Skip to content

The AAE is thrilled to announce our 10 Save Your Tooth Month Social Media Endofluencers of 2024! These Instagram accounts went above and beyond this past May in celebration of SYTM2024. They touted our specialty via creative posts, reels, patient contests and more, and emphasized the importance of saving one's natural teeth.

A gracious honorable mention goes out to everyone who posted about SYTM or changed their profile photo to include our special SYTM frame. Our reach gets a little wider every year, and we couldn't do it without each of you spreading the word.

Learn more about our SYTM Endofluencers below! Give them a follow and get inspired by their social savviness, all year-round.

heydrich (1)

Edgewater Endodontics

Brains behind our social media:

Rob Heydrich, DMD, MS, Andrew Jattan, DMD, MS

Why we decided to be active on social media during SYTM / the effect it had on our team:

SYTM is a great time to showcase who we are and what we do as endodontists. The AAE brass has done a great job moving the needle and getting "endodontist" into the American vernacular with past and current AAE President's media tours. SYTM is a great conversation starter. I had a colleague share a story about a patient who found their practice on, that she heard about on the Today Show. That's impressive.

Our posting process:

Some content is planned, other content can be spontaneous. We try and have content that relates to saving your natural tooth, debunking root canal myths, or posting patient reviews. Anecdotally, I feel patient reviews or testimonials help breakdown the old stigma of "painful/scary" root canal treatments. The AAE SYTM Toolkit can be a big help in planning your content.

Advice for endos trying to up their social game, our favorite platform, and how we find time to post: 

It may seem obvious, BUT....just do it.

Find something that you find interesting, inspiring or funny as it relates to endodontics or your practice and create a post.

Instagram is the platform that works for us. It is easy to post content and doesn’t really take a lot of time. It also allows you to post on Facebook and Threads at the same time. However, finding time can sometimes be a challenge. If time is not on your side, consider outsourcing.

Our favorite SYTM moment:

It's hard to pick just one, but the one that stands out is seeing the SYTM messaging on a Time Square billboard. Impressive to say the least. Once again, the AAE did not disappoint.

jesse-harris (1)

Eastcoast Endodontics

Brains behind our social media:

Dr. Jesse Harris, Dr. Richard Sedwick, Dr. Adam Sarnowski, Dr. Sean Fitzgibbons and Lindsay Parker, our Professional Relations Coordinator who is in charge of our social media and marketing.

Why we decided to be active on social media during SYTM / the effect it had on our team:

While we are active on social media year-round, we look forward to participating in Save Your Tooth Month every year because it is the perfect time to show off our amazing team of tooth-saving superheroes! By spotlighting our awesome doctors, sharing their stories about why they got into endodontics, and talking about what they love about their work, we were able to connect with our patients in a fun and engaging way.

Our goal was to make our doctors and staff more relatable and show that they’re not just skilled professionals but also kind, fun, and approachable people. We knew that personal stories and engaging content, like photos and videos featuring our team, would resonate well with our audience. This approach helped us make endodontic care feel less intimidating and more personal.

The impact was fantastic! Our patients loved getting to know the men behind the mask of their dental care, which made them feel more comfortable and confident about their treatments. Our posts weren’t just entertaining—they also helped educate everyone about the importance of endodontic care and why saving natural teeth is so important.

Our posting process:

Absolutely! We planned our Save Your Tooth Month content in advance to make sure everything was spot on. We use Canva to design most of our posts because it’s super user-friendly and lets us get really creative. Depending on what we're posting, we also like to play around with the editing options on Instagram and TikTok to add a bit of extra flair. Using these tools, we can make sure our content is engaging and reflects the fun, approachable vibe of our practice.

To keep everything running smoothly and stay ahead of our busy schedules, we use Zoho Social to schedule our posts. This tool is a game-changer because it lets us focus on the creative and design process without worrying about the actual posting. It’s nice to know that we don’t have to interrupt our workday to hit "post" on our platforms and it frees us up to concentrate on what we love—saving teeth and connecting with our patients!

Advice for endos trying to up their social game, our favorite platform, and how we find time to post: 

As the social media and marketing coordinator, I've got some tips for endodontists looking to level up their social media game. First and foremost, mix it up! While it’s great to share informative content about how root canals save teeth, don’t forget to show your fun side too. Our audience loves seeing the human side of our practice, so we make sure to post content that’s not just educational but also entertaining.

We find that videos get the most engagement, especially when we feature our team on camera. Patients love seeing that we’re real people who work hard but also have a lot of fun. To keep things interesting, we use tools like Canva for designing posts and the editing options on Instagram and TikTok for that extra bit of creativity.

Planning is so important. We use Zoho Social to schedule our posts, which is a total lifesaver. It helps us stay organized and ensures that we don’t have to stop in the middle of a busy workday to post something. This way, we can focus more on the creative side of things.

Right now, our favorite social platform is Instagram- it’s super diverse and really easy to work with. Whether it’s stories, reels, or posts, IG offers so many ways to engage with our audience.

Our favorite SYTM moment:

Oh, definitely! Save Your Tooth Month was full of great moments, but if we had to pick a favorite, it would be getting engagement from the AAE. Seeing them interact with our posts was really awesome and felt like a big nod to our efforts. It was such a highlight!

Another fun part was discovering what each of our doctors’ “kryptonite” was in our Superhero spotlight posts. It added a playful twist to our content and gave everyone a good laugh. Plus, you never know when that info might come in handy!

michele-brautnick (1)

Root Canal Specialty Associates

Brains behind our social media:

Michele Brautnick, Dr. Martha Zinderman (President) and Kimberly Middlekauff (Director of Operations)

Why we decided to be active on social media during SYTM / the effect it had on our team:

Participating in Save Your Tooth Month is an annual marketing effort for us. We often create content designed to change the perception of root canals to help patients understand why saving their natural teeth, if possible, is always the best option. Emphasizing this message collectively with other endodontists and the AAE makes good sense for our brand.

Our posting process:

We plan all of our social content, especially our SYTM plans. Being prepared ensures consistency in terms of messaging and the frequency of our posts. It also forces us to serve up a good mix of content designed to educate, entertain, and inspire.

Advice for endos trying to up their social game, our favorite platform, and how we find time to post: 

We would encourage other endodontists to leverage social media to inform patients about the safety and effectiveness of root canals. There is still so much misinformation out there about root canal treatment. Together we can change the perception and help alleviate patient anxiety.

