Mary Ellen Helmkamp, DDS, MS
As an Orthodontist
I love seeing the transformation of my patients’ smiles from start to finish. The confidence and joy on people’s faces when their treatment is complete is the most rewarding part of my job and excites me the most.
That said, I also love getting to know each of my patients and their families throughout their orthodontic journey. We laugh a lot in our clinic and it’s fun to experience and celebrate their milestones and joys with them!
My team and I truly feel like our patients are part of our family and are honored to be part of their lives at such a pivotal time.
Background and Education
I have practiced orthodontics since I finished my residency in 2011. I come from a family of dentists: my dad was a general dentist, as was an uncle, and another uncle was an oral surgeon. Dentistry has always been part of my life. In fact, I helped out at my dad’s office, when I was a child, and then worked there some as I got older. I really enjoyed the environment and seeing how my dad and his staff helped people.
As I started college at DePaul University in Chicago, my intent was to attend medical school. My senior year, as I was completing a Bachelor of Science in Biology, I decided to follow in my dad’s footsteps and pursue a dental career.
I attended The Ohio State University, where I earned my Doctorate of Dental Surgery (DDS) and graduated Summa Cum Laude. It was during dental school that I fell in love with the orthodontic specialty. What could be more professionally or personally rewarding than improving people’s oral health and self-confidence by straightening their teeth and creating a smile they love?
Pursuing that path, I attended Saint Louis University’s Center for Advanced Dental Education for my post-doctorate specialty training. This culminated in a Master’s of Science in Orthodontics and graduating first in my class, along with falling in love with the St. Louis community!
In 2012 I purchased this practice from Dr. Robert Pickard and it became Helmkamp Orthodontics. I am proud of what we offer, what we do, and how we do it. As a smaller, more personalized office, we get to know each patient and family personally, tailoring care to the individual. We aim for perfection, work to make the entire orthodontic process easy and enjoyable, and make it a priority to establish and maintain open, honest communication.
Professional Affiliations and Continuing Education
I am an active member of the:
- American Association of Orthodontists
- American Dental Association
- Missouri Dental Association
- Greater St. Louis Dental Society
- Bi-State Women’s Orthodontic Network (study club)
Through these organizations I have numerous opportunities to further expand my knowledge and treatment options for patients. In addition to attending meetings and lectures, I study the current literature in professional journals in order to guarantee my patients are receiving the most up-to-date treatment guidance. I base my treatment recommendations on tested, evidence-based research, so I can be confident patients are receiving the very best care possible.
Beyond the Practice
A native of Akron, Ohio, I now consider Webster Groves my home and am pleased to be raising my family in this wonderful community. My husband Jason and I met while I was in residency at SLU. We married in 2014 and now have two amazing young kids: son Henry and daughter Margot.
We are a very active family. We spend a lot of time outdoors, walking around the neighborhood, working in the yard, hiking, running, and biking. We love to explore new parks and hikes, as well as check out the newest restaurants in town. We also love to travel and try to take a few trips each year with the kids.
I have always been a runner and regularly participate in marathons and half marathons. I also enjoy health and fitness, cooking, and interior design, as well as volunteering at my kids’ school.
While family keeps me busy, I make time to give back. I am a member of the Junior League of St. Louis, a women’s volunteer organization. I joined the Junior League when I moved to St. Louis, loving that it gives me the chance to make a real, positive impact in the community through volunteer opportunities, outreach, and initiatives.