Meet The Team

Dr. Raymond G. Nikodem, DDS

My whole life I grew up around dentistry. My father was an orthodontist in South County for over 30 years. My cousin is an endodontist (root canal specialist) in North County, and my three brothers are also dentists.

Because many of my father's friends were also dentists, I was surrounded by discussions of dentistry, which interested me so much I couldn't wait for the next time I could visit one of their practices just to watch how they worked. Needless to say, I knew at a very young age that I wanted to become a dentist.

Dentistry remains my passion. I feel my passion is reflected in my work and in how I treat my patients. I have been given a great gift, and I want to share that gift with others. I ask all my associates at Nikodem Dental Care, P.C., to celebrate my mission statement to be "Men and Women for Others."

If you are in need of dental care, please give us a call at Nikodem Dental, P.C. We understand that a visit to the dentist can be an uncomfortable experience, and my associates and I do everything in our power to see that every visit to our office is as pleasant as possible.

A friendly front-desk associate at Nikodem Dental Care, P.C. is waiting to hear from you. Please call us today at (314) 892-2000 - South, (314) 731-7555 - North, (636) 337-2120 -Warrenton, MO or 1(800) 433-6887, St Louis, MO (314) 487-1515.

Dr. Raymond G. Nikodem:

  • Grew up in South County, St Louis in Assumption Parish.
  • Graduated from Assumption Grade School, 1976.
  • Graduated from DeSmet Jesuit High School, 1980.
  • Was first team Missouri All-State soccer player, 1979.
  • Graduated from Creighton University School of Dentistry in Omaha, NE, 1987.

Creighton Dentist Owner of Kentucky Derby Entry

Creighton alumnus Ray Nikodem, DDS '87, a dentist in St. Louis, is part owner of a racehorse that competed in the 2006 Kentucky Derby - Flashy Bull. He won the money to purchase a stake in the gray-colored thoroughbred while wagering on the 2005 Kentucky Derby.

He won $67,000 ($49,000, after taxes) with a $230 long shot trifecta bet. He picked Giacomo (50-1 odds) to win, Closing Argument (70-1 odds) to come in second and the rest of the field to show. Nikodem and his wife, Lisa, traveled to Louisville, Kentucky to watch the 2006 Derby.

Flashy Bull, a late entry into the Derby (40-1 odds), finished 14th in the twenty-horse field.

Nikodem said having a horse in the Kentucky Derby was an incredible experience, especially because of the Derby's tradition of allowing owners to join the trainers in the barn area, and then walking your horse over to the paddock for the race.

"I don't know what was more thrilling - being in the barn and hearing, 'Horsemen, bring your horses over for the Kentucky Derby' on the P.A. system, or walking Flashy Bull over to the paddock in front of 150,000 cheering people," he said.

Dr. Keith Nikodem

Dr. Keith Nikodem is the youngest of the four Nikodem brothers; all of whom are dentists.  He graduated from Creighton University Dental School in 2001 after receiving a biology degree from Creighton.  Getting close to being in practice for 20 years, he balances his life with his Wife and three daughters.  As a former standout in soccer he enjoys watching and coaching the game in his free time.  He is a St Louis sports fan and he is a self-taught banjo player. Dr Keith understands how stressful it can be for many patients to visit the dentist.  He likes to calm his patients with a kind, gentle sense of humor while providing world class care.  His patients love to see him.  You will too!!


Dr. Menaka Chandra

Dr. Chandra graduated from Creighton University Dental School located in Omaha, Nebraska in 2002. Upon completion of her degree she also finished a one year General Practice Residency here in St. Louis and has been in practice ever since. "I truly enjoy getting to know each of my patients. Treating my patients the same way I would any family member sitting in the dental chair is a standard I like to hold myself to. I always want my patients to feel comfortable and confident that they are in good hands when they are under my care". Dr. Chandra is happily married with 3 sons and 1 daughter. "They all bring such joy to my life and keep me extremely busy, but I welcome the challenge!" Dr. Chandra works in both the General Dentistry and Denture/Partial Departments at the Hazelwood location.

Dr. Jerry Hill DMD

Dr. Jerry Hill works in the General Dentistry and Denture/Partial Departments at Nikodem Dental in South St. Louis County. After growing up in Fenton, he graduated from SIUE dental school in 2001. When Dr. Hill is not in the dental office he can often been found spending time with his wife and two children or out in the wilderness hunting. When you ask Dr. Hill what is his favorite thing about dentistry he will answer, "I like helping people regain their smile".

Dr. Lucas Meyer DMD

Dr. Lucas Meyer has worked at Nikodem Dental as a general dentist for over 7 years. Dr Meyer was certified to preform implant dentistry in 2017 and is also trained in Invisalign. He is a proud member of the Greater St Louis Dental Society.

Dr Meyer was born and raised in Belleville Illinois. He attended Belleville West High School, Missouri State and went to dental school at Southern Illinois University graduating in 2008. He is married with 3 children and currently resides in Chesterfield, MO.

Dr. Smardo

Dr. Smardo attended the University of Kansas where she graduated with a Bachelor of Science in Chemistry. She then completed her dental education at the University of Louisville where she earned her Doctor of Dental Medicine and graduated with honors.