Our favorite SYTM moment:

One particular post included a testimonial of a repeat patient who scheduled an emergency appointment the day before they left town. Reviews like this remind us that our doctors save more than teeth. They can save upcoming vacations, they can save you from pain, and they can simply save the day.

markovic (1)

River Street Endodontics

Brains behind our social media:

Dr. Sara Markovic

Why we decided to be active on social media during SYTM / the effect it had on our team:

It is a great time to celebrate the impact we have on patient's lives and the work we do together to help!

Our posting process:

We go over our postings on a bi-weekly basis. This year we really wanted to hear from our patients and incorporated reels rather than mainly static posts.

Advice for endos trying to up their social game, our favorite platform, and how we find time to post: 

Collaborate with your team to get a fresh approach and try to show your office culture and enthusiasm for what we do as a profession. Our favourite platform is Instagram because we can plan posts in advance and have them scheduled remotely. Our content is created as a team and tasks are delegated to streamline things based on our schedule.

Our favorite SYTM moment:

We had fun doing our opening post utilizing a viral trend and fun music.

Screenshot 2024-07-01 140540

Afton Endodontics

Brains behind our social media:

Kathryn Watts, DMD, MS, Zak James, DMD, Gregory Gell, DDS, MS, Katelyn Rios (Marketing & Social Media Manager)

Why we decided to be active on social media during SYTM / the effect it had on our team:

At Afton Endodontics, we strive to stay active on social media to connect with and educate our community. During Save Your Tooth Month, our content is specially curated to highlight the importance of endodontic care and the value of saving natural teeth. By sharing informative and engaging posts, we aim to educate our broader community about root canal treatments and overall dental health.

Save Your Tooth Month had a profoundly positive impact on our office. The increased engagement from our online community, motivated our team and reinforced the value of the work we do. It fostered a sense of accomplishment and pride in our practice. We also encouraged our patients to share their positive experiences at Afton Endodontics with friends and family, hoping to reshape perceptions of root canal treatments as painless and beneficial procedures.

Our posting process:

We plan our posts and virtual activities well in advance to maximize engagement. One of our favorite annual events is the #SYTM Giveaway, which encourages sharing #SYTM-themed content. We also involve our referring offices to educate their patients on the importance of saving natural teeth. A few months before May, we create a general #SYTM posting calendar, ensuring our content is both fun and educational.

Advice for endos trying to up their social game, our favorite platform, and how we find time to post: 

We primarily post on Meta (Instagram and Facebook), as we find our local community offices are most active there. While we also have a TikTok presence, Meta remains our main focus. For other endodontists looking to enhance their social media presence, we recommend hiring a full-time marketing and social media manager. While some endodontists can create engaging content themselves, our office benefits from having someone dedicated solely to our marketing and social media efforts. This ensures our content is consistent and allows the rest of our team to concentrate on their primary tasks.

Our favorite SYTM moment:

One of our favorite aspects of #SYTM is selecting the giveaway winner. We use a random picking system to ensure fairness, but it’s always exciting to contact the winner and inform them that they've won a prize, usually a gift card. We also love engaging with the American Association of Endodontists (AAE) online, viewing content from other offices, and being recognized as endofluencers!

adriel (1)

Advanced Endodontic Care

Brains behind our social media:

Adriel Schulz, Rolf M. W. Wuerch, DDS, Stephen W. Hansen, DMD, Jeremiah J. Hawkins, DMD, MSD

Why we decided to be active on social media during SYTM / the effect it had on our team:

We maintain consistent activity on social media throughout the year, which helps grow our follower base across the three platforms we use. This increased exposure is particularly beneficial during Save Your Tooth Month, as our messages reach both our regular followers and those outside of our referring area.

Additionally, our social media efforts keep our team engaged and provide opportunities to thank the many referring offices that trust us with their patients.

Our posting process:

Yes, we did. We knew we wanted to use the month to showcase not only endodontics but also to show our patients and referring offices what they can expect when they visit us. We also wanted to thank our community, so we planned specific giveaways to encourage their participation. Since we work with three different social media platforms, we determined the style of content we wanted to share on each platform and created tailored posts for each one. We have found success using the editing programs in the social media platform itself, and choosing posting times that offer the greatest audience reach.

Advice for endos trying to up their social game, our favorite platform, and how we find time to post: 

We recommend choosing a theme for your social media, some aim to educate, while others aim to entertain. Social media is most effective when it feels authentic and relatable, so choose your target audience and create content with them in mind. If social media is not something you are comfortable with or enjoy, select a team member who does and allow them to work with you on creating and editing content.

Our favorite platform is Instagram. It's user-friendly, and allows us to reach our dental community while providing the opportunity to show support to other local businesses.

#DentalLife can get chaotic, and social media is time-consuming. We have found success by keeping a running list of content to work on, and having prepared content stocked up to post as well. Consistency is important, so maintaining a content calendar and determining the best times to post for your audience can be very helpful.

Our favorite SYTM moment:

We always enjoy seeing the content other offices choose to include. We had the opportunity to create a ‘day in the life of an emergency patient,’ which allowed us to showcase the experience in our office. We loved this project and are motivated to incorporate similar videos into our marketing plan through the year.

Kauai-1024x1024 (1)

Kauai Endodontics

Brains behind our social media:

Joseph H. Chu, DDS; Maile Welsh (social media coordinator and dental assistant), and Paulina Zulueta of Slingshot Outsourcing (social media manager)

Why we decided to be active on social media during SYTM / the effect it had on our team:

For the past two years, our team has gradually developed our brand presence on social media. Inspired by Save Your Tooth Month, we aimed to share accurate information about root canals and inform our audience about the activities at Kauai Endodontics. Social media serves as a platform for our patients and partner clinics on the island to become more familiar with Kauai Endodontics.

Our posting process:

Our team likes to keep content fresh, so we plan weekly posts. Our team in the office (Lihue, HI) sends over any videos and photos to be featured on the page. Then Paulina from Slingshot social media works on the building content, from planning, to creation, and publishing.

Advice for endos trying to up their social game, our favorite platform, and how we find time to post: 

Managing social media is always a team effort; you don't have to handle everything by yourself. We consistently collaborate on what to post, but Pau does most of the work since the office is always bustling. offers a wealth of resources for endodontists to create graphics and informative videos or reels. It's where we source much of the information used in our social media posts.

