Robert H. Bridgeman, “Robbie,” grew up in Boone, North Carolina. After graduating from Watauga High School in 1998, he majored in biology for three years at Marshall University in Huntington, West Virginia. He continued his study of biology at Appalachian State University for one year before his acceptance into the University of North Carolina School of Dentistry, graduating in 2006.
Robbie associated with his father, Craig, in Boone, North Carolina immediately following dental school, and continues to learn and practice the art and science of dentistry from his father, colleagues, and is involved in several dental organizations and institutions. Robbie is an active member of both the North Carolina Dental Society and the American Dental Society, and a member of the American Academy of Operative Dentistry.
Perhaps most important to his patients, Robbie is active in “hands-on” continuing education, where dentistry on live patients is provided multiple times a year under the guidance of some of the best mentorship dentistry has to offer. He is an active member of the Hollenback Medina Operative Dentistry Seminar, where both direct gold foil and cast gold techniques are the focus for improving his clinical skill set. He is the immediate past Secretary and Treasurer for the Seminar, and helped to affiliate the Seminar with the Academy of Richard V. Tucker Study Clubs (www.arvtsc.org). This Academy is a world-wide academy that focuses on clinical excellence in dentistry through mentorship and the use of cast gold. Robbie is also a council member for the American Academy of Gold Foil Operators (www.aagfo.org), which also promotes clinical excellence in dentistry through the manipulation of gold foil. Gold foil is undoubtedly one of the most demanding dental materials to master, yet when handled properly, produces one of the finest and longest lasting restorations in dentistry.
Robbie is an alumnus of the prestigious Pankey Institue (www.pankey.org), which advocates comprehensive, patient-centered dentistry, with a major emphasis on establishing meaningful relationships with his patients. He has also participated in courses at The Dawson Academy (thedawsonacademy.com) to further his understanding of occlusion, which is how the teeth fit together with respect to the proper position of the jaw joints.
When not seeing patients or fabricating restorations in his laboratory, Robbie can be found spending time with his wife, Rachel, and their son and daughters: Jack (born 2009), Ella (2012), and Reese (2015), and dog, Boone. His favorite hobbies include reading, cooking, gardening, landscaping, hiking, mountain biking, snow skiing, fishing (particularly with his own flies), hunting, and identify the plants, trees, flowers, and birds indigenous to our beautiful Appalachian Mountains. He and his family also love to support Appalachian State athletics. He enjoys serving his community through the Boone Sunrise Rotary Club, and has served on the Watauga Education Foundation to support the students and teachers of his county. Robbie is also a member of the High Country Young Professionals. He and his family worship at Grace Lutheran Church in Boone.
Dr. Craig Bridgeman considers it an honor to serve as a third-generation dentist in the Bridgeman family. He is a native of West Virginia and did his undergraduate studies at Marshall University and West Virginia University.
In 1972, he was accepted as the only out-of-state student in the first dental class at the University of Florida. While in school, he was the first dental student in Florida history to place a restoration in a live patient. After graduation in 1976, he and his wife, Rose, settled in Boone.
Dr. Bridgeman’s interest in restorative dentistry has led him down numerous pathways for professional development. He has studied extensively at the Center for Advanced Dental Studies, founded by Dr. Peter Dawson in St. Petersburg, Florida. Dr. Dawson’s philosophy of dental practice (and life as well) has been a major influence on the character of his practice. Dr. Bridgeman has also been strongly influenced by Dr. Richard V. Tucker of Ferndale, Washington, whose emphasis on excellence in the use of cast and direct gold restorative materials is legendary. He has also attended the L. D. Pankey Institute in Key Biscayne, Florida.
In 1976, Dr. Bridgeman joined the G. M. Hollenback Operative Dentistry Seminar (now the Hollenback-Medina Seminar) as an operating member. The members of this study club meet numerous times yearly to do clinical operations with their peers observing and offering critique. In 2000, Dr. Jose Medina (former Dean and professor of Operative Dentistry at the University of Florida) retired as clinical director of the study club, and Dr. Bridgeman was selected to replace him.
