Dr. Bruntjen, a polished dentist for over 40 years, prepares to call it quits – Spotlight

Coming to the end of a long career – Dr. Roger Bruntjen at his office

After serving the dental needs of the Stettler area full time since 1969, Dr. Roger Bruntjen has decided to start the transition to retirement.

Located in Heartland Shopping Plaza on 51 Avenue since his very early years in his career, Bruntjen’s business was sold last month.

“I sold my practice and now I work a couple of days a week,” said Dr. Bruntjen, who started his local career when the population of the Town of Stettler was about 3,500.

“I want to spend fewer days in the office.”

Now as he looks back, the long-time dentist is grateful to have served the community.

“For dentistry, this has been a great town for me and the community has treated me well,” said Dr. Bruntjen, who grew up in Trochu.

“The size of the town is perfect.”

After he graduated from the University of Alberta with a degree in dental surgery, he chose to come to this larger community.

“I didn’t’ want to go back to a town of 700,” said Dr. Bruntjen.

“I had played ball and hockey and often came here for games and I thought Stettler was a good town.”

As his wife and children call this home, Stettler has been a great place to live.

“I didn’t want to go back to a big city,” said Dr. Bruntjen.

As one of the longest-serving dentists in Stettler, he has cleaned, polished, pulled and capped a lot of teeth to hundreds of people and families.

“I’ve made many friends and worked on the third generation of patients,’ said Dr. Bruntjen.

While the Stettler area was served by four dentists during one period in time, during the 1970s, he was the only dentist between Red Deer and the Saskatchewan border.

Life as a dentist was a desire he had as a young boy when his parents owned a general store that took up most of their time and life.

“I knew I wanted to work in the professions,” said Dr. Bruntjen.

As he considered his career and future, he discussed the dental field with a friend’s father who was a dentist.

“He was a respected man around town and this was a big influence on me,” said Dr. Bruntjen.

Then he began to prepare for a career that will now eventually wind down.

“My mission as a dentist is to save teeth,” said Dr. Bruntjen.

“It’s the people – patients and staff – that makes this work fun.”

Over the past four decades, dental equipment and practices have evolved significantly with the computer age and technology.

“When I started in 1969, my equipment was state-of-the-art and I’m still using some of it,” he said.

“We’ve modified some of it.”

Now much of that seems to be so antiquated with the rapid rise in technology.

“One of the greatest developments in dentistry is the implant replacement of teeth,” said Dr. Bruntjen.

Digital X-rays, computers and intra-oral cameras have made it easier for dentists to assess the teeth and structure.

“We can move the camera inside the mouth and show the patient what it looks like.”

Another great improvement has been a change in philosophy to proactively promote ways to prevent cavities rather than just filling cavities.

“We now have high-speed suction for air, water and saliva – that’s been great for dental efficiency,” he said.

As he was starting his career, many dentists had no hygienists or assistants and did much or all of the work for each patient.

Now as he prepares to retire, Dr. Bruntjen plans to spend more time on his farm, travel and visit his grandchildren.

Just Posted

Popular downtown initiative bolsters Stettler Food Bank donations

Wells Furniture and Brenda’s Cozy Cafe are gearing up for the third annual Food Bank Drive May 29th, 30th and 31st

‘Stop Order’ issued to Paradise Shores

According to the County, staff will continue to communicate and work with the developer

Magnetos Car Club ready to shine at annual car show and cruise

For the 19th year in a row, featured cars will line Main Street on June 8th

Stetter P&H Elevator pancake breakfast runs May 26th

Highlights include a threshing and rope making demos and flour and bread making

Red Deer resident releases a set of inspiring new titles

Bev Burton excited to share her story via Create Your Calm Waters and Arise & Shine

UPDATE: B.C. pilot killed in Honduras plane crash

The crash happened in the Roatan Islands area, according to officials

Growing wildfire prompts evacuation of High Level, Alta.

Chuckegg Creek fire has been burning for several day, but grew substantially Sunday

Growing wildfire prompts warning for High Level to prepare for evacuation

Town of High Level announced Monday that residents should get personal items in order

Carbon tax, desk-thumping on agenda in upcoming Alberta legislature session

Jason Kenney has appointed a panel to come up with ways to reduce spending in the budget this fall

Facebook takes down anti-vaxxer page that used image of late Canadian girl

Facebook said that the social media company has disabled the anti-vaccination page

Authorities warn out-of-control wildfire could cut northern Alberta town’s electricity

Alberta Transportation has closed Highway 35 south of High Level due to the fire

‘Rope-a-dope’: Environmentalists say Alberta war room threat won’t distract them

Those against Alberta Premier Jason Kenney aren’t worried about promise to fight critics of energy industry

Almost $13 million to be paid to Grande Prairie hospital subcontractors, others

No reasons for the Court of Queen’s Bench order were released

Canada’s parole officers say correctional system has reached breaking point

About half of Canada’s federal parole officers work inside penitentiaries and correctional institutions

Most Read