Our favorite social media platform for sharing content is Instagram! However, the island audience still uses Facebook as well.

Our favorite SYTM moment:

Our favorite #SYTM24 posts are those motivational in nature, reiterating the message that natural teeth are worth saving.

One type of post we love to make is a static post featuring the smiles behind Kauai Endodontics. The content that performs best on social media are posts that feature people and their compassionate elements.


Emirates Facial and Dental Implant Center

Brains behind our social media:

I say thanks to my number one supporter and ideas guy, my husband, Christopher Beecher (IG @christopher.beecher625) as well as my social media page handlers, Humbird Media Ja (IG @humbirdmediaja).

Why we decided to be active on social media during SYTM / the effect it had on our team:

Saving one's teeth is an essential aspect of our everyday lives, and being a part of a society and country that is moving away from extractions to saving more teeth, I find it fun to participate in the SYTM campaign and increase awareness. Participating each year pushes me to think of more creative ways to encourage people to save their teeth on the virtual platform and in the physical space. I am already looking to do more next year to engage the staff and patients on a larger scale.

Our posting process:

Yes, I plan them out in advance. My husband and I usually sit and brainstorm ideas and then we meet with my social media managers (who also come with their ideas), and we work together to see how best we can get the message across to my followers on the importance of saving their teeth.

Advice for endos trying to up their social game, our favorite platform, and how we find time to post: 

If you are like me, your only focus in life is not just Endodontics and root canals, and even if it is, we are so focused on the job that other things like social media feel secondary at times. As a wife, mom and endodontist, keeping up with social media is not my strong suit. It takes so much work and time to create content and then post it and as such, I engaged the help of a company that handles social media to help turn my ideas into posts and share them on my social media page in a timely manner.

I would encourage everyone to get the external help they need if they wish to engage in this. If you are savvy at posting or remembering to post regularly, then my hats off to you, but for the rest us, get help. Once you have the help, the process doesn't seem all that daunting. 🙂


Amarillo Endodontics

Brains behind our social media:

Dr. James Douthitt, Dr. Kirk Coury, Dr. Kenneth Falk, the staff at Amarillo Endodontics and Sara Smyth, who manages our social media. To create content in office, it takes a team effort. Our office enjoys working with Sara.

Why we decided to be active on social media during SYTM / the effect it had on our team:

Spreading awareness about saving your natural teeth is important to us. We want patients to know root canals are not what they used to be. SYTM is an opportunity for us to really push the importance of saving your natural teeth and keeping your natural smile.

Our posting process:

Our content is planned the month before. Creating content ahead of time allows us to be intentional with what we want to say.

Advice for endos trying to up their social game, our favorite platform, and how we find time to post: 

Having a presence on social media is important because we want to be where our audiences is. Having ads is important because we can reach a larger audience other than those who follow our page. This encourages users to contact us or like our page. Having Sara Smyth create the content allow us to remain focused on our patients. As a busy practice, we do not have time to take videos or pictures. Sara takes care of all that for us.

Our favorite SYTM moment:

Our favorite post is the video of pictures of our stuff going in and out to the song, Hey Ho! Let’s Go!, by the Ramones.


Endodontic Associates

Brains behind our social media:

Drs. Christopher Cain, Mark Freeland, Michael Murray, Clay Sparrow, Phillip Faucette, Annie Jones, John Workman, Austin Carr, Lynda Davenport, R.D.A., F.A.A.D.O.M. (Practice Manager), Lindsay Shinn

Why we decided to be active on social media during SYTM / the effect it had on our team:

This is a big year for Endodontic Associates- it is our 60th anniversary! I’m so proud to work for this practice and the amazing doctors who own it, so it seemed like the perfect time to really lean into Save Your Tooth Month. I will admit that I learned so much while conducting my research for these posts- and I think our team did too- most notably how rudimentary root canals were completed in ancient civilizations! It is my hope that patients reading our posts will see that while their feelings and/or fears surrounding coming to see us are acknowledged, they can also find comfort in the assurance that we are here to relieve their pain.

Our posting process:

Our content was planned in advance! I wanted to start with the basics, expand on them, and then dispel some popular myths surrounding root canals. That last part is crucial in providing peace of mind for our patients- there is so much misinformation out there! To ensure that we were putting quality content on our social media and not just adding to the noise in this corner of dentistry, sourcing information for reputable sites was very important. is a treasure trove of quality research and information- I found myself coming back to it again and again! And lastly, because most of us are very visual when it comes to what catches our attention on social media, it was my goal to put all the information together with calming colors and modern graphics in a way that would make someone want to stop and read.

Advice for endos trying to up their social game, our favorite platform, and how we find time to post: 

As we all know, root canal therapy has such a negative connotation in so many peoples’ minds, and that can prevent them from coming to see us to get the help that they need. I think it’s so important to get the message out that we are here to help our patients and restore their dental health and comfort. The most important thing is working off of quality information- then just have fun with it! Polls, quizzes, and true or false posts and stories are such a great way to interact with patients and other dental professionals. Instagram has such a great dental community- it has been so fun to see how other offices get their content out there! I am so blessed and honored that Endodontic Associates encourages me in my efforts to put out content and gives me the opportunity to represent them on our social media platforms!

Our favorite SYTM moment:

Any time AAE shared our SYTM content to their Instagram stories, it meant so much! And of course, earning one of the coveted “Endofluencer” titles has been such an honor. The whole experience of participating in Save Your Tooth Month 2024 has been so much fun, in fact I’m already thinking about content for SYTM 2025!

By Donald R. Tanenbaum, DDS, MPH

Over 25 years ago, Shirley, a 69-year-old female was referred to my office from a prosthodontist who was attempting to complete five restorations in the upper right quadrant. During the course of care Shirley would experience intermittent but acute right facial, jaw and tooth pain in the premolar region that initially eluded diagnosis as her symptoms were not fully suggestive of a pulpal problem and x-rays were equivocal.  Ultimately a referral to an endodontist prompted additional assessment inclusive of diagnostic lidocaine injections which significantly eased her tooth pain that was acute when she arrived at that office. Endodontic treatment followed first on #13 and then as her pain continued in and around #12 (leading to persistent left sided chewing), root canal was also performed on that tooth. On one occasion when Shirley presented to the endodontic office, she was unable to open her mouth, a scenario that had been experienced by her prosthodontist on several visits.

