About Our Staff

Meet our team

Dr. Melissa Nitta, Doctor of Dental Surgery (D.D.S.)

Dr. Melissa Nitta’s dental practice is unique, warm and inviting. She specializes in the practice of preventive dentistry and is an expert at creating healthy and natural looking smiles by treating her patient’s with conservative, tooth preserving dentistry. 

Known for her scientific knowledge, artistic and technical talents, Dr. Nitta is highly committed to mastery in the latest in dental innovations. She has completed thousands of hours of post-graduate education. She and her staff are committed to providing patients with the latest, state-of-the-art dental equipment and treatments designed to resolve your oral conditions and help you achieve well-being. 
In 1994, Dr, Nitta graduated from the University of Texas at Arlington with a Bachelor of Science Degree in Biology. She continued her education at The University of the Pacific, School of Dentistry in San Francisco, California, where she graduated with honors in 1998 earning a Doctor of Dental Surgery Degree and subsequently obtaining her California dental license. She worked as an associate dentist in Northern California for 5 years before attaining her Hawaii dental license in 2002. Dr, Nitta worked as an associate at a group practice in Hawaii until opening her own office in 2007. She is a member of the American Dental Association, Hawaii Dental Association, and Hawaii Interactive Peer Program. 

Dr. Nitta grew up in Dayton, Nevada, a small mining and ranching town where family and community were important. This same type of lifestyle, and her husband, Russ, brought her to West Hawaii in 2003. Russ, being born and raised on Oahu, but who spent time on the Big Island with his grandparents, recommended a move to Kona. Russ currently runs a charter fishing business. Together, they have three children who like to surf, paddle, fish, play soccer and volleyball. In her spare time Dr. Nitta enjoys running, playing volleyball, paddling, hiking, reading, and eating delicious meals. She is also a dedicated San Francisco 49er fan!

You are welcome to visit us at Tropical Smiles Dental, the office of Dr. Melissa Nitta, where patient comfort and quality customer service are our specialty.  

Elisa Nunes, RDH

Elisa is our new hygienist here at Tropical Smiles Dental. She is originally from the San Francisco bay area where she has practiced for the past 8 years. Elisa graduated from Carrington College in San Jose in 2007, and was the recipient of the California Dental Hygiene Association & Procter and Gamble Student Leadership Award, Santa Clara Valley Dental Society scholarship, and was Class Vice President. Elisa is a dedicated and patient focused hygienist and prides herself on her proven strengths in patient care for preventative dental hygiene and periodontal maintenance. During her free time she enjoys family time at the beach and is a Golden State Warriors fan. Go Dubs!

Geri Alessandroni, Dental Hygienist (R.D.H)

Geri grew up in Michigan’s upper peninsula and moved to Hawaii after getting her A.A.S. from Northeast Wisconsin Technical College in 2006. She previously worked for Dr. Nitta as a dental hygienist before moving off island for a few years.

She was first introduced to dentistry as a career while in high school and found it to be something that she was really passionate about. Teaching patients tips and techniques to keep their teeth and gums healthy is a top priority. Geri’s love of dental hygiene fuels her desire to provide an important service to our patients. She enjoys the opportunity to help our patients understand why complete oral care is so beneficial to their overall health.

Geri prides herself in staying current with the latest research in preventative oral health care. 

Amanda Rogers, Business Office Coordinator

Amanda is new to Dr. Nitta’s office, though she was born and raised on the Big Island. She is very happy to be a part of a team that strives for the best quality and care. Right out of high school she began on-the-job training as a dental assistant, obtaining over ten years of experience in the field of dentistry including periodontics, oral surgery, and most recently orthodontics. She has been doing front office work throughout her career and is delighted to help patients with any question or concerns. Growing up with an avid fishing family she’s spent a lot of time on the water and enjoys anything involving the ocean. For fun she likes to tend her garden, make jewelry, and go on long distance hikes through the island’s back country. This past fall she completed an international backpacking adventure, traveling east around the world. Recently engaged, she is looking forward to a new chapter in life and all of the excitement that lies ahead.

Sherry Denis, Registered Dental Assistant

Sherry joined Dr. Nitta’s team in 2010 and has been a dental assistant for 20 years. Sherry is very dedicated to caring for you and making sure you receive the best dentistry possible at the highest quality level. 
Sherry was born and raised here in Kona. She has 4 amazing kids and loves taking family vacations! In her spare time she enjoys hanging out with family and friends and watching football. Most importantly she is a 12th man for the Seattle Seahawks! 

Diana Ilagan Clifford, Hygiene Coordinator

Greeting you with a big smile of aloha up front is our new Hygiene Coordinator, Diana. New to our office and dentistry, Diana comes from years of service in the hospitality industry and she will help you with scheduling for your routine cleanings and periodontal maintenance therapy. Born on the Big Island and raised in Kona, Diana graduated from Konawaena High School and has a Business Administration degree from the University of Hawaii at Manoa. She has lived in New York then travelled throughout Europe backpacking before returning to her native home in the islands. Diana enjoys the outdoors and designs her own island-inspired jewelry handcrafted with local shells she sometimes finds on her beach outings. Her two children ages 9 and 20 keep her busy and Diana enjoys cooking, yoga and organic living.
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