Dr. Smardo genuinely enjoys getting to know her patients and building relationships to provide a comfortable environment.  She is a member of the American Dental Association and enjoys attending dental conferences and other continuing education opportunities. She was highly active in the American Student Dental Association throughout dental school and served as president of her chapter during her final year in school. Although Dr. Smardo grew up in Fayetteville, Arkansas, she has family and friends living in the St. Louis area and loves the Cardinals!  During her free time she enjoys traveling, playing the flute and scrapbooking. Dr. Smardo is very excited to practice St. Charles and join Nikodem Dental!

“My favorite aspect of dentistry is working close with a patient throughout treatment and finally reaching the end result! It’s amazing to see how dental care can not only improve a patient’s smile and well-being, but also their confidence and outlook on life”

Dr. David Cook DMD

Dr. Cook was born in Buffalo, NY and is a graduate of the University of Pittsburg Dental School. Upon graduation, he served four years as a dentist in The United States Air Force. Throughout his service he was stationed in Korea, Thailand, and Spain. After serving in the military, Dr. Cook had a General Practice in Chicago for 25 years. Dr. Cook used to play and now enjoys watching baseball and in 1993 he was a finalist in the National Long Ball golf contest. In 2009 Dr. Cook moved to Springfield and is the happy father/guardian to three dogs and one cat.

Dr. Cliff McConnell DMD

Dr. McConnell was born in Belleville, Illinois and later graduated from Mascoutah High School. He attended Southern Illinois University graduating with a degree in dentistry. Dr. McConnell’s favorite part of dentistry is crown and bridge restorative work, helping patients get a beautiful smile. In his spare time he enjoys spending time with his wife and three kids, hiking, and nature photography.

Erik Grant, DDS

Erik Grant, DDS, graduated from the University of Missouri Kansas City with honors in Restorative Dentistry. He spent his first years of practice in central Kansas and is excited to return to Saint Louis! He is committed to providing his home town with comprehensive, excellent, and pain free dentistry. He enjoys getting to know his patients and working together with them to provide the best treatment possible.

Dr. Grant is a member of The Christian Medical and Dental Association, American Dental Association, Academy of General Dentistry, and American Academy of Dental Sleep Medicine.

In his free time, Dr. Grant likes to spend time with his beautiful wife, Callie, and three little ones, Caris, Emma, and Ezra. He enjoys the outdoors, exercising, dental missions, and investing in his local church. Most of all he loves Jesus Christ and seeks to love others as he has been loved. John 13:34 “A new command I give you: Love one another. As I have loved you, so you must love one another."

Justin Garner DDS

Dr. Garner grew up in Western Kentucky. He attended the University of Evansville and graduated with a bachelors degree in Biology. He then obtained his Doctorate of Dental Medicine from the University of Louisville School of Dentistry.

“I enjoy dentistry because I can help my patients achieve their goals and better their oral health.” When he is not with his patients, he loves hiking, traveling, and cooking for his friends.

Dr Robert Schmidt DDS

Dr Schmidt graduated from the University of Missouri-Kansas City in 1985. He began his dental career by setting up a mobile dental clinic in a 27-foort recreational vehicle for the University of Health Sciences Hospital. He treated patients in 32 nursing homes, as well as home bound patients. He moved back to the St Louis area in 1987 and has practiced general dentistry in the area for the past 33 years.

Before dentistry, Dr Schmidt spent 9 years in the Catholic seminary and worked as the area director of the Special Olympics and recreation director for the St Louis Association for Retarded Citizens.

During the last 20 years, Dr Schmidt has made 13 dental mission trips to Honduras, a trip to Haiti March of 2010to help earthquake victims and 4 trips to New Orleans to help the Hurricane Kartrina victims, he has served on the board of directors of Volunteers in Medicine and volunteered at the SSM Senior Services Dental Clinic for 14 years. He also treats patients from the St Charles Hispanic community through St Raquel Ortez.

When not practicing dentistry, continuing education conferences , spending time with his loving wife of 40 years, Kathy, and engaging his three children, Dr Schmidt has time for a few hobbies that include swimming, sailing, playing ice hockey, piloting a small plane, managing property and raising angus cattle.

Dr Schmidt is a founding member of a men’s bible study group that has been meeting for 31 years. He was also on the original committee that started the Give Kids a Smile program that has developed into a nationwide charity dental program for under-served children.

Dr Schmidt had been a member of the American Dental Association and the Missouri Dental Association for 35 years. He also is a member of the Greater St Louis Dental Society and the International Association of Orthodontics.

By nomination of his colleagues, he recently received a Fellowship in the International College of Dentists a prestigious award to honor volunteer service. This is an honor only 4% of all dentists are offered. Then, in January 2015, Dr Schmidt was awarded the Gold Medal Award from the Great St Louis Dental Society in recognition of service to the profession of dentistry. The Gold Medal Award is the highest award given by the Dental Society.

Dr Schmidt has been teaching dental students at A.T. Still University Missouri School of Dentistry and Oral Health since it opened in 2015. He teaches Special Care Dentistry for patients with Special needs.