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.

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. 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 DMD

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. Ehrhardt DMD

Dr. Ehrhardt earned his bachelors degree in Biology from SIUE. He then went on to graduate from Southern Illinois University of Dental Medicine. His goal is to create positive dental experiences for his patients while focusing on keeping them happy and healthy! He is a member of the America Dental Association, the Missouri Dental Association, and the Greater St. Louis Dental Society. Dr. Ehrhardt enjoys offering his patients Invisalign and creating new smiles they can feel confident about!

Outside of work, Dr. Ehrhardt is happily married to his wife, Alex. In his free time, he enjoys staying active by working out, hiking, and walking his dog, Remy. He loves cooking, baking, watching movies, and watching sports. He loves cheering on the Chicago Bears and Chicago Cubs!