By Tom Maguire | Associate editor

Bernadette Andaloro spent what can reasonably be called a pleasant hour April 3 — in the dental chair.

She explained: “It’s great; he did two teeth today in one hour. … I’ve never felt the pain when he’s doing it.”

Deacon Robert Fangio, DDS, has been doing some bonding work on her teeth at Amaus Dental Services, an outreach of the Cathedral of the Immaculate Conception in Syracuse. The free service, staffed by professionals and other volunteers, helps people who have no dental insurance.

Andaloro, of East Syracuse, had gone to the restored cathedral and read an Amaus pamphlet. Just two weeks after that, her boyfriend, who is on disability, came down with an abscessed tooth. She called Amaus asking for help, “and they said, ‘Sure.’” “They have a questionnaire that you fill out, very brief. … It’s a wonderful blessing,” she said. If it’s an emergency, she said, “they do their best to get you in as quickly as possible.”

Amaus extracted her boyfriend’s tooth, “and they gave him medicine and everything, and it didn’t cost him a penny.”

Her own problem, she said, is very bad gum recession, “and it gets worse. The food tends to get down into the roots of the tooth, so he puts the bonding material on to build it up so that the root is not exposed, and the food does not get down in there, and it does not cause an infection.”

“He always has a calm, pleasant, professional demeanor,” she said of Dr. Fangio, “and he’s always very confident. … This is my third or fourth visit, and I have never been worried about what he’s doing.”

Asked about the fact that Dr. Fangio is a deacon, Andaloro said, “I think that he’s a very talented, special guy, that he really does do God’s work in many ways. … I wish the world had more people like him.”

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