Considerations Before Investing In Partial Dentures

Considerations Before Investing In Partial Dentures

When you find yourself in need of replacing several teeth at a time, you may be offered partial dentures as an option. Partial dentures are differentiated from regular dentures by the fact that they are used to replace only some of your teeth when you still have healthy original teeth remaining. However, there are some considerations you should review before you invest in a set of partial dentures.

Kinds Of Tooth Replacement

There are three common types of teeth replacement with one temporary option. These teeth replacement options are:

  • Dental implant – Longest lasting tooth replacement, this option is best when you are only missing one or two teeth. A dental implant, once the site of the implant is healed, will act and look exactly like your other teeth. It is also the most expensive option.
  • Fixed bridge work – This type of replacement can also be costly, depending on how many teeth need to be part of the bridge. It is affixed by grinding down the neighboring teeth and then the dental bridge is cemented on the ground down teeth.
  • Partial dentures – Commonly made to act like a removable retainer, partial dentures are generally designed to replace the loss of back molars. This teeth replacement is removable and is custom-fitted to snap snuggly into place. Generally one of the most affordable option when you are missing many teeth but still have natural teeth worth saving.
  • Temporary partial – Also called a ‘flipper’, this tooth replacement is just for aesthetic purposes. It will sit directly on the gums and has no other support and is only used between tooth extraction and the healing of the extraction site so that a dental implant may be placed.

Who Should Consider Partial Dentures

Partial dentures can be a positive investment for many kinds of teeth-related needs. These positive attributes are:

  • Less invasive – For those who need multiple teeth replaced, a partial denture can be a less invasive teeth replacement options instead of multiple surgeries to put in dental implants.
  • Lower cost – When you are missing enough teeth that partial dentures are an option, the partials are usually the most affordable option.
  • Save teeth – Choosing partial dentures allows you to save some of your natural teeth, as the other option is that you have your original top teeth but then have a removable or implanted lower denture.
  • Addition possible – Depending on materials and location, it is possible to add to your partial dentures over time.

Downsides Of Partial Dentures

There are some downsides to choosing to invest in partial dentures, as no teeth replacement option is perfect. Those cons are:

  • Must remove – You need to remove the partial denture nightly for cleaning and sleep. This can bother some people, as they do not want to be without their teeth.
  • Adjustment time – As this kind of teeth replacement is removable, your mouth may adjust more slowly to the partial denture.
  • Plaque buildup – There may be an increase in plaque buildup in the teeth where the partial denture rests against.
  • Additional trauma – If you suffer any kind of trauma to your gums or remaining natural teeth, your partial may become shifted uncomfortably.
  • Bone loss – Over time you will suffer bone loss at the sites where you are missing teeth. This can cause a shift in your remaining teeth, causing your partial denture to no longer fit correctly.

There are many things you need to consider before you choose to have a partial denture. Here at Castle Rock Dental, Dr. Bronecki and Dr. Sullivan are ready to help support you through your life’s oral health needs. So contact us today and see what we can do to help with your oral health needs.

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The 2017 Billings, MT Christmas Light Spectacular Map

Billings Christmas Light Map 2017 - Link Image

Bridge Creek Dental is excited to present the 2017 Billings Montana Christmas Light Spectacular.

We will be donating $1 to a local charity for all Facebook likes received on our Facebook page during the month of December.

We invite you to spend time with your family this holiday season and get out and enjoy some amazing Christmas light displays. All events and light displays listed are free to attend or go and see.

Find a more comprehensive list of homes on the Official Billings Christmas Lights Facebook page – Here! – To get on that map sign up here!

Have a Merry Christmas from Bridge Creek Dental.

You Can Like Us On Facebook Right Here!


Share This Page With Your Friends As Well.


Download Christmas Light Map Here

Here is the Google Maps version For turn by turn directions

If you would like to be notified when future Billings Christmas Maps are released, please enter your name and email and you will be included on the release list!