As Shirley continued to suffer  after the root canal procedures with intermittent but concerning pain, pain medications were prescribed and she was referred to my office. Her chief complaints when initially seen were multiple and included:

  • Constant achiness in her jaw muscles on the right side
  • Periods of limited jaw motion described as a “rolling spasm”
  • Pain in teeth #12 and 13 that at times was sharp and intense, while at other times dull and gnawing in it’s character. At times the pain in her teeth completely eased giving her a sense of optimism, but those moments were short lived
  • Inability to chew on the right due to increased pain
  • Moments of right ear pain

She was using the medications as prescribed but with no predictable benefit.

An examination revealed limited and guarded jaw motion measuring 30-33 mm, that increased to 40 mm following the application of a counter irritant cold spray, ethyl chloride. The masseter, temporalis and medial pterygoid muscles were extremely reactive to palpation on the right side with palpable knotted areas. Her masseters were considerably hypertrophied and bulged visibly when she clenched her teeth. Additional questioning revealed a history of sleep bruxism and oral appliance use when sleeping in the past. A more recent tendency to brace her jaw muscles and put her teeth together during the day was noted.  These new daytime tendencies were apparently being driven by life tensions and anxiety.

Based on her history, symptoms and exam, diagnoses included muscle spasm and guarding, heterotopic pain, (muscle referral to teeth) and awake/sleep bruxism. As she was not wearing an oral appliance while sleeping due to the ongoing dental work a night guard was fabricated. In addition, several sessions of muscle injections were pursued along with home exercises and use of muscle relaxants and the prior prescribed pain medications. After about 6 weeks of treatment, with the dental work on pause, Shirley felt as if her symptoms had eased, particularly the tooth pains.  As a result, she stopped taking the pain medications. At that juncture she decided to travel to Florida for a 6 week stay to visit her grandchildren, knowing, however. that those visits at times could be stressful.

About three weeks after her departure, I received an evening phone call from Shirley who was in her own words “miserable” with jaw and tooth pain and planning on returning to New York.

When she was seen 2 days later. My first remark was “Shirley, Why no lipstick “? (as her signature appearance was bright red lipstick).  Shirley quickly responded, “Dr Tanenbaum, if I touch my lip on the right side, I get excruciating shooting pain into my teeth and face that can last a few seconds or up to a minute.”  At that moment I realized that focusing treatment on Shirley’s muscles was a mistake. Her symptoms were due to a neuropathic pain condition called Trigeminal Neuralgia.

So What Do We Need To Know about Trigeminal Neuralgia (TN)?

Trigeminal Neuralgia (TN) is a type of neuropathic pain which occurs as a result of abnormalities in neural structures, not in the somatic tissues where the pain is felt. It has been classified as a  non-nociceptive pain problem; one which comes from within the nervous system itself. The second and third division of the trigeminal nerve are primarily impacted, though first division neuralgias can occur. The initial experience of episodic attacks of pain called paroxysms, may eventually become more frequent leading to continuous pain in some people. TN occurs most often in people over 50 and is more common in women than men.

In its most recognizable mature form Trigeminal Neuralgia symptoms include sudden attacks of intense pain, often described as a shock-like or stabbing, typically on one side of the face and often focusing in specific teeth. In between these attacks other symptoms include burning and or throbbing in the face, numbness, tingling, or dull aching sensations. The pain can emerge spontaneously and or be triggered by gentle touch of what are called trigger zones on the face.

As with other medical problems, however, symptoms of an incipient TN disorder may not be recognizable and therefore leads the evaluating doctor down  incorrect diagnostic  and treatment pathways. In fact, early on in it’s presentation TN symptoms include; unilateral muscle pain, pain that follows the auriculotemporal nerve pathway, ear and auricular pain, periods of limited jaw motion, and pain with eating. These symptoms can be confused with those associated with a temporomandibular problem and treated as such with limited or no relief being obtained. In addition, the occurrence of specific tooth site pain is common in the early stages of TN. As a result, it has been reported that over 40 % of those ultimately diagnosed with TN start seeking care in a dental office.

When the tooth pain of TN is evaluated, examination findings are often limited, the common results of temperature provocation are absent, and x-rays are unremarkable. As a result, treatment is often deferred and a wait and see approach is often recommended by the dentist.  If the patient, however, continues to experience tooth pain they will return to their dentist who though unconvinced there is a specific tooth problem may initiate care with reluctance. At other times, as an anesthetic block of the symptomatic branch of the trigeminal nerve will totally relieve the reported tooth pain, the dentist and patient are both convinced the problem site has been identified and care is commonly initiated inclusive of root canal therapy. When relief is ultimately not experienced, both patient and dentist become frustrated sometimes leading to treatment of adjacent teeth or comments by the dentist that “everything looks fine, you can’t have pain in that tooth.”

TN Classification

There are several types of TN.

Classic TN: Is the most common type of TN and occurs due to the compression/morphological changes of the trigeminal nerve root by abnormal vascular anatomy. The superior cerebellar artery is often the source of the compression and is most commonly the result of brain sag accompanying the aging process.

Symptomatic /Secondary TN: Symptoms are often indistinguishable from classic TN but caused by a disease or a demonstrable structural lesion other than vascular compression. Structural lesions include intracranial tumors such as an acoustic neuroma, meningioma, schwannomas, and pituitary adenomas. Epidermoid cysts can also lead to nerve compression.  Demyelination disorders such as multiple sclerosis must also be considered.

When no clear cause can be found even after a diagnostic workup inclusive of brain imaging it is considered idiopathic TN. This is the least common type of TN.

The Pain of TN- Helpful Insights To Make An Early Diagnosis

With the understanding that TN driven facial and toothache can be difficult to diagnose, keeping in mind the follow characteristics should be helpful.

