Medicine: Joyful Dentistry

Engraved in gold and amber, it seemed like a typical Beverly Hills party invitation, except for one thing: the bash was to be held in a dental office. Even so, some 400 curious neighbors turned out last fall to drink and mingle under wooden beams, amid ankle-deep carpets and expensive French prints. Soft rock music wafted round a small jungle of indoor plants as guests explored color-coordinated treatment rooms and dental equipment discreetly hidden away in wooden cabinets. The idea, explained mod-garbed Dentists Gerard Frankel and Richard Winograde, was to create a soothing atmosphere for fearful patients.

The camouflaged office has apparently...

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