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Up to $250 will be donated to the Billings Food Bank.

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Calming Your Dental Appointment Stress

Calming Your Dental Appointment Stress

Going to visit the dentist, whether you are a new dental patient or a veteran, can cause stress and anxiety in some people. This stress is understandable, as there can be a certain amount of discomfort and unexplainable anxiety attached to dental appointments. However, it is important to try and calm your stress so you don’t try and stretch out your dental visits.

By allowing your stress to keep you away from dental appointments, you raise the likelihood that a small oral health issue will need immediate intervention. By allowing your stress to dictate your actions, you could also end up having higher dental bills to deal with your neglected oral care.

There are several ways you can alleviate your dentist-related stress. We have compiled many suggestions and recommend you employ as many as you need to help feel calm while visiting your dentist.

Talk About Your Dental Anxiety

When you set up a dental appointment, mention that visiting the dentist causes you stress. Once your dental office has this information, the staff can more appropriately respond to your needs and any special requirements you may have. They may also offer options they have to help patients who struggle with dental anxiety, such as:

  • Sedation dentistry – Sleep your way through your stressful dental visits.
  • Establish signals – If you begin to panic or simply need a break from the procedure, establish a signal, such as raising your hand, to indicate you need the dental staff to give you space.
  • Discuss medication – If you have anti-anxiety medications, you should discuss with your dentist whether you should take any before your dental visit. Depending on the procedure, the medication may interfere, so be sure your dentist is aware of all the medications you are taking.

Block Out The Dental Office

We put blinders on animals to help them work through stressful situations. It only makes sense that we allow ourselves some “blinders” to deal with dental appointment stress. Some ways you could block out the dentist are:

  • Put in earbuds and listen to music or something to block out the noise of the dental office.
  • Wear sunglasses to help block out your surroundings.
  • Recite a mantra inside your head: “I am going to be fine” or “I am safe and okay”. A mantra can help you tune out anxious thoughts.
  • Holding onto something can help you literally get a grip on the situation. Grabbing onto a stress ball, worry stone, or a good friend’s hand can help you feel more in control and less overwhelmed by your anxiety.

Your dentists and their staff want you to feel stress-free during your time at their office. Which is why it is so important to try and find which strategies will help calm you during your dental appointments. It may take some trial and error, but the relief will be worth it in the end.

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​How Strong, Healthy Gums Protect Your Oral Health

Bridge Creek Dental

Your gums are your teeth’s first line of defense against the bad bacteria in your mouth. Maintaining your gums health is vital to your overall oral health.

To protect your gums, it is important to know how they could be threatened, then understand the best methods to maintain your gum health.

Common Types Of Gum Disease

Millions of adults are affected by gum diseases. There are two main types of gum disease which you could be affected with without even knowing it.

  • Gingivitis – This type of periodontal disease occurs as a direct result of poor oral hygiene. When you have gingivitis, the symptoms presented are reddened gums, swollen, and tend to bleed under pressure.
  • Periodontitis – When gingivitis is neglected, it can turn into periodontitis. The original gingivitis symptoms will continue in addition to plaque formation. The plaque will separate your gums from your teeth, leaving your teeth and nerves vulnerable to bacteria.

Other factors which can make your gums more vulnerable to periodontal diseases are:

  • Smoking
  • Genetics
  • Diabetes
  • Aging
  • Poor nutrition
  • Medication

Key Ways To Maintain Gum Health

It is easier to maintain healthy gums rather than trying to fix gums damaged by gum diseases. There are key ways to maintain gum health which in turn protects your overall oral health.