Dr. Bridgeman is a member of the North Carolina Dental Society and the American Dental Association. He holds certification from the American Board of Operative Dentistry. In addition to serving as clinical director of the Hollenback-Medina Seminar, he is also a member of the Tarheel Tucker Study Club which meets regularly at the University of North Carolina Dental School in Chapel Hill.
Other professional affiliations include the American Academy of Restorative Dentistry, American Academy of Gold Foil Operators (past president), Academy of Operative Dentistry (past president) and the American Board of Operative Dentistry (past president). He also holds fellowships in two honorary colleges, the American College of Dentists and the International College of Dentists.
Dr. Bridgeman has presented lectures before professional audiences at numerous sites in the United States as well as Puerto Rico. Along with Dr. Kevin Frazier and Dr. Jose Medina, he is a co-author of the textbook chapter “Direct Gold Restorations” in Clark’s General Dentistry.
Dr. Bridgeman spent many years serving Watauga County and Boone in the Boone Jaycees. Most recently, he served as president of the Watauga Education Foundation, and under his tenure, the foundation successfully completed a $650,000 endowment campaign.
He enjoys working as a dental consultant to the Department of Athletics at Appalachian State University. He has worked for Habitat for Humanity, is a past member of the Parish Council and is a current leader of the Adult Scripture Study program at his church, St. Elizabeth Catholic.
He is married to the former Rose Herrick of New Martinsville, West Virginia, and they are the parents of (Dr.) Robert H. and Casey Anne.
Dr. Bridgeman’s interests include reading, traveling, playing golf, watching college sports, playing the piano and woodworking.
Debby – Office Administration/ Certified Dental Assistant
Debby is a Watauga county native and received her Certified Dental Assistant training at Western Piedmont Community College. She has been a dental assistant since 1987 and has been employed by Dr. Bridgeman since 1997. Debby’s professionalism and ability to multitask are what make her so valuable in our office. She is as knowledgeable at the front desk as she is in the lab or operatory. Debby is married with one son, daughter-in-law and grandchildren. She is as busy at home as she is in our office, doing all the things she loves: cooking, gardening, church activities and enjoying her grandchildren.
Tammie – Certified Dental Assistant
Tammie is a native of Boone and received her Dental Assistant training at Central Piedmont Community College. She has been a dental assistant since 1980, and she has been employed by Dr. Bridgeman since 1985. Tammie’s experience makes her a valuable member of our team. She is an excellent communicator and has a gift for helping our clients understand their dental problems as well as the solutions suggested by our practice. Tammie is married with two children and is a proud grandmother. When not working, she enjoys spending time with family and friends, cooking, gardening, reading and Bible study.
Lauren – Registered Dental Hygienist
Lauren is a Wilkes county native and received her hygiene degree at Catawba Valley Community College. She began her career as a dental hygienist here in our office in 2008. Lauren’s expertise, experience and calm caring manner is invaluable to our patients. Lauren is married and a mother of 2 children. She enjoys spending time with her family, being outside and church activities.
Carrie – Registered Dental Hygienist
Carrie is a Watauga County native and received her hygiene degree at UNC. She has been a dental hygienist since 2006 and has been employed by Dr. Bridgeman since 2017. Carrie’s experience and her devotion to our patients is invaluable to our office. Carris is married and has a son. She enjoys spending time with her family, hiking with her dogs, church activities and going on mission trips.
Tara – Certified Dental Assistant
Tara is a native of Ashe County and received her Certified Dental Assistant training at Wilkes Community College. She began her career as a dental assistant here in our office in 2018. Tara is quiet with a wonderful calming spirit to our patients. She enjoys kayaking, hiking with her dogs, and fishing.
Nicole – Certified Dental Assistant
Nicole is a native of Watauga County and received her Certified Dental Assistant training at Central Piedmont and has a 2-year associate degree from Caldwell Community College. She has been a dental assistant since 2016 and has been employed by Dr. Bridgeman since the spring of 2019. Nicole has a great sense of humor that flows through our office and extends to our patients. She enjoys spending time with her family, outdoors, being on the baseball field, baking and church activities.
Rachel – Certified Dental Assistant
Helen – Registered Dental Hygienist