Dental Staff

All our professionals at Sonoma Family Dental maintain the highest levels of accreditation and pursue ongoing education to stay abreast of the latest trends in dentistry.

Joshua Elliss, DMD

During his undergraduate studies at Dixie State College – St. George and Utah State College, Josh Elliss was awarded the Dr. Barnum Research award and graduated Magna Cum Laude with a bachelor’s degree in Biology. Dr. Elliss then attended the University of Las Vegas School of Dental Medicine; he was also an extern at the prestigious Las Vegas Institute for Advanced Dental Studies, where he was exposed to modern cosmetic and occlusion techniques. Upon graduation from UNLV, he was awarded the Quintessence Award for his research during school and the Outstanding Student Award from the American Academy of Craniofacial Pain. After schooling, Dr. Ellis practiced in Dallas, Texas, prior to moving his family to Las Cruces.

“Growing up in a small town next to Zion’s National Park in southern Utah, I cultivated a love for outdoors and hiking at an early age. I am grateful to now look out my window every day and see the beautiful Organ Mountains so close by. Las Cruces is a unique and diverse place and my family feels at home here.”

Dr. Elliss is currently involved in local cub scouts and enjoys being a supporter of NMSU athletics and student organizations.


Cory Thompson, DMD

Dr. Cory Thompson attended Arizona State University where he graduated Summa Cum Laude with a bachelor’s degree in Spanish. Dr. Thompson then went on to graduate from the University of Pittsburgh School of Dental Medicine out east where he loved the seasons but learned to appreciate the fact that you never have to shovel sunshine. At his family’s request/urging, Dr. Thompson set out to practice in the desert southwest. After some time spent in Arizona, Las Cruces became home and he and his family have grown to love the area and the people.

“There is a uniqueness about Las Cruces and Southern New Mexico that I really enjoy. I love the spectacular mountain views and White Sands National Park. This is a place that my family and I are excited to call home. I am looking forward to helping the people of Las Cruces with their dental needs and I am excited about the many wonderful options that we can provide for you at Hillrise Dental.”


Richard Owen, DMD

Dr. Owen is a graduate of Nova Southeastern University's College of Dental Medicine one of the most modern dental programs in the-United States. His training and experience in state-of-the-art techniques and materials ensures that his patients receive the best possible comprehensive dental care available today.

Before becoming a dentist Dr. Owen studied and worked in the United States and Europe. In 1989 he completed an undergraduate degree at, the University of Delaware in International Relations before moving to New York City where he began working for Ralph Lauren. He then spent three years in France and Germany.

Dr. Owen's time spent studying and working abroad, enabled him to become fluent in French, German and Spanish. His travels have given him a unique perspective on relating to and treating people of differing cultural backgrounds. Art has been an important part of his life, and continues to heavily influence his work tod_ay in the area of cosmetic/aesthetic dentistry. He is a graduate of multiple courses taught by national and international leaders in dentistry such as Frank Spears, Peter Dason and The Pankey Institute. Areas of interest include dental implant placement and restoration, Botox administration for cosmetic purposes and temporomandibular muscle disorders, minor orthodontics and community dentistry. Dr. Owen has been a member of the American Dental Association since 1999 and a member of the South Florida Dental Association since graduating from dental school. He was on the board of directors of the Greater Miami Dental Society and was on staff at the Robert Morgan Vocational Institute's 'dental clinic where he provided services to Miami- Dade County's poorest residents while training dental assistants.

Dr. Owen decided to relocate to New Mexico to be closer to his family in March 2010. He established himself as an associate dentist here in Las Cruces. In October 2015, Dr. Owen accepted the opportunity to join our fast growing dental practice and settled into our family like dental practice.

In Dr. Owens spare time he enjoys biking, hiking, traveling, swimming and volunteering in local and state wide community events.


Dr. Espinoza

Born and raised in New Mexico, at a young age Dr. Espinoza knew he wanted to be a dentist. The path was not always straight and clear but with encouragement from his family, friends and church he had faith he would achieve his goal. He started to develop a hard work ethic while attending Las Cruces High School and working at Memorial Medical Center as a Sanitation Aid. After graduating from high school and completing a certificate as a Certified Nursing Assistance, he worked at Las Cruces Nursing Center and attended NMSU School of Business and College of Arts and Sciences to complete pre-dental requirements. Upon completing his Bachelors in Business Administration and all pre-dental requirements, he was accepted into Loma Linda University School of Dentistry. There he served as class president all four years and was a part of the Dean's List for academic achievements. In his senior year he was nominated and won several leadership awards including recognition by the California Dental Association for research and the Prince Award, which the school deems one of the most prestigious awards given. Wanting to continue to learn more about dentistry and advanced procedures, Dr. Espinoza was accepted into the University of New Mexico Advanced General Dentistry program. He studied an extra year of day-to-day dental procedures in a clinic and hospital setting, as well as LV. sedation, dental implants, endodontic, fixed and removal prosthodontics, advanced pediatric cases, periodontal surgeries, impacted wisdom teeth removal, emergency dentistry and preventative dentistry. It was an intense year but working with specialists in each of those areas has helped mold him into a better dentist that wants to continue to grow and learn. After having several job offers around the U.S., Dr. Espinoza decided to take the job at Sonoma Family Dental and proudly serve his community that helped him in achieving his own goal.