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Dr. Michael W. Stuart

Dr. Craig E. Stannebein

2700 Grand Avenue, Suite D. Billings, MT 59102

Monday - Thursday 8am-5pm
Friday by Appointment Only

(406) 794-3114

I’m in Pain or Have Discomfort

Are you experiencing dental pain or discomfort from a dental problem? We want to help. At Legacy Smiles, our goal is to make sure our patients are comfortable and happy with the care they receive – which means helping them eliminate pain as quickly as possible. Whatever the problem is, let us help solve it with restorative services from our Billings, MT dentist.

Tooth-Colored Fillings

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The Waterlase is kind of a cool concept. What it is is lasers generate heat, so cutting teeth with that much heat is generally not a good idea, but someone ingeniously created a laser where a focused beam of water comes out and then the laser focuses on that water and accelerates the water molecules. It's a hydrokinetic cut, meaning it will keep the tooth cool from the water but because of the accelerated water molecules, it will actually cut the tooth. We have a lot of years of experience with that laser now.

It will cut hard tissue, meaning teeth, and it will also cut soft tissue just by changing the settings. It's the one piece of equipment that the FDA has approved for actually cutting teeth and doing everything that we do with it. Of course we can change the settings on that and not use water if we need to do a biopsy or a frenectomy or something like that. We can totally change, we have total control of all those parameters.

The one aspect of it that enhances it even more is that in most cases, we don't have to give you anesthetic. That's really awesome because even when you do painless injections, it still leaves people numb, and they often don't like to be numb. When we can do, use the laser and not have to use any anesthetic whatsoever – wow, people walk out of here feeling like a million bucks because they got their procedure done. They were comfortable. It was quicker and they're out the door without any anesthetic and two or three hours of being numb.

Cavities are a problem that plague almost everyone. We use a tool called DIAGNOdent to catch even the smallest caries before they turn into larger issues. At our office, we offer completely metal free fillings, called composite fillings. These fillings are made from a tooth-colored material. Before placing a filling, we first remove the decay and prepare the tooth to receive the synthetic material. We then bond the composite filling to your tooth. These composite fillings are crafted to be long-lasting, durable, and easy on the eyes.

Crowns and Bridges

Receiving a crown or bridge is one of our most popular services. These time-tested restorations are used to repair a damaged tooth or replace one that has been lost or extracted.

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A crown is something that treats a single tooth and it is usually made of gold or porcelain or some material, and it encompasses the tooth 360 degrees and reinforces that tooth. A filling requires significant healthy tooth structure to hold the filling in. The filling doesn't hold the tooth. The tooth holds the filling, so once the disease gets so big or an old filling is so large, we no longer have enough tooth left to put another filling in it.

That's where a crown comes in because a crown will literally come over the tooth, down around it, and fit down around it, and encompass it 360 degrees to strengthen it and reinforces it and restore all that tooth structure. That's why we do a crown.

A bridge is one of those procedures where we're missing a tooth, and what a bridge does is we go to either side of the gap. If there's a missing tooth here, we're going to look at the teeth on each side of that gap and we're going to prepare those teeth just like we do for a crown, but instead, what our laboratory is going to make for us is it's going to make a bridge designed to literally bridge that gap. When we get it back from the laboratory, it looks like three teeth all fused together, and it fits down over the two supporting teeth with the false one fused in the middle, and it's designed and shaped to look like it's just growing right out of your gums just like a natural tooth does. Bridges, for us, they're pretty quick. They're simple, and those two things, a bridge or a crown, whether we're treating a missing tooth or a single tooth, those things are permanent. They are cemented in there and not designed to come out and they are as close to rebuilding the natural tooth as we can get.

The process of installing a crown a quite simple. Like fillings, the damaged area of the tooth is cleaned of decay or debris before the crown is cemented or bonded onto the tooth. The crown covers the entire surface of the tooth and is used to repair a cracked, fractured, decayed, or otherwise damaged tooth.

A bridge is made up of three or more crowns that are cemented onto surrounding healthy teeth to create a literal “bridge” in order to fill a hole where a tooth once resided. Our office also offers implant-supported bridges, which are a great addition to your smile when you are missing a lot of teeth.

Root Canals & Extractions

If you are in pain, it is possible that you may need a root canal or even an extraction. A root canal is a common procedure where the doctor removes infected tissue from your tooth root and replaces it with a synthetic material. Often this is a great way to end pain from an infected tooth. However, sometimes it is necessary to extract the tooth due to extensive damage or infection. Either option will end your suffering, and the sooner you get into see the doctor, the better.

Emergency Services

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Just yesterday, we had a lady come in. She gave us a call. She was traveling through town on her way to Red Lodge for a wedding. She called us. She had a tooth broken off right in the middle of her mouth, right smack in the middle of her smile. She was going to have a hillbilly smile for these pictures, and she was mortified. We worked them into our schedule, and we were able to spend about a good hour and a half with her and rebuild this whole tooth so that she can now smile for the pictures for her wedding. We specifically designed our schedule so that we can get people in immediately if necessary, even if it means tweaking our schedule a little bit, or staying late, or missing a lunch, or whatever we have to do. When people really need your help, they need it now. We strive to accommodate that.

We are always available in case of an emergency. If you are experiencing pain from a damaged or lost tooth or other dental injury, please call us right away. We will get you in to see Dr. Stuart as soon as possible. If you call after hours, please follow the instructions on the answering machine to reach a member of our staff. Let us help you feel better.

We offer many restorative services that can be used to fix you right up from dental pain. Call our Billings, MT dentist office right away at (406) 794-3114 or send us a message using our online form.


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