  1. The patient may have no pain, manageable pain or miserable pain during the course of any given day or even hour.
  2. The pain when present can last 10 seconds to 2 minutes.
  3. The pain has an electric paroxysmal pattern.
  4. The pain can come on spontaneously without any provocation.
  5. The pain can be prompted by speaking.
  6. The pain can be prompted by gentle touch of the face, lips, alar of the nose or other identified trigger zones.
  7. The pain can be prompted by shaving, washing the face, applying makeup, teeth brushing, nose blowing, eating, drinking, or being exposed to the wind.
  8. The pain being experienced is not proportional to the stimuli.
  9. The pain can be “excruciating” prompting patients not to speak, and or bite on a hankerchief/cork etc..
  10. After an intense period of pain, there will be refractory periods where no pain will be experienced. During those refractory periods the pain cannot be brought on.
  11. The pain is often accompanied by a facial tic or contracture. This is why TN is also called Tic Doulereux.
  12. TN has a precise but widespread distribution that makes anatomical sense based on how the nerves course.
  13. The pain is virtually always during the day and does not wake a patient from sleep.
  14. If the pain has been present for weeks or months the gingival tissue on the pain side will be inflamed and the teeth covered with plaque due to toothbrush avoidance.
  15. The language of pain must be considered. The words bright, sharp, shooting, excruciating, tic like, radiating, twitching and traceable are common. (In fact, when I reviewed Shirley’s initial consultation notes the words “twitching pain” were recorded but were not meaningful to me at that time).

Treatment after Diagnosis

Once diagnosed, TN is most commonly treated with medications which can be extremely helpful for many patients. At times medication combinations are considered if the effectiveness of one single drug drops off. The side effects of these medications can be problematic leading to surgical discussions.

Ani-seizure medications are the first line options and the most commonly used are carbamazepine, oxcarbazepine, lamotrigine, pregabalin and gabapentin. A muscle relaxant, baclofen has proven to be helpful for some patients while duloxetine best known for it’s use in treating depression and anxiety has been effective as well. In the last few years Botox has been used to address TN pain and current research is investigating it’s use intraorally to treat stubborn tooth and gingival pain.

For some, surgical options are necessary and have proven to be effective for extended periods  of time. The most well -known and researched procedure is called MVD for microvascular decompression. Brain stereotactic radiosurgery, known as Gamma Knife and a variety of rhizotomies are also performed routinely with variable success and often a need to repeat within 3-10 years.

Back to Shirley

Once it was recognized that Shirley’s pain was of TN origin, she was provided medications which almost immediately reduced her suffering to a level never achieved with the prior therapies. Ultimately her dental work was completed without complication.


The diagnosis of Trigeminal Neuralgia is one that should be considered when evaluating a patient with toothache pain that is puzzling and or is unresponsive to intervention. By keeping in mind the characteristics of this type of neuropathic pain, making an early diagnosis will be facilitated sparing patients months of suffering and unnecessary dental treatment.

Donald R. Tanenbaum DDS, MPH  is Clinical Assistant Professor, Hofstra North Shore-LIJ School of Medicine;  Clinical Assistant Professor, Dept. of Oral & Maxillofacial Surgery, School of Dental Medicine at Stony Brook University; and Section Head of the TMJ /Orofacial Pain Division , Dept. of Dental Medicine, Long Island Jewish Medical Center. He practices in New York City and Hauppauge, Long Island within New York TMJ and Orofacial Pain.

As we head into July, I hope that all our members are enjoying the summer months.  The Fourth of July is the unofficial start of summer in Seattle, and I’m excited for some gorgeous days ahead!

July is also the start of the AAE membership year, and we are happy that our new membership database is now live! As AAE President, I find myself discussing the numerous benefits of AAE membership with members and other stakeholders. The value of membership may differ somewhat from individual to individual, and the value may evolve for one member throughout the course of their career. That has been the case for me.

I attended my first AAE Annual Meeting in the spring before I started my endodontic graduate program.  Other than the knowledge that I was headed to residency; I became fully aware that at that time that I did not know what I did not know.  What struck me most at my first annual meeting was the immense sense of community within the AAE. To date, this is still one of my key takeaways from our annual meeting each year.  Whether it’s walking into the Opening Ceremony, the General Assembly, or the Celebrate event – each with their own vibe – each year I am reminded that we are one profession.  We gather from different practices all over the world, but we are all endodontists first.  Secondarily, we may be a private practitioner, member of the military, academician, researcher, administrator, businessperson, retiree, or you-name-it endodontist. But we all assemble to celebrate endodontics. The return to work on Monday morning after the annual meeting is always a bit bittersweet for me. I miss the energy of the meeting as I return to the norm, but I am reinvigorated by interactions at the meeting.

Along with the community at the annual meeting comes the premier continuing education offered at our flagship event. The latest content from experts in the field excites me about the present and future of our profession. Our outstanding CE options extend beyond the annual meeting and include both additional in-person and online options. Endo On Demand is a fantastic resource for quality CE at a time and place that is most convenient for you.

I have benefitted early and often in my career from the AAE’s support of endodontic educators. All endodontists – not just educators – profit from these initiatives, as robust endodontic education programs are crucial for the future of our specialty and our patients. Among the many educator benefits, a significant one is the Educator Workshop held each summer. This meeting rotates hosting endodontic predoctoral directors, graduate program directors, and department chairs in a three-year cycle. I’ve had the opportunity to attend each of these programs one or more times and can attest that these workshops are invaluable. A perennial comment is, “We should do this every year!”.  I gratefully acknowledge the support of the Foundation for Endodontics in supporting endodontic educators as well through numerous funding opportunities and initiatives.

As I’ve matured in my career, I’ve grown to more fully understand and value the advocacy efforts of the AAE. In May, I attended a meeting with the dental directors of insurance companies from across the country along with staff and AAE Treasurer, Dr. Elizabeth Shin Perry. We discussed items of mutual interest with the dental directors, including the necessity of quality endodontic services such as CBCT, surgical resorption repair, vital pulp therapy, and orifice barriers. Further, our advocacy team has been productive in just my short time as President, and the AAE has formally communicated with the ADA, American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry, and legislators on issues including the ADA amicus brief on the Employee Retirement Income Security Act, the ADA Clinical Practice Guidelines on Restorative Treatments for Carious Lesions, a position statement vital pulp therapy, the Dental Specialties Licensure and Scope of Practice Amendment Act in the District of Columbia, and Save Your Tooth Month proclamations. We are so fortunate that AAE member-leaders engage in our advocacy efforts, and I thank Drs. Elizabeth Shin Perry, Ken Wiltbank, and Beth Damas for their leadership on the ADA Code Maintenance Committee, as well as our entire Practice Affairs Committee for their advocacy efforts.

