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We are proud to announce that Drs. Peter Morgan, Yuri Shamritsky, Fiza Singh and Andrea Chung Shah have all been named Boston Magazine's Top Dentists 2019 for Endodontics!

Check them out online at Boston Magazine:

An endodontist has additional specialized training in treating disease of the dental pulp, and is an expert in root canal treatment.  Here are some things to consider when choosing a root canal specialist.


If you have a good relationship with your dentist, strongly consider using the endodontist that he or she recommends. Like general dentists, different endodontists have different styles. If your dentist likes and trusts a particular endodontist, you probably will as well.

Education and Training

Where and when did the dentist complete dental school and advanced training in endodontics? Does he pursue continuing education? Is he up to date on the latest techniques and technologies? Is he experienced with any relevant patient groups, such as pediatrics, geriatrics, or special needs?

Practical Considerations

Is the office close to your home or office? Do the hours work with your schedule? Is your insurance accepted? Is financing available? What if you need to cancel an appointment? Is sedation offered? Can nervous patients bring a relative or friend into the treatment room?

There are no right or wrong answers here, only what feels right to you. An office that works well for one patient will make no sense for another. Look for an endodontist who fits with your life on a practical level.

Cost Comparison

Dental procedure pricing is complicated, and it is difficult or impossible to get firm quotes without an exam. Still, most offices can give you a ballpark figure for a root canal on the specific tooth that is bothering you. Be cautious of any endodontist whose prices are significantly higher or lower than the going rates in your region.

Office Environment

Before committing to a specific endodontist, stop by the office to check out the environment. Is the waiting room inviting? Are you warmly greeted by the receptionist? Is the staff open and communicative? Are the treatment rooms clean and well-stocked?

Personal Connection

Finally, make an appointment for a consultation. Think of it as a final interview. An endodontist who seems like a great fit on paper may simply not click with you. If you feel at all uncomfortable or unsure, move on. There is no reason to stick with a root canal specialist that you do not feel entirely comfortable with.

Ready to Get Started?

If you need a root canal from an endodontist you can trust, contact North Shore & Brookline Endodontics today at the location that is most convenient for you.

Root canal treatment is the best way to save a tooth that is severely damaged or decayed. In this straightforward and common procedure, we will thoroughly numb the tooth and then create a small opening from the crown down to the root chamber to access the canals. We will carefully clean out all infection and damage, smooth the canals, and seal them with a biocompatible material. You will wear a temporary filling or crown while a final crown is created.

Despite the fact that modern root canal treatment is simple and relatively easy, it remains one of the most feared dental procedures. They are also shrouded in myths and misconceptions. Here is the truth behind 3 myths about root canals.

Root Canals Can Cause Illness

This myth can be traced to a man named Dr. Weston A. Price in the 1920s. He claimed that extraction is safer, because root canals could cause illnesses throughout the body. By the 1930s, Dr. Price’s research had been debunked, but the myth held on.

In 1951, the Journal of the American Dental Association published a conclusive report showing that Dr. Price had used questionable practices and research methods that led to false results. This special report, in tandem with numerous other studies, showed definitively that root canal treatment is the safest and most effective treatment for badly decayed or damaged teeth.

The myth largely fell out favor until the rise of the internet. Today, a quick Google search will produce dozens of sites repeating this myth, but all of them can be traced back to Dr. Price’s faulty research.

The truth is that root canals remove bacteria and seal the tooth to guard against new bacteria. The risk of infection from a proper extraction is quite minimal, but a proper root canal eliminates even the tiniest risk.

Root Canals Are Painful

In decades past, all dental work caused some pain. Today, though, major advances in both dental technology and pain management have made dentistry, including root canals, quick, easy, and virtually painless.

The American Academy of Endodontists states that those who have had a root canal are a full six times more likely to rate the procedure as “painless” than those who have never had one. The fear remains, but the pain does not.

Extraction Is Better

This myth is related to the Dr. Price myth. As the claim goes, since dental implants and highly natural replacement teeth are easy to come by, it is better to simply pull teeth instead of performing root canals. The reality, though, is that while modern technology can provide incredibly lifelike solutions for those whose teeth cannot be saved, no replacement is as good as your own natural tooth.

