(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
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
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
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
“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.”
you know of an individual who helped shape Emmitsburg?
If so, send their story to us at: email@example.com