My early education began at a little community college in Idaho, in Rexburg, Idaho, called Ricks College. It's kind of a long story, but I was always headed toward medicine. That was a field that my father thought I ought to go into and it was something I always excelled at in school, in the sciences and that type of thing. That's where I was headed.
As I continued down the path toward medicine, I started looking at medicine as a whole. I kind of saw where medicine itself was going, and I wasn't quite sure I wanted to necessarily go strictly into the medical, become a medical doctor. When I looked at dentistry – wow, I discovered that most dentists were their own businesspeople, they owned their own solo practice, they were very, very hands-on with their patients. They got to make the decisions, whereas often in medicine it's based on insurance. What will insurance pay?
It gave me the opportunity to also incorporate art into my dentistry. Dentistry really seemed like the most attractive way to go. That's kind of how I proceeded, and then I eventually attended The Medical College of Virginia in Richmond, Richmond, VA. I went out east just to broaden my horizons, see what was out there and I was pleasantly surprised. A beautiful area, very, very nice people. That was pretty much my education.
Then came back and went right into solo practice. I've always been interested in the surgical aspect of things, so I dove into the oral surgery, the implantology right out of school. For the last 27 years, that's kind of what I've done. I've always enjoyed the cosmetic aspect of things, making things look nice, look pretty. The biggest aspect of that is also the joy that you see in people's faces when it totally changes how they feel about themselves.
Drilling, filling and billing – anybody can do that. When you can change someone's appearance and change their self-esteem because of how you change their smile and their appearance, that's pretty cool stuff. It's fun to do.
Dr. Michael Stuart has practiced dentistry for almost 30 years. Before receiving his bachelor’s of science degree in microbiology from Brigham Young University, he completed a two-year mission in Guadalajara, Mexico for the LDS Church. He then went on to receive his doctor of dental surgery degree from the School of Dentistry at Virginia Commonwealth University in 1988. After dental school, he practiced in Utah for four years before moving to Montana.
Since then, he has proudly served the community of Billings, MT and the surrounding area. Dr. Stuart has many hours of continuing education courses with the American College of Oral Implantology and the American Academy of Cosmetic Dentistry. He has advanced training in laser therapy, cosmetic dentistry, and oral surgery.
Dr. Stuart grew up in the small town of Wells, NV. As the son of a pharmacist, he knew from a young age that he wanted a career that would allow him to help people in a meaningful way. Practicing dentistry, getting to know patients, and providing them with high-quality care has allowed him to achieve that goal.
Dr. Stuart believes that the most rewarding part of practicing dentistry is getting to work with great patients and staff. He loves helping patients feel better about themselves and seeing the difference a beautiful smile can make. He values the trust his patients place in him and works hard to make sure they get the best care possible.
When he isn’t in the office, Dr. Stuart enjoys elk hunting with friends, leading a Boy Scout den meeting, spending time with his wife and children, and attending the Frontsight Firearms Training Institute.
Dr. Craig Stannebein was raised to use his mind and hands to build and create. He learned quickly to understand what broke, why it broke, and how to repair it so it would last. When deciding how he wanted to spend his life, the dental field was an obvious choice. It has always held his interest and attention and seemed to be a good fit. Dr. Stannebein hasn’t been disappointed with his choice, and he’s been practicing since 1991!
Dr. Stannebein was born in Racine, WI and moved to northeastern Montana when he was young. His family then settled in Billings when he was 7 years old, and he graduated from Billings Senior High School. He attended MSU-Bozeman to earn his bachelor’s degree in science and chemistry. He then continued to OHSU-Portland, where he completed his Doctorate of Medical Dentistry degree.
Since graduation, Dr. Stannebein has been a member of the American Dental Association and the Montana Dental Association (9th District). He also enjoys working with his patients. Dr. Stannebein gets to meet great people and is always excited to provide each individual with their own dental needs and desires. He enjoys the gratification of relieving people from dental pain and providing them with dental function, form, and the beauty they desire. Dr. Stannebein sees every patient as a new relationship as well as a new learning experience.
