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BEACON Senior News

Dr. Julie Gillis views dentistry as an artform

Jul 26, 2021 12:43PM ● By Dominic Jones
dentist gloved hand holds small mirror to patient's teeth

Grand Junction dentist uses creative background to serve patients

Most people are hesitant to visit the dentist, and that anxiety is compounded by the sterile white walls and piercing fluorescent lights. But that’s not the case when visiting Dr. Julie Gillis’ dentistry office.

Walking into Dr. Gillis’ Grand Junction office, you’re greeted by brilliant Greco-Roman art and architecture. The receptionist will assure you that you’re in the right place. Originally an architectural student with a bachelors from CU Boulder’s Environmental Design program, Gillis has a knack for detail and an eye for creating comfortable surroundings.

“What I was really good at was illustration,” said Gillis, describing her time assisting architects by sketching drawings by hand. She loved the artistry of it, but found herself constantly working on projects that didn’t keep her interest, like warehouses.

At 24, Gillis decided to take her artistic talents in a different direction and went back to school, emerging with a new career in dentistry.

Opening a practice

 As an artist, Gillis loves to work with her hands. Likewise, in dentistry, she gets to be just as creative and hands on but in a way that’s much more tangible to her patients. 

Gillis’ father was a physician. Growing up, she recalled that, “He was always on call and constantly working.” Becoming a dentist meant she could have a little more control over her hours and create boundaries between her personal and work life.

During her apprenticeship rotations, she spent six weeks working for a dental office in Grand Junction. She and her husband knew it was where they wanted to settle, and where they ended up raising two children.

Gillis purchased her current office on 1190 Bookcliff Ave. in the late 1990s. She attributes her decades of success to creating a fun place where patients can tell they’re cared for. 

“We actually like our patients,” Gillis said. 

Her assistants must feel similarly because some have been with her since she first opened. All have worked with her for at least 20 years. 

“In dentistry, keeping an assistant for four years is considered a very long time,” she added.

Services offered

Together, Gillis and her team complement each other’s strengths, making sure patients are as comfortable as possible while using the most advanced technology, such as lasers and digital imaging.

In addition to exams and cleanings, Gillis’ practice offers dental implants, crowns and bridges, porcelain veneers and Invisalign. With over 25 years in general, cosmetic and restorative dentistry, as well as gum disease treatment, Gillis is distinguished as being one of only four accredited members of the prestigious American Academy of Cosmetic Dentistry in Colorado.

Anyone looking for a new dentist, or who’s been neglecting to go because of anxiety or fear, give Dr. Gillis a call. Her staff has decades of experience and is always focused on the health and comfort of those in her care. Learn more at or call 242-3635 to schedule an appointment. 

Taking care of teeth is important at any age