A member benefit that I have enjoyed from for the duration of my career are our communications and publications. The Journal of Endodontics is frequently cited as a top member benefit. AAE Connection allows members to communicate on clinical cases and other issues in an interactive discussion forum. I enjoy reading members’ contributions each morning in the daily digest. Our Colleagues for Excellence publications are incorporated into my predoctoral endodontic curriculum. Finally, our marketing efforts are reaching millions each year and are spreading the word about the value of saving the natural tooth and seeing an endodontist for endodontic care.

These are just some of the member benefits I value.  As you renew or consider renewing your AAE membership this year, I hope you consider all that our association does for our members, the profession, and our patients.

By Rae Burach

Since 2012, the Minnesota Dental Association has held eight Mission of Mercy events (MnMOM), where hundreds of volunteers gather to provide free dental care to patients in need. This year’s event took place on June 7 and 8 at the Duluth Entertainment and Convention Center. It treated 780 patients with $1.2 million worth of dental care.

When doors opened at 5:30 a.m. to begin letting a long line of patients in, volunteers had already been setting up for an hour, as well as the entire day before. Volunteer roles range from dentists, hygienists, and pharmacists to students and general facilitators. Regardless of their background or expertise, they all share the goal of bettering the health of the underserved.

“We want to bring attention to the issue that oral health is as important as any other part of your body,” said MnMOM State Chair Dr. Alejandro M. Aguirre. “The volunteers are the mission and without them- every single one of them- the event would not be possible.”

Dr. Aguirre has been state chair of the event since its inception. He runs the floor during treatment days, which begin in the early morning and end in the evening, or until treatment is complete.

“It is certainly a long few days, but you end [each day] very happy of what the volunteers accomplished and can’t wait to do it again,” Dr. Aguirre said. “The adrenaline is high.”

Patients who seek care at MnMOM are those who don’t have access to dental insurance or affordable care. Depending on their needs, they receive cleanings, fillings, root canals, extractions, or any other necessary treatment.

“The overwhelming response from patients is gratitude,” said Dr. Alan Law. This year’s MnMOM was his third as a volunteer endodontist. “I have had a few patients who cried because they were so thankful to be out of pain and to save a front tooth so they could continue to smile.”

Dr. Law said, while the event can feel like a marathon, the pace is steady, and the sense of unity and service makes it easy to stay energized. Over the two days, 38 root canals were performed in an area dedicated to endodontic treatment.

The dental equipment used at MnMOM is funded by grants or donated by generous partners, including the America’s Dentists Care Foundation who started the Mission of Mercy program throughout the United States, said Dr. Kimberly Lindquist. She has participated in all eight MnMOM events since its inception. This year, she volunteered as a local co-lead.

“I was in charge of making sure everyone had what they needed and that everything ran smoothly,” Dr. Lindquist said. “At other events, I have provided endodontic care and sometimes basic restorative dentistry as well.”

The MnMOM volunteer team is a fine-tuned machine. The event takes about a year to plan, said Dr. Aguirre, so by the time treatment days come around, the focus is entirely on the patients. For volunteers like these, the motivation to save teeth comes naturally.

“Volunteering is ‘in my blood,’” said Dr. Lindquist. “My parents were active volunteers, and it has always been a part of my life. This was just one way I can help the underserved and specifically those with oral pain and infection.”

For Dr. Aguirre, devoting his time to others’ health is a no-brainer. “I consider my volunteer work as important as my paid work,” he said. “If you have pain and infection in your mouth or have a front tooth missing, it derails your life. You cannot function, you are embarrassed, and you may retreat from society. If one person helps another person, we would have many people helping many others.”

The AAE is proud to report that there were 13 members who participated in this year’s MnMOM event (listed below). Additionally, 10% of volunteers were endodontists, which is remarkable given that endodontists make up about only 2.5 % of the dentists in the state of Minnesota. It’s inspiring to see, time and time again, that our specialists are not only talented, but generous enough to share their expertise wherever it’s needed.

Dr. Law shares the same sentiment: “I believe endodontists are among the most giving of their time and other resources. I see this in the number of endodontists who are volunteer educators, donors to the Foundation, and volunteer in community dental clinics and other outreach activities. It is an honor to be part of such a service-oriented specialty.”

The importance of events like MnMOM is crucial, as too many people lack access to affordable dental care. The donation of time by dental professionals and laypeople alike creates a life-changing impact.

“I look forward to the day when these Missions of Mercy are no longer needed,” Dr. Lindquist said. “Until then, I plan to volunteer my time and talents to help out.”

Mission of Mercy events take place across the country and are always in need of licensed professionals. To find an event near you and get involved, visit the America’s Dentists Care Foundation website.

AAE Members at MnMOM:
Dr. Alejandro M. Aguirre, State Chair
Dr. Kim Lindquist, Duluth Local Co-Chair
Dr. Katie Divine, Endodontic Lead
Dr. Cale Strait, Restorative Co-lead
Dr. Mary Ann Bunczak, Endodontic Provider
Dr. Levi Kinsey, Endodontic Provider
Dr. Alan Law, Endodontic Provider
Dr. Brandon Penaz, Endodontic Provider
Dr. Michael Regan Anderson, Endodontic Provider
Dr. Chris Saylor, Endodontic Provider
Dr. Varun Singh, Endodontic Provider
Dr. Eric Grutzner, Dental Triage
Dr. Mark Phillips, Dental Triage


There is a lot to unpack with HIPAA law. It may seem like more work than it’s worth, but unfortunately, it needs to be addressed. HIPAA isn’t all bad. Did you know HIPAA can help you manage your risk in several ways? 

  1. HIPAA Security Risk Assessments limit the likelihood of hacking incidents 
  2. Policies and procedures limit the risk of improper use and disclosure of protected health information (PHI) 
  3. Business associate agreements limit liability when your business associate violates HIPAA 
  4. Implementing a HIPAA compliance program reduces the risk of fines 

HIPAA Security Risk Assessments and Hacking 

HIPAA Security Risk Assessments (SRAs) are essential to improving your practice’s cybersecurity practices. While SRAs are an annual HIPAA requirement, there are other reasons to conduct yours.  

A risk assessment measures your current security practices against HIPAA standards. Once completed, deficiencies in your security are identified, enabling you to use this information to improve your security.  

Identifying your weaknesses is essential to prevent hacking incidents. By doing so, you can better prepare your practice by implementing additional security measures to prevent an incident from occurring. This is referred to as implementing corrective actions. 

