• Orofacial Pain

Oral & Maxillofacial Surgery

Clinical Interests
  • Facial pain
  • Oral devices, fixed and removable
  • Temporomandibular joint disease
Medical Education
  • DDS, Georgetown University School of Medicine
  • Residency, Wilford Hall USAF Medical Center
  • Fellowship, University of Minnesota Hospital Medical Center
  • Boston: Massachusetts General Hospital
  • Danvers: The Mass General/North Shore Center for Outpatient Care
Insurances Accepted
  • Aetna Health Inc.
  • Beech Street
  • Blue Cross Blue Shield - Dental
  • Blue Cross Blue Shield - Indemnity
  • Cigna (PAL #'s)
  • Fallon Community HealthCare
  • Great-West Healthcare (formally One Health Plan)
  • Harvard Pilgrim Health Plan - other
  • Harvard Pilgrim Health Plan - PBO
  • Health Care Value Management (HCVM)
  • Humana/Choice Care PPO
  • Medicare
  • Medicare - ACD
  • Met Life Dental
  • Neighborhood Health Plan - ACD
  • Neighborhood Health Plan - PBO
  • OSW - Maine
  • OSW - New Hampshire
  • Private Health Care Systems (PHCS)
  • Railroad Medicare
  • Railroad Medicare - ACD
  • Senior Whole Health
  • TriCare
  • Unicare
  • United Healthcare (non-HMO) - ACD
  • United Healthcare (non-HMO) - PBO
Patient Age Group

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Dr. Shaefer is a general dentist with a board certification in orofacial pain and general dentistry. As the  director of the Orofacial Pain Clinic at the Harvard School of Dental Medicine (HSDM), he maintains a dental practice where he treats facial pain, temporomandibular disorders, and sleep apnea (sleep disruption), and conducts restorative dentistry. He teaches pain and anxiety management, emergency medicine for dentists, and the post-graduate Pharmacology course.

At Mass General - Boston, Dr. Shaefer serves as assistant professor in the OMS Department and director of the Post-Doctoral Orofacial Pain Fellowship. At his Boston clinic, he specializes in facial pain, temporomandibular disorders, and sleep apnea. At Mass General - Danvers, Dr. Shaefer cares for patients with sleep apnea.

Before joining Harvard, Dr Shaefer built 22 years of dental practice and leadership experience in the USAF Dental Corps. He was one of two TMJ/orofacial pain specialists in the Air Force and the chief of the TMD and Orofacial Pain Clinic at Keesler Medical Center, the Air Force's second largest medical center.

Before his fellowship (see below), Dr. Shaefer served in Europe for 7 years as a base dental surgeon (chief dentist), deputy medical facility commander, and medical facility commander.

Dr Shaefer is a diplomat of the American Academy of Orofacial Pain, the Federal Services Board of General Dentistry, and the Academy of General Dentistry. He is a member of the International Association of Dental Research, the American Academy of Orofacial Pain, the American Pain Society, and the Academy of General Dentistry. He maintains an active dental license in Massachusetts.

With Dr Shaefer as co-PI, HSDM was selected by the National Institutes of Health Pain Consortium as one of 12 US health professional schools to serve as Centers of Excellence in Pain Education. HSDM was the only dental school chosen as the lead institution.

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Research & Publications

Research Summary
Dr Shaefer's research interests involve investigating the role of inflammatory mediators in chronic facial pain, the efficacy of treatments for orofacial pain / temporomandibular disorders (TMD), and the validity of diagnostic tests for the identification of TMD.

View my most recent publications at PubMed

Vranceanu A-M, Shaefer JR, Saadi AF, Slawsby E, Sarin J, Scult M, Benson H, Denninger JW: The relaxation response resiliency enhancement program in the management of chronic refractory temporomandibular joint disorder: Results from a pilot study. J Musculoske Pain 21(3): 224-230, 2013.

Pain and temporomandibular disorders: apharmaco-gender dilemma. Shaefer JR, Holland N, Whelan JS, Velly AM. Dent ClinNorth Am. 2013 Apr;57(2):233-62. doi: 10.1016/j.cden.2013.02.005.

Analysis of Criteria for MRI Diagnosis of TMJ Disc Displacement and Arthralgia.Shaefer JR, Riley CJ, Caruso P, Keith D.Int J Dent. 2012;2012:283163. doi: 10.1155/2012/283163. Epub 2012 Dec 9.

Johnson TM, Badovinac R, Shaefer J. Teaching alternatives to the standard inferior alveolar nerve block in dental education: outcomes in clinical practice. J Dent Educ 2007 Sep;71(9):1145-52.

DaSilva AF, Shaefer J, Keith DA. The temporomandibular join: clinical and surgical aspects. Neuroimaging Clin N Am. 2003 Aug;13(3):573-82.

Pehling J, Schiffman E, Look J, Shaefer J, Lenton P, Fricton J. Interexaminer reliability and clinical validity of the temporomandibular index: a new outcome measure for temporomandibular disorders. J Orofac Pain. 2002 Fall;16(4):296-304.

Shaefer JR, Jackson DL, Schiffman EL, Anderson QN. Pressure-pain thresholds and MRI effusions in TMJ arthralgia. J Dent Res. 2001 Oct;80(10):1935-9.

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News & Events


MGH Dental Group
165 Cambridge Street
4th Floor
Boston MA, 02114-2783
Phone: 617-726-1076
Fax: 617-726-2814
Harvard Faculty Group Practice
188 Longwood Avenue
Boston MA, 02115
Phone: 617-432-4289
MGH Dental Group Danvers
104 Endicott St
Suite 101
Danvers MA, 01923
Phone: 978-882-6600
Fax: 978-882-6677

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