messer dental ribbon cutting

Community members gather for a ribbon cutting at Messer Dental.

WILLISTON — Dr. Jeremy Messer and his family came to Williston with the dream of starting a successful dental career. That dream has turned into reality.

Dr. Messer developed an interest in dentistry during his high school days in his hometown of Richardton, ND, after having some dental work done. And the rest, as they say, is history...

“I knew at a young age that I wanted to do something in the medical field, but after having some extensive dental work done, I became intrigued,” he said. “I asked my family dentist if I could shadow him for a few days, and that turned into shadowing for a few weeks, and then I started shadowing many dentists in the area. I just knew that this was what I wanted to do.”

Dr. Messer attended Dickinson State University followed by Oregon Health and Science University School of Dentistry. Soon after his residency, he and his family arrived in Williston in the summer of 2012 with the intention of taking over Seeley Family Dentistry 18 months later.

Not long after Dr. Messer joined Dr. Seeley, the number of patients doubled, making it difficult to accommodate the influx of patients in their 1800 square foot space.

“Our practice was booked out six to seven months in advance, which made it extremely difficult to squeeze people in for emergencies or general appointments. We had to accommodate the increasein business by hiring additional staff,” he explained.

As Dr. Messer grew his practice, he decided to look for a new, larger location. With no clinic space available in Williston, he decided to build a new facility. Construction began in 2019 and he opened the doors in 2020 under a new name, Messer Dental.

While searching for financing options for the project, Dr. Messer came upon the Williston STAR Fund Flex PACE Program. The program is an interest buydown program that partners with a local lender, the STAR Fund and Bank of North Dakota, to reduce the interest rate on a loan.

When consulting with a dental advisor and Keith Olson, the center director at the Small Business Development Center in Williston, the STAR Fund Flex PACE Program was determined to be the best option over other national financing programs for dentistry. The SBDC assisted Messer with financial projections showing how these programs could be beneficial and help with occupancy costs.

The final financial package included funding a commercial loan, an SBA 504 loan, as well as the interest buydown available through the STAR fund.

“The dental advisors were shocked that a city would give money to help new business development,” said Dr. Messer.

“This is a unique opportunity that the STAR Fund provides in Williston. It wasa no-brainer that the Flex PACE was the best option. The program helped eliminate some of the large start-up costs with opening and building a new facility.”

Messer Dental currently has eight chairs and 14 employees to accommodate their patients. Dr. Messer says he’s ecstatic about the new practice and the flexibility it offers his patients.

“I greatly enjoy having the space. It flows so much better for us. The extra parking, the space for offices, the lab, more equipment, and more patient rooms helps to increase efficiency of the office,” he said.

“The whole idea of building a new practice was to do what we did better. I wanted to provide better, more efficient general and family dental services to my patients. I wanted them to have a good experience and be happy with our services.”

Since the expansion, Messer Dental has added a new dentist, Dr. Paige Fisketjon, who graduated in May 2020. Dr. Fisketjon is a Williston native and has been a huge asset to the practice with her knowledge of the area.

Today, Messer Dental serves Williston and the surrounding area with family and general dentist needs.

“I plan to be in Williston my whole career. I love what I do. I love the career I chose. I love treating patients. I have no plans of doing anything else,” said Dr. Messer.

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