Dr. Stannebein believes in the mantra, “At the end of the day or the end of life, all you have are the relationships you create.” He and his wife, Nicki, have been married since 1987. They have two sons and two grandchildren as well as two Jack Russell terriers and a cockatiel! In addition to cultivating relationships with his family, Dr. Stannebein enjoys fishing Montana’s warm-weather species, fly-fishing, hunting big game, gardening, and spending time outdoors.
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If your kids don’t like to go to the dentist, try Dr. Stuart. Our kids love him and his team. We just visited them yesterday for our 6 month checkup and cleaning, and Brianne was awesome! When I was a kid, the dental hygienist was a lumberjack – but not Brianne, she’s very professional and mindful of each of us. I have sensitive teeth and gums, and my visit with Dr. Stuart and his team was relaxing and easy. And the receptionist Lisa is so great, she always has a smile and positive attitude…so refreshing to have a dentist like Dr. Stuart. We have been going to Dr. Stuart for over 10 years, give him a try; you and your kids will notice the difference.
Our family found the way to Legacy Smiles in the midst of an ongoing yet undiagnosed dental crisis. Fortunately, Dr. Stuart aptly diagnosed the situation and promptly referred me to an oral surgeon to bring immediate relief. Since then, our family continues to be blessed by the genuine empathy and compassion Dr. Stuart has for his patients. He openly addresses any worries or fears we have, always in an informative and respectful manner. We encounter the same high standard of care with all of the staff at Legacy Smiles. Any treatment concerns or financial issues are courteously and promptly addressed and resolved. Dr. Stuart and Legacy Smiles provide the finest professional dental services with incomparable personal care!
Thank you, Dr. Stuart, for the senior discount on the dental work you have done for Vern and me. We’re also sending ‘kudos’ for you as well as your professional and competent staff – Lisa is a gem! It has been a pleasure interacting with all of you through the years. You and Cheryl are a good team… you’re ‘easy on the mouth’!
I wanted to thank you for the excellent service and experience I receive each time I come to your office. I appreciate the warm welcome, the time you spend explaining the procedures, and the personal touch you give. You always go the extra mile and have been a wonderful blessing to my family.
My family and I have been patients of Dr. Stuart for approximately 10 years. First I established dental care, then I quickly realized my children were of age to begin dental care as well. Dr. Stuart and his team have always been amazing to work with. I have 3 children ages 14, 10, and 5. Not one of them is fearful or frightened to go to the dentist. In fact, my 10-year-old just realized this year that she is actually “getting a shot” when she comes in for dental maintenance. She got her first filling at age 4! We are treated professionally, and they are always accommodating to our scheduling needs. I have frequently recommended friends or family to Legacy Smiles and Dr. Stuart only to receive a personal thank you letter and gift as a thank you! Lisa is always on the ball with insurance claims and reminders. I just have to show up! Thank you Dr. Stuart and the team at Legacy Smiles! Your patient care and service has improved our dental health. We love you guys!
Looking for a dentist who will see you in a timely manner? How about listening to you about any fear, be they physical or financial, in a caring, friendly manner? Is taking time to explain a recommended dental procedure important? Don’t hesitate to call Dr. Michael Stuart at Legacy Smiles where you are a valued patient.
I love going to Legacy Smiles! All the staff are so friendly and make the experience a good one! I can’t wait for my next appointment!
I live in So. California and was once visiting Billings and needed to see a dentist. I tried out a few and finally settled on Dr. Stuart. He is simply the best! He extracted a lower wisdom tooth, and when the anesthetic wore off, there was no pain. Zero, zilch, nothing! He and his hygienist are also the only ones who know how to scale and plane my very sensitive mouth with no anesthetic and no pain. And all of them, including the office manager, are very pleasant and accommodating. I highly recommend them. And I, myself, scheduled my dental work for when I was going to be in Helena, MT, then drove 4 hours each way to see this very special dentist. Well worth your while to check him out.