May-June 2013 | BRACING FOR YOUR FUTURE

BRACING FOR YOUR FUTURE
Dr. James Crouse, The Brace PlaceBRACING FOR YOUR FUTUREBRACING FOR YOUR FUTUREBRACING FOR YOUR FUTURE

MIND, BODY, SOUL

BRACING FOR YOUR FUTURE

Dr. James Crouse teams a surfer's laidback sensibility with the technical skill of a top-flight pro

Written By: Nick Brandi | Photographer: Grant L. Gursky

A paradox is something that at first glance seems self-contradictory but in fact has truth or merit. In that sense it could be said that Dr. James Crouse of Salisbury is something of a paradox because, Heaven knows, he certainly is teeming with merit, as any of his patients would gladly attest.

A native of Salisbury and graduate of Wicomico High School, Dr. Crouse sports the ponytail, Hawaiian shirts and laidback vibe of a bona fide Eastern Shore surfer guy — but there is so much more to him than that. Dr. Crouse is also a veteran of the United States Air Force, having achieved the rank of major before he went into private practice. As a serviceman, he got to see much of the world, including a three-year stint at RAF Bentwaters in England.

“My time in the Air Force was very worthwhile,” said Dr. Crouse from his plush Salisbury office, also known as The Brace Place, “because not only did I get to serve my country and see many interesting places, I also received a first-rate education in dentistry.”

That would certainly seem to be true, considering that after he’d earned his DDS from the University of Maryland at Baltimore, he went on to study orthodontics at the prestigious Emory University in Atlanta. When he hung out his shingle in 1994, he was armed with a headful of superior training and knowledge, and he was, well, braced to preside over an exceptional dental practice.

The soothing, reassuring chair-side manner of Dr. Crouse and his staff are complemented perfectly by a warm and welcoming environment. The vast 5,200 sq. ft. facility is chock-full of fun goodies for patients of all ages, including a Touch2Play gaming system that features 130 different games, as well as a Kidzpace Wii system that Dr. Crouse’s wife, Susan, who also works at the practice, says is practically indestructible.

Aesthetically, the practice’s vibe is aquatically tranquil, which is not so surprising when one considers that Dr. Crouse is a certified scuba diver with a bachelor’s degree in zoology from the University of Maryland at College Park. The walls are decorated with everything from sea murals to framed Warner Bros. cartoon cels depicting orthodontic themes. The building even has its own idyllic atrium, complete with box turtles and water turtles that were born on the premises.

All of this acts as a fitting prelude to the serious business that takes place deeper within, echoing the natural dichotomy of Dr. Crouse himself. Near the lab section waits an ultra-high-tech Kodak 9000 CBCT cone-beam system that not only produces 3-D images but is also used by other area practitioners for the diagnostic benefit of their own patients. The Brace Place also has an industry-leading X-ray and sterilization station in addition to the same digital-impression scanner that was recently featured on CBS’ The Doctors, replacing the “goopy” alginate molds that most of us grew up with. Moreover, Dr. Crouse is still the one and only Elite Preferred Provider of Invisalign on the entire Eastern Shore.

In their spare time, Dr. and Susan Crouse like to ride their Harleys and donate time to humanitarian relief efforts, including Christian medical missions to places like Guatemala and the recent Mission of Mercy initiative at the Wicomico Youth & Civic Center.

When you’re at Dr. Crouse’s office, after you’ve soaked up the ambiance, played some games and said hi to the turtles, be sure to ask to see his amazing assortment of fossilized megalodon shark teeth, which the veteran of more than 300 dives collected himself from the ocean floor around North Carolina.



THE BRACE PLACE


 


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