Policies and Procedures and Use and Disclosure of PHI 

Policies and procedures provide guidelines for properly using and disclosing protected health information by your practice and staff. A significant number of healthcare breaches occur because healthcare workers are unaware of how PHI should be shared. By clearly outlining how your practice uses and discloses PHI, and having policies and procedures to limit PHI access, the likelihood of “insider breaches” reduces dramatically. 

Business Associate Agreements and HIPAA Violations 

Business associate agreements (BAAs) are an integral part of HIPAA. Your practice must have signed BAAs with each of your business associate vendors. A BAA is a legal contract that states that each signing party is HIPAA compliant, and will maintain their compliance. A BAA also limits your practice’s liability if your business associate is breached. 

HIPAA Compliance Program and Fines 

Implementing an effective HIPAA compliance program is the best way to manage your risk. Your program should include security risk assessments, remediation, policies and procedures, and business associate agreements. It should also include employee training and incident management. 

The Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) Office for Civil Rights (OCR) investigates healthcare organizations’ HIPAA compliance. These investigations usually occur as the result of a breach or patient complaint. When the OCR finds an organization’s compliance program lacking, the organization may be subject to costly fines. 

To protect your dental practice from fines, you must ensure that you meet each of HIPAA’s requirements. 

Contributed by Compliancy Group 

Whether you’re starting from scratch or looking to streamline HIPAA and OSHA, Compliancy Group’s software includes everything you need – from employee training to policies and procedures. Give your practice peace of mind. Automate, track, and manage all of your compliance requirements with software. New Member customers save 15% on services. 

By Ed Durant, Chief Credit Officer, BHG Financial 

Four valuable tips on buying out a medical practice partner  

Medical practice partnerships are often created from a shared vision and a desire to work together for the long haul, but there are certain circumstances where one partner decides to buy out the other. 

Perhaps your partner is considering retirement, your ambition is to expand the practice beyond their willingness, or you want to take it in a new direction. Whatever the reason, it’s important to understand the process. From identifying and partnering with the appropriate professionals to finding the right financing options, this article will help you learn four valuable tips on buying out a medical practice partner.

1. The right experts for the right job

While not always necessary, working with experienced advisors can help ensure the buyout of your medical practice is successful. These professionals can include lawyers, lenders, and other consultants to help structure deals that benefit all stakeholders. 

  • Attorneys for enhanced communication — Attorneys can skillfully start and facilitate conversations with your medical practice partner, potentially making the meetings more constructive. 
  • Accountants to evaluate tax implications — Accountants can assess the tax implications of the buyout, helping you structure the deal in a tax-efficient manner. 
  • Lenders to explore financing options — A lender or financial consultant can advise you on various buyout options. These can be business loans or other types of financing, but they can help guide you toward the most appropriate one for your circumstances. 
  • Other professionals — There is value in bringing in additional professionals. For example, a business advisor can ensure a well-rounded approach to the buyout process.  

2. Determine the value of your medical partner’s stake

One of the critical aspects of a buyout is determining the fair value of your partner’s stake in the practice. 

An impartial, third-party professional appraiser is a good choice in order to calculate the fair market value. They will look at various aspects of the practice, such as the company’s financials (i.e., assets and liabilities), patient base, practice physical footprint and local market conditions. 

Examples of factors that go into determining a valuation: 

  • Projected revenue growth 
  • Forecasted margin growth 
  • Shareholder cash returns 
  • Debt-to-equity ratio changes 
  • Economic conditions in the industry 
  • Geographic market volatility

3. Reference the buy-sell agreement 

A buy-sell agreement is designed to provide clarity and protection as partners approach the transition in practice ownership. Here’s what you should review: 

  • Valuation clause — Outline whether the value of a partner’s business interest is calculated using a fixed price or formula or should be based on an independent appraisal at the time of the buyout. 
  • Payment terms—Refers to instructions on how and when the payment should be made per the agreement. Options may include a lump sum, installment payments, or a combination of both. 
  • Contingencies—Stay aware of any conditions that must be met for the buyout to proceed. This could involve securing external financing or obtaining regulatory approvals. 
  • Rights and obligations—Understand the rights and obligations of both parties during and after the buyout process.

4. Consider financing options for the medical practice partner buyout 

A financial professional is the best resource to advise on available financing options. Some of the most common financing options used to buy out a partner include: 

  • Business loans—A business acquisition loan may provide the necessary capital to purchase the stake of the departing partner and provide you with the flexibility to pay back the loan over an extended period. Compared to bank loans, BHG Financial offers business loans up to $500,0001,2 and flexible terms of up to 12 years1, and the support of a dedicated team to guide you through the process. 
  • Self-funding—If you have enough cash flow in your business or personal accounts, you may be able to self-fund a partner buyout. However, the sum of money required is often too large for most to pay in a lump sum and could put your savings and business at risk. 
  • Partner financing plans—Another option is to set up a financing plan with your partner where they receive payments over time rather than one lump sum payment at closing. 

Purchasing a medical partner’s equity share is a significant decision, necessitating meticulous planning, legal expertise, and transparent communication. Seeking professional guidance can help you successfully navigate the buyout process, safeguard your interests, and ensure the continuity of your practice. With careful planning and patience, it’s possible to navigate a mutually beneficial situation where all involved parties can come away with their desired outcome.  

If you would like to learn more about BHG Financial’s Medical Practice Loans, click here. 

1.Terms subject to credit approval upon completion of an application. Loan sizes, interest rates, and loan terms vary based on the applicant’s credit profile. Finance amount may vary depending on the applicant’s state of residence. 

2.BHG Financial business loans typically range from $20,000 to $250,000; however, well-qualified borrowers may be eligible for business loans up to $500,000. 
For California Residents: BHG Financial loans made or arranged pursuant to a California Financing Law license – Number 603G493. 

We are thrilled to announce that our transition to the new membership database is complete! This means you can now renew your AAE membership and enjoy seamless access to all the valuable member services we offer.

Member Services are Back!

With the completion of this transition, all AAE member services have resumed, including:

  • Access to the Journal of Endodontics
  • AAE Connection
  • Endo On Demand
  • Endo Careers

How to Log Into Your AAE Account

As part of this update, all members need to reset their account password. Here’s a simple guide to help you:

  1. Go to the login page.
  2. Click “Forgot your password?” link at the bottom of the login page.
  3. In the email field, type INSERT_EMAIL, which is the primary email address associated with your AAE membership.
  4. Select “Reset Your Password” and follow the instructions sent to your email.

