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Meet Foundation for Endodontics President Dr. Peter A. Morgan

MorganPeterThe Foundation for Endodontics has a new president! Peter A. Morgan, D.M.D., 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!

What is your vision for the AAE Foundation?

I believe that the Foundation has served endodontics extraordinarily well since it began funding research and education in our specialty years ago. However, the immediate future may be one of the most important times for the Foundation to continue its leading role of advocacy for our specialty and for patients in need of expert endodontic care.

Recent and accumulated past studies have shown a concerning failure rate for dental implants. The option to save natural teeth with endodontics needs to be presented with compelling clinical and scientific-based evidence. The Foundation for Endodontics supports the research that will confirm what clinical endodontists know to be true – preserving natural teeth with endodontics is often a much better treatment plan than extraction and implant placement.

In addition to funding research, the Foundation provides support to endodontic faculty and funds at least one educator fellowship annually to encourage endodontists to pursue careers in academics.

The Foundation is the essential support mechanism of our specialty. Because of the Foundation’s support of research and educators, our specialty is stronger, more scientifically based and more properly taught to dental students.

Why has the Foundation become one of the most successful dental foundations?

I believe the success of the Foundation can be traced to the dedication of our members. A small group of leaders realized that if endodontists did not take responsibility for supporting research and education in the specialty, it would cease to exist. The response to their appeal by members and corporate sponsors has been remarkable. With that success comes the realization of how much more we can and must do to strengthen our specialty.

You mentioned corporate support. How has that helped the Foundation?

Simply stated, the Foundation could not provide all of the funding we do without corporate support. Each year, we get substantial commitments from companies that do business with endodontists. The Foundation Trustees use this funding in the same way as member support – to fund significant research and faculty positions at schools in the U.S. and Canada.

Why does the Foundation need to keep raising money?

To make a difference for our specialty and our patients, the Foundation has been providing around $1.5 million every year to support research and educators. This is more than we have been able to raise from our various donor sources annually. Therefore, to meet our funding goals and to see that amount increase, we need to grow our investment fund.

What is your vision for the future of the specialty?

I see a bright future for endodontists and our specialty. I believe that we have been through a troubling time in dentistry when preserving natural teeth has been devalued by some dental professionals. In the future I see, and in fact in the current environment, endodontics is the preferred option for dentists and patients. I believe it is imperative for the profession and the public to become more aware of the value of including endodontic specialists in the diagnostic and treatment planning team.

What role can the Foundation play in increasing awareness of the value of endodontists and endodontics among patients and dentists?

Patients today are eager to learn about treatments that benefit them. They are adept at sourcing available information that informs them of their treatment choices. By supporting research, the Foundation adds significant information to the scientific basis that supports saving natural teeth. Because of the Foundation, endodontists anywhere in the world can be assured that their patients can find accurate, scientific-based evidence for electing root canal treatment over extraction and implant placement.

By supporting endodontic educators, the Foundation is helping to improve dentists’ understanding of the science behind our specialty and the success rates of expertly done cases. It is through education that dentists will appreciate the value of collaboration with endodontic specialists to achieve highly successful outcomes for their patients.

Where did you complete your dental training?

I received a D.M.D. from the University of Pittsburgh School of Dental Medicine. I then served three years as a Captain in the U.S. Army, including a one-year internship at Ft. Bragg, North Carolina, and two years at Ft. McNair in Washington, D.C. I then went to Boston University, where I received a Certificate in Endodontics and a Masters of Science in Dentistry. I served as associate clinical professor at the school for many years.

Who were your mentors?

Dr. Herb Schilder was the best teacher I have ever encountered. He was exceptionally smart, very demanding and capable of explaining complex concepts in a clear way. His educational protocol allowed for little deviation from his prescribed technique. I have realized the tremendous value of this approach on countless occasions in my career when faced with difficult diagnostic and treatment cases. By giving his residents a solid understanding of diagnosis and disciplined treatment objectives, he equipped us for the real world of endodontic practice. He also was among the small group of leaders who recognized the need for a strong Foundation and rejuvenated the AAE Foundation through their work and personal commitment.

The other doctors in my practice have also been great mentors over the years. We have found a way to learn from each other and apply what we learn for our patients’ benefit. It has been a mutually beneficial environment that I really treasure.

How have you been involved with the AAE?

I have served two terms as a director on the AAE Board and two terms as a trustee and president-elect to the AAE Foundation. I have also served on the Annual Session Planning Committee and was general chair of the AAE annual meeting in Vancouver.

How does the staff support the efforts of the Foundation?

We are so very fortunate to have a professional staff at the AAE office in Chicago that is highly skilled and experienced in foundation work. As in all other areas of work, this has become a highly specialized field. They constitute the best in the business and they are the real strength of our operation. I urge any member donor to take the time to reach out to our staff; they can answer any question you may have about the Foundation.

Where do you practice?

I am currently the managing partner of North Shore and Brookline Endodontics in Boston and the north shore suburbs. Our practice has six locations and six endodontists.

What is the most satisfying part of your practice?

There is nothing better than meeting a patient with significant, life-interrupting symptoms and reversing those symptoms quickly and painlessly. Every endodontist experiences this and I hope they all realize what a unique service it is in the healthcare world. It is very common in endodontists’ offices for an emergency patient to be seen very soon after the office gets the call from the patient’s dentist. Not long after that, we complete the emergency treatment. At a subsequent appointment the patient returns with gratitude that their very significant problem was resolved painlessly. Patients benefit greatly from the skill of their endodontist. The model of how we move patients between offices in response to patient need should be more frequently found in healthcare.

What do you do in your spare time?

I have come to love New England. I am fortunate to live in Marblehead, Massachusetts, a coastal New England community with a beautiful natural harbor. I became interested in sailboat racing and have spent many years competing in one design sailboat racing in this area. I learned that developing a competitive sailboat racing team has many parallels to developing a successful practice team. Both require dedicated, talented individuals who are willing to work hard to achieve success. And in both, others are trying to win, too. So in order to win, you must pay attention to every detail.

Tell us about your family.

When I came to Boston, in addition to finding Boston University and an area to practice, I also met my wife, Jessie. She is an accomplished painter with a studio near our home. My son and his wife and their two children also live in Marblehead, and my daughter and her partner live in Denver, Colorado.


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Dr. Morgan with his partners at North Shore and Brookline Endodontics. Dr. Morgan with his family. Dr. Morgan competing in a sailboat race in New England.