  • Brush after every meal – Leftover food lodged between teeth attracts bacteria. As the bacteria breaks down the food, it makes no distinction between food pieces and your teeth. It is important to clean your teeth thoroughly after every meal.
  • Floss carefully – Toothbrush bristles alone are not enough to remove all the food particles from between your teeth. Flossing will help remove the leftover food particles that become lodged between your teeth and protect against future gum disease. However, be careful not to floss too hard. You don’t want to cut your gums and invite bacteria into the cut.
  • Careful consumption – Some types of foods can speed up damage to your teeth and gums. Sugar is particularly dangerous, as it feeds bacteria growth, erodes enamel and weakening the seal between teeth and gums. Eating healthy and nutrition amounts of fats, vegetables, legumes, and fruits can help support your gum health.

Lastly, be sure you come in for your regular dental checkups. Dr. Wassmer and Dr. Taylor can identify if you have any periodontal disease and then treat your gums accordingly. However, as long as you maintain your oral health between visits, you can support your gums and your overall oral health with minimal fuss.

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New Patient Care At Bridge Creek Dental In Billings, Montana

Bridge Creek Dental

Your oral health can affect multiple aspects of your life, from your confidence levels to your overall health. We understand this at Bridge Creek Dental, which is why we offer an array of services to help all the patients who come through our doors.

We understand that it can be difficult to visit the dentist. Whether from bad prior experiences or it has just been a long time between your dental visits, our staff can put you at ease. Below is what our new patients can expect when visiting our dental practice for the first time.

Information Needed For Your First Time At Bridge Creek Dental

When visiting Bridge Creek Dental for your first time, we invite you to come 10-15 minutes early. For one thing, we take pride in our comfortable waiting room! You will also need to fill out new patient forms. The information will pertain to your medical history, general information and more.

To fill out these forms the best you can, have this information handy when working on the forms:

  • General information – Our office will need general information like your legal name (first and last), address, social security number, emergency contact, and birthday.
  • Insurance provider -You will need to fill in your insurance provider’s information. If you do not have dental insurance, be sure to talk to our staff. There are several dental financing options which you may be eligible to use.
  • Medical background – It is important that you fill out your medical history to the best of your ability. Many diseases first present with oral health-related symptoms. There can also be complications related to your medical background, which can be avoided if your dentist knows what to expect.
  • Current medications – Be careful to list any medications that you taking. Sometimes medications can interact incorrectly with some dental procedures.

You can also access our new patient forms online! So if you would prefer, you can have all your information filled out from the comfort of your own home.

Exams For New Dental Patients

With all your information filled out, you will be ready to be called out of the waiting room and into the main office to start your dental exam. One of our dental hygienists will start your examination. Once you leave the waiting room, you will have your teeth x-rayed. This will give your attending dentist a clear picture of the state of your teeth.

As the x-rays are developed, your hygienist will take you to one of the private and comfortable patient rooms. From there your dental hygienist will clean your teeth. This should be a pain-free procedure, so be sure to communicate any discomfort to your hygienist. This part of your exam can be around 15-25 minutes.

Meeting With Your Dentist

As Bridge Creek Dental is a full-service dental clinic, we can meet all your dental needs. From simple cleanings and cavity fillings to cosmetic dentistry, our dentists can help you perfect your smile.

Some of our most popular services are:

  • Cleanings
  • Dental implants
  • Teeth whitening
  • Invisalign braces

Whatever service you may need to create the smile of your dream, rest assured that our staff can help you achieve it. So contact us today to schedule your appointment and make your dreams a reality!

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Bacteria Growth In Our Mouths

Bacteria Growth In Our Mouths

Many of us were told as children that there were tiny armies in our mouths which attacked our teeth. The only way to defeat these invaders was to brush our teeth and go to the dentist regularly.

While the bacteria that live in our mouths doesn’t wield the swords and spears of these pretend armies, bacteria can damage our teeth. There are over 700 known strains of bacteria, though most people are host to only 30-75 different types. We also cannot completely eradicate all the bacteria in our mouths.

For one thing, we need the bacteria. Some strains are probiotic and they help break down food for digestion. Other types of bacteria actually strengthen our teeth and gums! However, there are still types of bacteria which are damaging to your oral health.