Your teeth have their own aesthetics, full bite strength and chewing forces, and a fully stabilized root system. It is never wise to pull a tooth that a root canal could save unless there are extenuating circumstances.

Ready to Get Started?

If you need a root canal from an endodontist you can trust, contact North Shore & Brookline Endodontics today at the location that is most convenient for you.

Root canal or extraction—many people hope never to be presented with this choice, but it is actually an incredibly common situation. Both treatments are solutions for teeth with extensive damage or decay. If your dentist has given you these options, it is important to understand exactly what is involved with each choice.

Root Canal: Saving the Tooth

If the pulp (dental nerve) layer of your tooth is damaged, diseased, or even dead, a root canal is the only way to save the tooth. We will numb the tooth with local anesthetic, and then create a small opening into the tooth, exposing the canals.  We use 3D imaging CBCT scans and microscopes, when needed, to accomplish it.

Using special tools, we then clean out all decay and damaged tissue, and disinfect the canals. We will fill the canals with a biocompatible material known as gutta-percha. This seals the tooth against infection and fills in the canal space. The tooth is then restored for further protection and functionality by your dentist.

Most people experience little discomfort after a root canal procedure. Over the counter pain relievers may be used to combat any discomfort you feel.  We are available 24/7 if you need any post operative care.

Tooth Extraction: Letting the Tooth Go

Like a root canal, a tooth extraction begins with a local anesthetic to completely numb the area. Your dentist will then use special tools to loosen the tooth and pull it out. You will feel some pressure and hear some loud cracking and popping sounds, but it should not hurt.

After a tooth extraction, it is normal to bleed, so you will be sent home with gauze in your mouth to bite down on for 30-45 minutes or as instructed. You may experience some oozing or light bleeding for the next 24 hours or so. Minor facial swelling and bruising are not uncommon, especially when a back tooth is extracted. Using an ice pack for 15-20 minutes at a time for the first 24-48 hours can help minimize these issues.

Some pain is not unusual after a tooth extraction. Your dentist might give you a prescription for a pain reliever, which you should take as directed to stay ahead of the pain. Some people also choose to manage the pain with over the counter pain relievers such as Tylenol or Advil.

Most people feel significantly better within two or three days, but be aware that it can take two weeks or more for the extraction site to fully heal. Carefully follow your dentist’s instructions, especially in regards to spitting, drinking through a straw, eating, and brushing your teeth.

After a tooth extraction heals, it is important to replace the tooth. Otherwise, your other teeth could shift out of place. Depending on where the tooth was in your mouth, you might also have trouble speaking or chewing without it. There are many replacement options, from dental bridges to partial dentures to dental implants. Your dentist will review the choices with you and help you select the one that best fits your needs, goals, and budget.

Final Verdict: Save the Tooth if Possible

Although a missing tooth is easy to replace with modern dentistry, it will never be the same as your own natural tooth. In addition, healing from an extraction takes longer and is often more painful than healing from a root canal, and pulling the tooth means even more dental procedures and healing time to replace it later.

Still, pulling the tooth might be right for some situations. Some teeth are simply too far gone to save, even with a root canal. Some people have had very bad teeth for a long time, and know from experience that a root canal will only delay the inevitable—that the tooth, or more likely multiple teeth—will need to come out eventually. While this situation is rare, and modern dental technology is making it easier and easier to save even problematic teeth, ultimately the decision is yours. Talk it over with your dentist, take some time to really consider both options, and make the choice that you feel best about.

Ready to Get Started?

If you need a root canal from an endodontist you can trust, contact North Shore & Brookline Endodontics today at the location that is most convenient for you.

In a perfect world, you would have time to have a dental checkup, and to have any dental issues treated, before you become pregnant. However, we live in the real world. The reality is that pregnancy itself can cause dental problems, and many women do not realize they need a root canal until they are already pregnant. Fortunately, root canal treatment is generally considered safe during pregnancy. Of course, every woman is unique, as is every pregnancy, so it is important to check with your doctor and dentist for guidance.

Dental X-Rays

It is impossible to determine whether you need root canal treatment without a dental x-ray. While the American Pregnancy Association recommends that pregnant women avoid all nonessential x-rays, the Association agrees with the American College of Radiology that modern shielding means that a needed dental x-ray should cause no harm to a developing fetus. Let your dentist know you are pregnant, and he or she will take precautions to minimize the risk to the fullest practical extent.

