Close-up on a local dentist: Randall Lawson, D.D.S

by Anna Ferrar

Loving science. Wanting to serve. That’s what propelled Dr. Randall Lawson into a career of dentistry a little over 30 years ago. Today, his love for science and service continue propelling him to adjust the scope of his practice so that he can provide the best possible care for his patients.

He shares, “Growing up, I was always interested in sciences, and my parents both had service-oriented careers. While I didn’t want be a physician, I saw dentistry as a way to put science to use as a service to other people.” Now celebrating 30 years of service here in Jacksonville, Dr. Randall Lawson, of College Avenue Dental, made an exciting addition to his office just over five months ago – a CEREC machine.

CEREC or Cerec (Chairside Economical Restoration of Esthetic Ceramics, or CEramic REConstruction) is an advanced dental tool that allows dentists to provide their patients with crowns, veneers, inlays or onlays, in only one appointment.

The CEREC is sleek, convenient and, according to, is “the ultimate in digital dentistry technology.” Since it’s addition to his office, Lawson shares that it has been a fun process to learn how to use the machine to its full efficiency.

While reducing the number of appointments necessary to mount a crown, for example, the CEREC also gives the dentist more control over the final product.

For example, “Teeth naturally have little variations,” says Lawson, and it’s up to the dentist to create those nuances. Working with a lab to create a crown, for example, can be confusing. The back and forth process of exchanging subjective descriptions is not only time consuming, but if mishandled, can impair the final product.

However, the CEREC gives the dentist the capacity to build the crown right in his own facility – thus providing more accuracy in the construction of the crown. In addition, Lawson shares that, “Each step in building a crown has a little margin of error …” Ultimately, skillful use of the CEREC by the dentist installing the crown can reduce those margins of error.

When asked what made his practice unique, Dr. Lawson’s answer was both humble and poignant. [We’re] “not so unique – there are a lot of people that care [and offer outstanding services] here in Jacksonville. But my staff and I try to put ourselves in the patient’s position. For me, and most of my staff … we know what it’s like to sit in the [dental] chair … it’s never a pleasant experience … we try to do every little positive thing that’s possible … and a lot of little things can add up to making it not so bad.”

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