Let us always meet each other with smile, for the smile is the beginning of love. ~ Mother Teresa
An orthodontist is the official title of Dr. Larry Morrill, but a more appropriate one might just be the “smile doctor.”
When he first graduated from Dental School at the University of Southern California (USC), he knew he wanted to work with teeth, but there had to be something more than just filling a cavity or giving a patient a shot.
When he went to a general residence program at the public health center in New York City, he was introduced to the different specialties. Immediately the world of orthodontics became his calling.
“I felt orthodontics was the thing I was interested in because you could develop a long-term relationship with the people you work with and see them grow,” he said. “I wanted to offer a service that would impact their whole life in terms of self esteem, their appearance, and their smile.”
For Dr. Morrill, there’s nothing more rewarding than seeing a patient walk into his office for the first time as a shrinking violet because they don’t have great teeth or a nice smile. By the time Dr. Morrill is finished with them, they emerge as an entirely different person.
“I can remember when my wife and I were driving up to UCSF to dental school and wondering what it would be like to be an orthodontist,” he said. “I remember saying I was interested in not only working with my own patients but that maybe we could go to some underdeveloped countries and help the children there.”
Dr. Morrill has fulfilled his aspirations by going to Mexico and South America to help children with cleft lips and cleft palates.
“I remember children with their face covered because they were ashamed to show their face,” he said. “By doing the work to give them that smile, it made all the difference in the world.”