Top Two Harmful Bacteria

There are two strains of bacteria which commonly cause harm to individuals’ oral health. These are not the most destructive but if left untreated, they can be incredibly harmful.

  • Porphyromonas gingivalis – It is not normally found in a healthy mouth. The presence of this strain of bacteria has been linked to the oral disease periodontitis. If you develop periodontitis, it will progressively damage your jaw bones and the surrounding tissue. This disease can be very painful and can result in tooth loss.
  • Streptococcus mutans – This type of bacteria feeds on the starches and sugars you eat. While it can be found in healthy mouths, you need to be careful to keep it under control. As it eats the leftover sugars and starches on your teeth, it produces an enamel-eroding acid. This leaves your teeth vulnerable to cavities.

Managing Oral Bacteria

Once you have picked up a strain of oral bacteria, it is unlikely you can become rid of it. However, you can take steps to control the bacteria population.

  • Brush after meals – While many people only brush once or twice a day, it is best if you can brush your teeth after every meal. The bacteria will grow unchecked as it digests your meal, so you will want to brush as soon as possible after each meal. There are disposable toothbrushes you can carry if you are caught out and unable to reach your regular toothbrush. If you can, keep a work toothbrush so you can brush after lunch breaks.
  • Protect your toothbrush – It is important to protect your toothbrush. Rinse it off in hot water before and after using it. Do not allow others to borrow your toothbrush. Keep it upright and away from areas where it could be splashed. You don’t want to introduce more bacteria to your mouth via your toothbrush.
  • Floss daily – Brushing just isn’t enough when it comes to protecting your teeth from overactive bacteria. These invisible invaders can easily slip between teeth and avoid the most thorough teeth brushing. You can floss after every meal like brushing. Many people are too vigorous with their floss and can cut their gums, so if you are an exuberant flosser, you may want to stick to just flossing daily.
  • Rinse with mouthwash – An astringent mouthwash act as an antibacterial when you rinse your mouth with it. It will not kill all the bacteria but can keep the growth under control. You should not substitute brushing your teeth with mouthwash. While mouthwash can help control the bacteria, you still need to use a toothbrush to dislodge small bits of food and to thoroughly clean the surface of your teeth.

With regular care and dental visits, you should be able to keep your mouth’s bacterial growth under control and your smile intact.

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Procedure Concerns That Are Totally Normal, We Promise!

Procedure Concerns That Are Totally Normal, We Promise!

Let’s be honest, going to the dentist is nobody’s favorite thing, but we all know how important it is to keeping our smile at it’s healthiest. Even as an adult there are various dental procedures that can leave us feeling a little nervous. These nerves are totally normal and hopefully by understanding them a little better you’ll be able to relax next time you visit the dentist.

All the Tools

Even if you’re just visiting the dentist for a cleaning, there are still a number of tools that are used to keep those teeth looking their best. Before you sit down in your seat, you eye those tools wondering how they could possibly be so small, because when they are in your mouth it feels like they quadruple in size. This concern is completely justified, after all some of those tools are sharp and others sound like power tools. Rest easy knowing that the hygienist and dentist working on your teeth are more than qualified to use these tools properly. Furthermore, while these tools may look intimidating, they are all necessary to get your teeth as clean as possible.

That’s Been in Someone Else’s Mouth

Even if you’re generally not too concerned about germs, I’m sure it’s crossed your mind how well all those dental instruments have been cleaned. Those tools have been in someone else’s mouth and unless you know how well they’ve been sterilized, that can leave you feeling very uneasy. Dental tools are separated into three different categories depending on their risk for transmitting disease.

  1. Critical– These are the instruments that have been in direct contact with the gums and bone and need to be sterilized after each patient. These tools are sterilized by autoclaving, which is steam under intense pressure, dry heat, or chemical vapor.
  2. Semi- Critical– These are all of the tools that never penetrated your teeth or gums but did have contact with your saliva. These also need to be either sterilized or disinfected with a registered Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) sterilant after each use.
  3. Non-Critical– These instruments have little chance of transmitting infection as they are tools that only come in contact with the patient’s skin. These tools simply need to be cleaned with a hospital disinfectant after each patient’s use.