How to Renew Your Membership

After resetting your password, you’ll be redirected to the “Manage My Membership” page. To renew your membership:

  1. Find and click the “Renew” button near the bottom of the page.
  2. Follow the prompts to complete your renewal.

Need Assistance?

If you encounter any issues, please contact us at or 800-872-3636. Our team is ready to assist you as quickly as possible.

Thank You for Being a Member

We sincerely appreciate your continued membership and support. Your involvement is what makes AAE a vibrant and thriving community. We are excited to welcome you back for another year and look forward to serving you through our new system.

Thank you for your patience during this transition. We are confident that these updates will greatly enhance your membership experience.

Compiled by Elisabeth Lisican

The 2024 Florida Association of Endodontists’  (FAE) Fall Forum, which takes place Sept. 27-28, 2024, at The Ritz-Carlton in Orlando, Fla., will focus on building a comprehensive foundation for managing traumatic dental injuries. Attendees can gain valuable insights from renowned experts on best practices in diagnosis, treatment planning, and case management, while connecting with peers, colleagues, and industry leaders to exchange ideas, forge collaborations, and expand your professional network. AAE’s Assistant Director of Communications and Publishing Elisabeth Lisican recently caught up with FAE’s President Dr. Jeffrey Albert to learn more about the exciting program on tap for this year.

Lisican: What makes this year’s FAE Fall Forum special?
Dr. Jeffrey Albert: The Florida Association of Endodontists is excited to announce an inspiring 2024 conference at The Ritz-Carlton in Orlando, Fla., on Friday, September 27 and Saturday, September 28. This year’s event will feature a multidisciplinary trauma conference headlined by former International Association of Dental Traumatology President, Dr. Nestor Cohenca and Dr. Fred Barnett, chairman of the IB Bender Postdoctoral Program at Albert Einstein Medical Center.

While the primary focus is to provide the highest level of continuing education to endodontists, registration is also open to pediatric dentists, oral surgeons, general dentists, and endodontists nationwide who are eager to learn the most current modalities in diagnosing, managing and treating dental trauma.

We are thankful to all of our sponsors who have shown tremendous enthusiasm in supporting the 2024 FAE agenda, which includes promoting the women’s leadership luncheon, the resident luncheon and the interdisciplinary trauma conference. The FAE looks forward to an enriching and collaborative event for all attendees.

Lisican: Can you tell me more about this year’s theme of promoting and recognizing women in endodontics?
Dr. Albert: The 2024 FAE initiative to promote and recognize women in endodontics is a critical component to the growth and vitality of our specialty. With more than 50% of the graduating dental and endodontic classes being comprised of females, it is essential to address the unique challenges women face in balancing their profession, family, practice ownership, and daily life. Recently, the ADA highlighted a women’s leadership series at SmileCon 2023, featuring keynote speaker Dr. Hazel Glasper. The FAE is excited to welcome Dr. Glasper as the keynote speaker for the Fall Forum Women’s Leadership Luncheon. This event will feature a fully catered complimentary lunch and a Women’s Leadership Q&A Panel. We are grateful to our sponsors for making this event possible.

The Q&A panel will include esteemed leaders in our specialty, such as AAE23 Edgar D. Coolidge Award winner Dr. Terryl Propper, AAE President Dr. Natasha Flake, UF Chair of Endodontics Dr. Roberta Pileggi, and past ADA Second Vice President Dr. Maria Maranga. The goal is to promote female leadership within the FAE and provide guidance for emerging female endodontists through an informative and interactive session. This event offers a unique opportunity for the attendees to engage with and learn from women who have achieved the highest levels of success in all aspects of our specialty.

On a personal note, the Women’s Leadership Luncheon holds a special significance for me. Growing up in New York, I witnessed my mother’s dedication to raising her family while striving to become a leader in her profession as an educator. Her commitment to her children, husband, friends and her career was truly inspiring. The values she embodied – believing in a women’s ability to achieve the highest levels of success, are the foundation for this event, which is inspired in her memory.

Lisican: Tell me more about the resident luncheon, and why residents ought to be interested in attending this conference.
Dr. Albert: The 2024 FAE year introduces two exciting new initiatives for residents. While it is customary for the University of Florida and Nova Southeastern University faculty and residents to attend the FAE fall conference, this year we took a significant step forward by creating two resident positions on the FAE board. Each program chair selected one resident to join the board, promoting resident leadership and involvement in organized dentistry. This initiative has been a resounding success, leading to immediate and increased resident participation in the association.

The second initiative features a fully sponsored resident luncheon lecture at the FAE conference. The speakers will focus on topics and resources beneficial to graduating endodontists as they transition from their residency programs. The subjects for the lecture were thoughtfully proposed by UF resident board member, Dr. Kristen Bingham in coordination with her co-residents. We anticipate that the resident luncheon, the trauma lectures and the social interactions with established endodontists will provide a memorable and enriching experience for the aspiring residents.

Lisican: Any other thoughts to add about the FAE Fall Forum this year?
Dr. Albert: The FAE board is extremely excited about the upcoming September conference and we are eagerly inviting endodontists from across the country to join us in the beautiful, family-friendly location in Orlando, Florida. The Ritz-Carlton, conveniently located near Disney World and Universal Studios, offers world-class accommodations, attractions and restaurants, making it an ideal destination for both professional development and leisure.

We encourage you to extend this invitation to pediatric dentists, oral surgeons and any other dentists you collaborate with on dental trauma cases. Our goal is to create a fun and interactive meeting, featuring great social events and insightful lectures.

If you have any questions, please email me, FAE president, Dr. Jeffrey Albert at  We also acknowledge Vice President, Dr. Rory Mortman, Secretary/Treasurer, Dr. Mark Limosani and Resident Board Members, Dr. Kristin Bingham and Dr. Denise Dorra for their instrumental roles in planning this year’s events.

We look forward to seeing you there. Registration can be found at:

We are thrilled to announce a major enhancement to your educational journey! Our upcoming universal web search, launching in July, will allow you to effortlessly find educational resources, research articles, and forum discussions all in one place. Imagine the ease of searching for a topic and instantly accessing relevant content from Endo On Demand, the Journal of Endodontics, and more. Prepare for a more efficient and productive learning experience!

Watch your inbox for more information about our impending launch.