her dental-home at the office of Bruce W. Smith, DDS (now Montrose DDS) when she was hired in 2002 and takes pride in being the most tenured of the staff. She and Dr. Smith share the same philosophical view of treating patients with dignity and respect. 

Since, Phyllis has been an integral part of the practice and feels at home in both the back and front of the office, though she readily admits preferring the back of the office where she is able to assist the dentists with caring for patients. 

When she's not assisting patients, Phyllis enjoys traveling with her Fiancé, Sean, and spending quality family time with her two daughters, her grandchildren and her two cats, Charlie and Astro. 


Susan Almarez

 Born and raised in Houston, Susan came to the field of dentistry 18 years ago when she decided to study dental assisting at National Institute of Technology (now Everest Institute). Her first year as a dental assistant was in a clinic for the under served with a diverse clientele.

Her time there provided the opportunity to hone her dental assisting skills, and most importantly, shine a light on the need for improved processes to deliver dental care in a practice setting. Over the years Susan delved deeper into the operational side of dentistry and her role soon expanded to clinical manager. 

Working one-on-one with consultants, Susan began to focus much of her career on quality improvement at chair-side, humanizing customer relations and refining her administrative talents. Susan joined the Montrose DDS in 2018 and has quickly become an integral asset to the team. 

She divides her time when she's not learning more about dentistry between biking, camping, adventures in food and especially, spending quality time with her beloved son, Alexander.