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Dr. Timothy Bringardner
 celebrating 25 years in Emmitsburg

Elizabeth Piazza
Emmitsburg Dispatch

(5/1/2008) His patients call him “Mr. Painless.” Considering his tools consist of drills, needles and pliers, the nickname is more than a compliment. Working out of an old cozy stone house, Dr. Timothy Bringardner, D.D.S., has been keeping patients in the Emmitsburg area out of pain for the past 25 years.

A graduate of Ohio State Dental School, Bringardner did not grow up aspiring to become a dentist.

“My dentist growing up was very good to all of us,” Bringardner said. “I didn’t think about [becoming a dentist], although it wasn’t an unpleasant thought.”

It wasn’t until a friend encouraged him to attend a meeting for a dental club that Bringardner began to consider dental school.

After graduating dental school, Bringardner spent a year working at the University of Maryland Hospital in Baltimore and married his wife Kathy in 1982.

“To me, it was an adventure,” said Kathy Bringardner. “Baltimore was a fun city for a newly married couple. Once I learned we were expecting, my ideas completely changed.”

The two wanted to find a nice environment to raise their children. They both liked the Maryland area and discovered a dentist in Emmitsburg who was ready to move to Florida.

In 1983, with a six-week-old infant son, Bringardner purchased the practice from Dr. Donald Sammarco at 101 North Seton Ave. in Emmitsburg.

“[Emmitsburg] is a very friendly town,” said Bringardner. “People are very warm andII never felt like an outsider.” He felt that the transition was a smooth one.

“The beginning was tough,” said Kathy. “He worked evening hours, weekend hours and was generally in the office for long hours so he could build his practice.”

Eventually the practice grew large enough so that Bringardner could purchase the building as he was initially renting it from Sammarco. For most of the 25 years, he has been the only dentist in Emmitsburg.

During his time in Emmitsburg, he has seen not only his own three children, Patrick, 25, Allison, 24 and Eric, 21, grow up but those of his patients as well. He has witnessed his patients having children of their own.

Patients come from all over –Thurmont, Gettysburg and Fairfield.

“The chair is always booked,” said his receptionist Debbie Hobbs.

Part of the reason he is known as Mr. Painless or the Painless Dentist is due to this calm quiet nature and understanding the fears people have of the dentist. He believes in working with each patient, so that the overall experience is positive.

“The best thing is to communicate any fears,” Bringardner said. “A lot of people just don’t like someone doing things in their mouth. It’s such a private area. For others, going to the dentist is a control thing, but most people realize after a while that it is fine.”

Changes in dentistry over the years have allowed Bringardner to employ the newest technology available, such as computers and digital x-rays. Even with technological advances, he has maintained a down to earth, cozy environment for his patients.

In addition to seeing patients at the Seton Avenue office, Bringardner sees patients at the Provincial House, a retirement home and administration center for the Daughters of Charity. He is the on-call dentist for the Fire Academy and Mount Saint Mary’s. Bringardner also sees the seminarians at the Mount. In February, he speaks about dental health care at Mother Seton School and gives oral cancer screenings for the health fair. Bringardner has also done pro-bono work for children who are very poor and in need of dental care.

As if that is not enough, Bringardner enjoys golfing and woodworking. He has run in three Boston Marathons and the Frederick Marathon.

Kathy hopes that he will eventually scale back a bit so that they can do more traveling. They were able to take a trip to visit their eldest son, Patrick, who is living in Peru working for the Peace Corps. Bringardner plans to work for another 10 years or so and then slowly cut back.

“Maybe,” he says with a smile. “After 25 years, if you don’t like what you’re doing, you’d do something else. Everyday is the best day,” said Bringardner. “There are too many best days- even on days that feel so strange, there are always good things about the day. Besides, I get to go home to a wonderful wife.”

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