If germs are what’s making you nervous about visiting the dentist, knowing how well every tool is cleaned after each use should make you feel better about your next visit.

The Shot

No matter how old you are, everyone’s least favorite part about visiting the dentist is the numbing shot that you get before getting a cavity filled. Before your injection, you will be given a topical anesthetic to take away the painful pinch that comes from the injection of the needle. This needs to be left on for about a minute to work effectively. If you start to feel any pain, there is no need to be a hero! Tell your dentist of your discomfort! The last thing they want to do is cause you unnecessary pain.

Hopefully now that some of your fears have been dispelled, visiting the dentist can be something that you look forward to, after all who doesn’t love the feeling of freshly cleaned and polished teeth.

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Protecting Your Toothbrush From Bacteria On The Go

Protecting Your Toothbrush From Bacteria On The Go

There is a lot to be done in order to protect your toothbrush from growing bacteria both at home or on the go. The following will help ensure that what you’re using to clean those pearly whites stays clean.

Sharing Isn’t Always Caring

Some couples may think it’s a sign of how close they are when they start sharing a toothbrush. In reality, what they’re really sharing is each other’s microorganisms. By using the same toothbrush, you’re exchanging bodily fluids that could lead to an increased risk of infections. If you really care about that significant other, use your own toothbrush.

Keep it Clean

Before using your toothbrush, rinse it thoroughly with tap water to get rid of any debris. If you’re sick or have an autoimmune disease, it’s a good idea to soak your toothbrush in an antibacterial mouthwash such as Listerine prior to use. After brushing your teeth make sure to again rinse your toothbrush well by using hot tap water to eliminate excess toothpaste and debris.

Deep Clean

The best way to prevent bacteria from getting on your toothbrush is to use a UV toothbrush sanitizer. These sanitizers use UV light to kill 99.9% of the bacteria and germs that can accumulate on your toothbrush.

Store it Properly

After you’ve cleaned your teeth and rinsed your toothbrush you may be tempted to cover it with a plastic lid and throw it in a drawer. Instead, store your toothbrush upright using some kind of container and let it air dry. By covering your toothbrush with a cap you are preventing your toothbrush from drying quickly and completely which may lead to mildew growth.

  • On the Go- If you’re traveling and therefore away from your toothbrush container, instead brush your teeth like normal, and then set your toothbrush on a clean towel to allow it to dry before throwing it back in your Ziploc or other plastic container.

Replace 3-4 Times a Year

When it comes to your toothbrush, don’t make any sentimental attachments. You should be replacing your toothbrush every 3-4 months or whenever you start to notice signs of wear. When the bristles on your toothbrush fray or start to thin, they are not cleaning your teeth and gums adequately. Even though the toothbrush heads that come with electrical toothbrushes are pricier, they still need to get replaced every 3-4 months.

When you follow these tips, you can rest assured knowing that your toothbrush is as clean as possible before each use.

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Caring for Toddler Teeth

Caring for Toddler Teeth

Toddler teeth may not be permanent, but it’s important to care for them as if they are! Here are a few interesting facts about toddler teeth:

  • The enamel of baby teeth is thinner than the enamel of permanent teeth, which makes them more susceptible to decay than permanent teeth.
  • Toddler teeth typically appear much more white than permanent teeth. This is why when your child has a mix of the two, it can make for a goofy grin with some teeth bright white and others a little more yellow.
  • Baby teeth, sometimes called deciduous teeth, hold the spot where a permanent tooth will eventually pop up. This is why having missing teeth for long periods of time as a toddler can cause alignment or crowding issues as the permanent teeth grow into spots that haven’t had a placeholder for a while.
  • Toddlers typically have 20 teeth and adults have 32 permanent teeth. The extra teeth are wisdom teeth we develop as adults. Luckily our jaws naturally grow and lengthen to make room for these new teeth.
  • Baby teeth have much shorter roots, which allows them to fall out more easily.
  • Permanent teeth have small ridges on the end when they first come in. These little bumps are called mamelons and they usually wear away on their own as you grow up. Some dentists shave them off for adults to get a more polished looking smile.

