Each day when Dr. Holly Ellis enters her newly constructed dental practice on Big Bend Boulevard in St. Louis, Missouri, she is greeted by her most cherished aspect of the design: smiling patients.

“My favorite design feature is the 24-by-36-inch black and white framed photos of patients (shown above) that hang in our hallways. They each have a photo light directed at them. They highlight why we do what we do, their smiles say it all,” says the 36-year-old Kirkwood resident.


Home stretch. In June, 2015, Dr. Ellis showed excitement as the new construction project neared completion.

Recently, she learned Ellis Dental is being honored as one of the Outstanding New Dental Practices by Wells Fargo Practice Finance, Dental Economics, ADA Business Resources and the American Dental Association in their Dental Office Design Competition.


“I love my new office,” said Dr. Ellis, recipient of St. Louis Best Dentist Award annually since 2012.

One year ago in September, a ribbon-cutting ceremony marked the date that the  Ellis Dental team and its 1,900 patients relocated to more than 3,200 square feet of office space. 

“I was fortunate that I worked with a very detailed architect, contractor, and equipment specialist,” said Dr. Ellis, who advises other doctors constructing a practice to surround themselves with people they trust. She credited her team with finishing on time with zero change orders.

“We spent a good 18 months planning (from selecting a good agent, architect, and contractor). After taking a course from Mike Unthank, I had a clear vision for my project. We actually started with him before selecting our space. We then knew what to look for.  I was influenced by my dental consultants (Mosaic Management Group) as well as many of the offices I toured when visiting Unthank Design Group in Nebraska)….

Benco Dental was a huge support during the entire process. My Territory Rep Randi Miller kept in touch throughout the entire project and made sure to get me in touch with the proper people. Equipment Specialist Chad Wind was absolutely awesome! He took my husband (Justin) and I to one of Benco’s Centerpoint Design Showrooms. This process was invaluable. This allowed me to try out every patient chair and piece of equipment prior to making my selections. He spent this time devoted to us and assisting us with any questions.”


Eighteen months of planning with trusted advisors resulted in an on-time finish and results that recently garnered Ellis Dental a prestigious design award.

Innovative solutions on the design front, as well as the seamless incorporation of technology provided unexpected advantages.

 “The back business area has proven to be one of the best design solutions. It has allowed team members the space, organization, and privacy for calls and emails regarding treatment, referrals, ordering and follow-up,” said Dr. Ellis.

“Our top technology feature would have to be the use of the Nomad. It saves so much space and time with its compact size, portability, and ease of use.” 

Advance preparation proved vital to a successful new construction process, and at the end of the day, it factors hugely into the practice’s continued success.

“In our previous office we did not have a staff room,” said Dr. Ellis.  “We now have a staff room space where we can gather around a table and large screen for our huddles and team meetings. This allows us to properly prepare for our day in a more organized manner.” 

DESIGN CREDITS: Photographer: Jim Monsour, Justin Ellis, Holly Ellis. Interior Design: Unthank Design Group. Contractor: Steffle and Sons. Architect: Unthank Design Group. Dental Designer: Unthank Design Group and Benco Dental. Equipment Specialist: Chad Wind, Benco Dental. Friendly Benco Rep: Randi Miller