Dr. Decker

If you lived in Laurel in the 1980s, and you needed braces, chances are you knew this gentleman… AND his impressive team of hygienists.

This caricature from a 1985 Laurel Community Guide advertisement is exactly how thousands of 30-something, 40-something, and probably even 50-something adults with nice smiles remember Dr. Robert Decker—who was the premier orthodontist in Laurel for an entire generation.

They also undoubtedly remember his easygoing chair-side manner, the luxurious open workspace that saw dozens of patients simultaneously, the large swordfish mounted in his personal office, and of course, that team of attractive and capable hygienists.

Dr. Decker had an office at Steward Tower prior to opening his larger practice at the new Laurel Pines Professional Building in the early 1980s. That practice is still operating in the same location today, as Lavine, Esi & McTavish Orthodontics.

Thankfully, Dr. Decker still maintains a connection to the practice. According to a former employee, Dr. Lavine is his nephew, and took over the reins when Dr. Decker retired in 1999. In fact, their website still features him on their “Meet the Doctors” page.

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