Timing Your Root Canal

Although root canal treatment poses little risk to your developing baby, some points in pregnancy are more ideal for treatment than others. If possible, try to schedule your root canal for the second trimester. The first trimester is considered the riskiest in general, and by your third trimester you may be quite uncomfortable laying back in the dental chair.

Local Anesthesia

According to the American Dental Association, local anesthesia poses no risk to developing fetuses. Local anesthetics with epinephrine (e.g. Bupivacaine, Lidocaine, Mepivacaine) may be used during pregnancy.

Pain Medications and Antibiotics

Although the American Pregnancy Association recommends lowering medication exposure as much as possible, it also notes that when the mother is in pain, it puts stress on the baby. Therefore, it is important to manage your dental pain. Antibiotics may also be needed to reduce the risk of an infection that could spread to your baby. Talk to your doctor and dentist ahead of your root canal to discuss which medications will work best for you and your baby.

Root canal problems are never fun, and needing treatment while pregnant can be a source of additional stress. Fortunately, modern methods have rendered root canals nearly pain-free, and with proper guidance from both your doctor and your dentist, there is no reason to put off this essential treatment.

Ready to Get Started?

If you need a root canal from an endodontist you can trust, contact North Shore & Brookline Endodontics today at the location that is most convenient for you.

We are proud to announce that Drs. Peter Morgan, Yuri Shamritsky, Fiza Singh, Paul Talkov and Samantha Synenberg have all been named Boston magazine’s Top Dentists™ 2018 for Endodontics!

Check them out online at Boston Magazine

Tooth pain comes in many forms. It may be a mildly annoying ache. It could be a deep throb. It might be somewhat distracting, or it could be excruciating. How the pain feels can help us diagnose the specific issue that is causing it. Almost all tooth pain, though, comes from one of three main sources.


Dental trauma is an extremely common cause of tooth pain. If you have been hit in the mouth by a person or a baseball, recently took a hard fall, or were in an automobile accident, it is possible that you have an oral injury. Check for any broken or loose teeth or trauma to the soft tissues of the mouth. Use ice to bring down swelling, take an over the counter pain reliever, and call our office to make an appointment for evaluation.  In collaboration with your dentist and other specialists, we can help save traumatized teeth and quickly get patients back to a pain free natural appearance.


Infection is another common source of tooth pain. If you have an untreated cavity, bacteria can begin to invade the soft inner structures of the tooth, worsening decay and causing increased pain. Over time, infection can develop anywhere in the tooth structure. Gum disease is another possible cause, as bacteria can tunnel into pockets that develop between the gum tissue and the tooth.

Tooth infections should be taken seriously, as an untreated infection could cause problems throughout the body. Check for swelling or unusual warmth in the gum tissue around the tooth, and take your temperature. Rinse the mouth thoroughly with warm water to remove any food debris, and call our office or ask your dentist to refer you to us for an appointment. If the pain or swelling is intense, contact our office immediately for an emergency appointment.  We prioritize emergency patients because as Endodontists, we are specially trained in the diagnosis of facial and dental pain.


If you experience intense but transient pain when biting into very hot or cold foods, you may have dentin hypersensitivity. This can be caused by many different factors, but some people simply have sensitive teeth. Switch to a toothpaste that is formulated for sensitive teeth for a few weeks, and pay attention to whether it helps.

If you are still experiencing sensitivity after one month, schedule a check-up. It is possible that you have an underlying issue, such as inflamed dental pulp, that is causing the pain. Even if we don’t find a cause, we can treat the ongoing sensitivity.

Tooth pain can be life interrupting, or can make you feel miserable. Alleviating dental and facial pain is our specialty.  We see patients daily who have developed symptoms suddenly. Our diagnostic and treatment skills allow us to quickly identify the cause of the problem and help patients get back to their normal routine.  Whether you see your general dentist first or call us directly, we will work you into our schedule ASAP.

North Shore & Brookline Endodontics is a specialty dental practice limited to endodontic therapy, with six clinics in the greater Boston area. Our mission is to use our knowledge and experience in root canal therapy to save teeth that would otherwise be lost. If you are searching for a skilled, compassionate endodontist in greater Boston, call the closest office today to learn how we can help.

