James Mah

Professor, UNLV School of Dental Medicine
Director, Advanced Education Program in Orthodontics
Expertise: Dental growth and development, Orthodontic retainers, Biology of tooth movement, Forensic anthropological use of dental records


James Mah, an internationally recognized authority on the research and development of 3D facial imaging technology and modeling for diagnostic purposes, is a UNLV School of Dental Medicine clinical sciences professor who also serves as the program director of orthodontics and dentofacial orthopedics. His research focuses on orthodontic aligners, treatment planning and therapeutics, cone-beam computed tomography (CBCT), intra-oral scanners, and the use of botulinum toxin for bruxism. He is also well-versed in the use of dental records for anthropology and forensics analysis.

In addition to research, Mah — who joined UNLV's faculty in 2005 — teaches courses on biomechanics, radiology, introduction to research, advanced biomedical sciences, craniofacial growth & development, and practice management within the orthodontic residency program. His academic career spans over 20 years, with prior academic appointments at the University of Southern California and Harvard School of Dental Medicine. 

Mah has authored numerous publications, textbooks, and book chapters and regularly presents nationally and internationally. He is an associate editor of the Journal of Aligner Orthodontics and a reviewer for the American Journal of Orthodontics & Dentofacial OrthopedicsJournal of Clinical Orthodontics, and the Angle Orthodontist.


  • BS, University of Alberta, Edmonton, Alberta, Canada
  • DDS, University of Alberta, Edmonton, Alberta, Canada
  • MS, University of Alberta, Edmonton, Alberta, Canada
  • DMSc, Harvard University, Cambridge, MA

James Mah In The News

Desert Companion
“If you had a patient in need of a dentist, which dentist would you refer them to?” This is the question we’ve asked thousands of dentists to help us determine who the topDentists should be. Dentists and specialists are asked to take into consideration years of experience, continuing education, manner with patients, use of new techniques and technologies and of course physical results.
The Stem Cell Podcast
A team of researchers from the University of Nevada Las Vegas have developed a device they hilarious call the “Tooth Cracker 5000” to extract 80 percent of the stem cells a pulp contains from a wisdom tooth.
Digital Trends
Stem cells are a crucial part of modern medicine and can be used to treat a wide variety of medical conditions. Now researchers at University of Nevada, Las Vegas have discovered a new way of harvesting these all-important biological cells by (get ready to wince!) extracting them from the root pulp inside every tooth.
That pesky wisdom tooth you're glad you got rid of is apparently a great source of stem cells that could save lives. However, it's not easy getting to the tooth root pulp that contains those cells: drilling into the tooth generates damaging heat that lowers the number of cells that can be harvested. In addition, the water used to rinse the tooth could have corrosive elements and the enamel particulates from the drilling could contaminate the pulp. To solve that issue, a team of researchers from the University of Nevada Las Vegas have developed a device they hilarious call the "Tooth Cracker 5000" to extract 80 percent of the stem cells a pulp contains.

Articles Featuring James Mah

Dr. Karl Kingsley and Dr. James Mah hold a model of a tooth.
Research | October 3, 2017

UNLV researchers developed a method for extracting tooth root pulp that quadruples the number of stem cells that can be harvested and replicated to treat a variety of medical conditions.