Now that we know a little bit more about toddler teeth and how they are unique from permanent teeth, here are a few tips of care for baby teeth.

  • Brush, brush, brush! This might seem like a boring answer but it’s the best one. Getting into the habit of twice daily brushing with your little one as soon as they have teeth is key. It’s the first line of defense against sugary substances clinging to their teeth and starting the decay cycle. The longer you wait to brush and the more inconsistent you are, the more likely your child is to be resistant.
  • Ditch the bottle. As comforting as a bottle might be for your little one, it can wreak havoc on their teeth. Prolonged use a bottle, especially one filled with juice or milk, can leave sugar lingering on your toddler’s teeth all night. We recommend transitioning from a bottle to a sippy cup between 18 months and 2 years old.
  • Visit the dentist early. We recommend bringing your toddler in to see us by the time they have several teeth. Your first appointment will be more about getting them comfortable with the environment and our staff. We love meeting these little ones and do everything possible to give them a good experience that will have them excited to come back again.
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When To Invest in Cosmetic Dentistry For Your Child

Childrens dental

Cosmetic dentistry procedures have never been more popular — but are they suitable for children and teens? As parents continue to ask us questions about these types of procedures for their children, we offer this advice: yes, and no.

Our family-oriented office office follow a less-is-more approach. We believe in doing everything we can to keep our patient’s teeth healthy and attractive, but there are certain procedures we think are best suited for adults.

Also, we like to educate our patients about how one of the gifts of youth is relatively healthy teeth. Adolescence is the time you want to teach your kids about how to take care of their teeth on their own without having to use some of their more advanced treatments adults need due to aging and other factors.


Some parents have asked us about placing veneers on their child’s teeth. While it is possible, we strongly discourage this practice because we believe that most children’s teeth are still changing and moving. It makes no sense to make a large financial investment on teeth that will likely shift within a few months or years.

Another reason to hold off on veneers is that a significant portion of your tooth enamel needs to be removed for the veneer to be placed. It’s smart to keep as much of your natural tooth material in your mouth as possible.

We have the same philosophy for crowns and dental implants and we avoid them in children and teens when necessary.


  • One treatment we suggest to parents of children and teens with discolored teeth is microabrasion. Microabrasion is highly effective technique that often improves the color of your teeth enough that don’t need whitening. The treatment involves removing tiny bits of stained and discolored enamel with a mild liquid solution and a dental tool.
  • Bonding is another widely-accepted practice used that can technically be considered a cosmetic procedure. Bonding is when we use a composite material to repair chips, cracks and fractures in teeth. We still tread very lightly. We only like to do this when completely necessary and err on the conservative side.
  • Braces can also be considered a cosmetic procedure, even though many times straightening teeth is also hugely beneficial for the health of your child’s teeth as well as the aesthetics.
  • For teenagers, there is also whitening. Generally, we follow the recommendation of the Academy of General Dentistry that advises against whitening before age 14. If your teen is older than 14 and has doesn’t have any baby teeth left, whitening can be considered. It can help immensely with self esteem in the turbulent teenage years. To begin with, we always suggest to start out with a whitening toothpaste and look for results. If that doesn’t work, you can step it up to bleaching. Instead of trying out whitening products at home and possibly misusing them, we advise patients request a low concentration bleach solution from our office.
  • Throughout the years we have taken our regular procedures and found ways to make them more aesthetically pleasing without changing the actual result of the procedure. For instance, metal fillings used to be norm, but now we almost always use composite tooth-colored fillings. This avoids the distracting metal mouth look and still gets the job done.
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