When orthodontic or temporomandibular joint (TMJ) patients walk in the door of Dr. Eric Lawrence’s private practice, delight registers on their faces. Typically, they have been referred to Dr. Lawrence for unrivaled care. Many have seen the beautiful smiles he has achieved for both children and adults, or they have spoken with other TMJ patients who have finally found the solution to their facial pain. Patients suffering with an unpleasant smile, crooked teeth, and the associated decreased self-esteem, seek Dr. Lawrence for a more attractive smile. Others are seeking a solution to acute or chronic facial pain resulting from a TMJ problem, and have been told there is relief available.
Few, however, realize how much fun it will be to go for each appointment. Patients, staff-and doctor are all having a good time while exemplary care is delivered in an exciting environment, “People come here for intervention in abnormal facial growth, more beautiful smiles, more attractive faces, or relief from facial pain due to TMJ dysfunction. Most appointments are relatively short; only the first and second visits for exam, consultation and placement of braces are longer, so why not make it fun?” says Dr. Lawrence.
“We do have a quieter escape area with comfortable chairs for hurried adults,” the office manager emphasizes. “We kept in mind that parents want some peace and quiet while they are here for a child’s appointment. Some parents bring work to do, but usually they get caught up in the excitement of our stadium environment,” As Dr. Lawrence saw his sports memorabilia collection growing, he sought a place to display the autographed footballs, baseball and jerseys. When he acquired rows of seating from the old Cleveland Municipal Stadium, he hit upon his solution – he would create a Hall of Fame type environment in his orthodontics office.
The front door opens onto stadium green carpeting, stadium seating and bleacher seating, and a full wall of televisions and interactive game screens. The walls are adorned with framed jerseys and other sports memorabilia. Patients are greeted by a receptionist seated in a hockey penalty box, and the phone provided for patient use sits on an authentic ticket box from Cleveland Municipal Stadium. In addition, interactive games or televisions are available at each patient care chair with headphones to avoid unnecessary noise.
Cleveland Municipal Stadium was a familiar place for Dr. Lawrence, a native of Cleveland, who began attending Browns’ and Indians’ games there with his grandfather before he started elementary school. This decorating theme offered him the opportunity to offer a tribute to his late grandfather, who practiced dentistry for more than 50 years in Cleveland.
Dr. Lawrence’s tradition of involvement in Cleveland sports goes beyond being a fan. His uncle, Dr. Edward Robbins was the inventor of the original mouthguard and as dentist for the Cleveland Browns worked along with Paul Brown designing the first face mask. Dr. Lawrence has helped several Cleveland professional athletes in treating TMJ problems, which have occurred due to the trauma of their sports.