The Foundation for Endodontics has a new president! Peter A. Morgan, DMD, MScd, Brings a unique combination of passion and energy to the Foundation’s Executive Committee. He is driven by the Foundation’s strong history and invigorated for its future. Take this opportunity to learn a little more about Dr. Morgan’s passion for the Foundation and his personal background!

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Most people have heard of root canals. What they haven’t heard of, however, is what root canals involve. An average person likely knows very little about the procedure, and we want to change that.

At North Shore and Brookline Endodontic Associates we want our patients to be well informed about the procedure while also being aware that it is a pain-free treatment that will help save their natural tooth. Here is a basic guide of what you need to know about root canals and why you shouldn’t be afraid of them according to information from the American Association of Endodontists.

  1. Why do I need a root canal?

To answer this question, you first need a little anatomy on the tooth. Inside your tooth, in the root of your tooth, below the gum line is something called pulp. When a tooth decays, it can inflame that pulp, or even worse—infect it. When the pulp becomes infected, it can result in an abscess at the bottom of your tooth. This is when a root canal is required.

An endodontist is a specialist who treats the inside of your tooth. They are going to go into your tooth and treat the inflammation or infection. They want to treat the infected tooth before an abscess forms.

  1. How does a root canal work?

When performing a root canal, an endodontist goes into the tooth and removes the inflamed or infected pulp. Then they clean out and disinfect your tooth, after your tooth is cleaned out, they fill and seal it with a rubber-like material called gutta-percha. This serves as a way to help prevent it from happening again.

  1. What are the advantages to a root canal?

Root canals help to save your natural tooth, which has huge advantages. Keeping your natural tooth means that your tooth can continue to function normally. This means that your ability to chew efficiently, bite forcefully, and the appearance of your tooth all remain the same as they did before your procedure.

As you can see, getting a root canal is key to maintaining the oral lifestyle that you currently live. Getting endodontic work means getting to keep your natural tooth and continuing to experience all the functionality that a real tooth contains. Getting a root canal also prevents you from needed ongoing dental work. Getting a root canal is a smart call for overall oral health.

In the summer of 2014 the American Association of Endodontists collaborated with the American College of Prosthodontists and the American Academy of Periodontology to discuss the importance of saving our natural teeth.

At the two-day event, clinicians from every specialty spoke regarding the benefits of preserving our natural teeth and the repercussions if we don’t. They delved into the importance of the retention of our natural dentition and how keeping our natural teeth is vital for overall and future oral health.

Their discussion led them into the problems associated with implants versus keeping our natural teeth. One issue with the use of an implant instead of retaining the natural tooth is that it will likely lead to multiple implants throughout your life. The specialists at the event spoke on how important it was to maintain oral health and restore natural teeth between the second decade of life and to continue through the following six decades. These are the years when restorative dental health is most vital and important, and also the years when you want to avoid an implant.

Dr. Markus Blatz, a professor of dentistry and chairman of the department of preventive and restorative sciences at the University of Pennsylvania School of Dental Medicine, argued, “Protecting the natural dentition by conservative endodontic treatment was critical for tooth retention through these decades. And even if patients incur tooth loss and require an implant later in life, it would be preferable to place that implant just once in a patient’s lifetime.”

This means that while implants may be needed later on down the line, they are not necessarily the answer earlier on in your life. That is because, the earlier you get an implant, the higher the risk that you may need to have it replaced within your lifetime. If you need to get an implant, it is better to get one then have to endure multiple implants.

Periodontists at the event explained how periodontal health was also crucial during those decades and how natural teeth were the key to maintaining that health. The evidence given explained that, “If implants are chosen as an option early in life for patients with chronic periodontitis and other risk factors that may have contributed to the periodontal disease, these same risk factors can most certainly continue to cause peri-implantitis and bone-loss in those same patients.” If that happens, then it just increases their risk of needing multiple implants.

This evidence explains that implants are not always the answer. Doing restorative therapies on your natural teeth, such as root canal therapy, is key to prolonged oral health. The goal is to have our teeth for a lifetime, and by doing root canals to keep the natural tooth, we are getting closer to that goal.