Mark A. Piper, DMD, MD


Piper Education & Research Center












Dr. Mark A. Piper is a graduate of Harvard College, Harvard School of Dental Medicine and Vanderbilt Medical School. He completed residency training in General Surgery and Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery at Vanderbilt University. Prior to opening his practice in St. Petersburg, Florida, he was an emergency room physician in rural Tennessee. He is a Diplomate of the American Board of Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery and a member of numerous professional medical and dental organizations. Major awards include the Harvard Gold Medal for graduating top in his dental school class, a first place Hatton Award from the International Association of Dental Research for his cleft palate and wound healing investigations, and induction into Omicron Kappa Upsilon, Harvard Chapter.

Dr. Piper has lectured to more than 400 dental and medical groups from throughout the world. He is credited with the development of Doppler auscultation and differential arthrography for the diagnosis of temporomandibular disorders; and since 1987, he has been a major contributor to the interpretation of CT and MR scans of the TMJ. Dr. Piper was one of the original researchers to report the occlusal and facial abnormalities related to childhood growth injuries. He has developed the Piper Classification of Temporomandibular Joint Disorders, which is widely used in clinical practice. Dr Piper's surgical contributions include the development of microsurgical joint reconstruction, the utilization of stealth-assisted computer surgery for the release of joint ankylosis, the surgical management of avascular necrosis of the mandibular condyle, joint reconstruction in fractured mandibular condyles, and utilization of autologous fat grafts in the treatment of various temporomandibular disorders. Dr. Piper's current research interests link facial deformities and abnormalities of the bite to unstable temporomandibular joints. This research is fundamentally changing the diagnosis and treatment of bite problems.



B.A. cum laude

Harvard College
Cambridge, Massachusetts

D.M.D. magna cum laude (Gold Medal Awardee)

Harvard School of Dental Medicine
Boston, Massachusetts


Vanderbilt University Medical School
Nashville, Tennessee

Residency Training

Residency in Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery

Vanderbilt Medical Center
Nashville, Tennessee

Basic (Two Year) General Surgery Residency

Vanderbilt Medical Center
Nashville, Tennessee

Chief Residency in Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery

Vanderbilt Medical Center
Nashville, Tennessee

Board Certification

National Board of Dental Examiners
Northeast Regional Dental Boards
State of Florida Dental Boards
Commonwealth of Massachusetts Dental Boards
State of Florida Medical Board
State of Tennessee Medical Board
National Board of Medical Examiners
American Board of Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery (Diplomate)

Dental Licensure


Medical Licensure


Memberships and Societies

Pinellas County Medical Society
Pinellas County Dental Society
West Coast Dental Association
Florida Medical Association
Florida Dental Association
American Medical Association
American Dental Association
American Society of Maxillofacial Surgeons
American Society of Temporomandibular Joint Surgeons (Charter Member)
American College of Oral and Maxillofacial Surgeons
American Equilibration Society
Harvard Odontological Society
Association of Harvard Chemists
Universita Degli Studi Di Cagliari

Honors and Awards

Harvard Gold Medal
First Place
Hatton Award from the International Association of Dental Research
Top Dentists in America
Top Physicians in America
Top Educator in Dentistry by Dentistry Today



Clinical Expertise

Dr. Mark A. Piper, DMD, MD, has dedicated his entire career to perfecting the diagnosis and management of facial pain, skeletal defects of the jaws, and abnormalities of the bite. In developing his expertise Dr. Piper has sought the highest possible level of training, and he has used this training to develop new methods of diagnosis of temporomandibular and occlusal problems. His medical background also brings fresh insight into the treatment of skeletal and pain problems, and he is one of the few physicians in the United States with a practice focused primarily on bite and joint deformities. In essence, Dr. Piper brings a "medical model" to dentistry. His 10,000 fully diagnosed and imaged TMJ and facial pain patients may be the most carefully documented patient base in the world, as every patient has been fully imaged with radiographs and MR scans with direct correlation of their temporomandibular joints to their mounted study casts.

In addition, Dr. Piper has surgically rehabilitated over 5000 joints. There are very few anatomical TMJ problems that Dr. Piper has not experienced first hand, and at the Piper Clinic the most complex patients in the world are routinely evaluated and treated. The Piper Clinic pain practice is extensive and currently treats over twenty new pain patients every month, and physician groups have sought Dr. Piper's expertise on Complex Regional Pain Syndrome I (CRPS I) or Reflex Sympathetic Dystrophy (RSD) of the face because of the large number of these patients that he treats. The techniques and concepts that are employed at the Piper Clinic are the same techniques and concepts that are taught to our students at the Piper Education and Research Center. Dr. Piper has been honored by his fellow dentists in being named a Top Dentist in the United States, and similarly he has been named a Top Physician in the United States by his medical colleagues.



Teaching and Research

Dr. Mark A. Piper, DMD, MD, has trained over 10,000 doctors at the Piper Education and Research Center and at numerous national and international venues. He has lectured extensively to dental and to medical groups throughout the world, and he has been a featured speaker at over 400 professional meetings in the past twenty-five years. During his career Dr. Piper has lectured to other doctors and residents at numerous academic institutions. The Piper Clinic has hosted scores of surgeons in the operating room, and the teaching faculties of the Dawson Center and the Pankey Institute count among the colleagues that he has personally trained. For the past several years Dr. Piper has been featured as a visiting lecturer at the prestigious Master's Forum at the Pankey Institute, and for over twenty years he was on the faculty at the Dawson Center. The students at Dr. Piper's seminars have included general dentists, prosthodontists, cosmetic dentists, endodontists, periodontists, oral surgeons, orthodontists, pedodontists, pain specialists, radiologists, otolaryngologists, neurologists, chiropractors, and physical therapists.

The contributions by Dr. Piper have been extensive. Witness the opening page of the Dawson Center website ( "The concept of surgeons, orthodontists, restorative dentists and technicians working together, challenging each others ingrained beliefs and searching for the truth has been both exciting and productive. From within this single group, a number of major diagnostic and treatment advances have emerged, including Doppler auscultation for TMJ disorders, differential arthrography to assess the role of muscle on disk derangements, new microsurgical procedures for correction of articular disorders, and new methods for repairing condylar fractures." These concepts still serve as a core part of the teaching curriculum of the Dawson Center, and all of these advancements were singularly developed by Dr. Piper during the latter part of the 20th century. The growth of Dr. Piper's expertise in the 21st century has been expanded to include guidelines for CT and MRI interpretation, concepts of diagnosis and treatment of avascular necrosis of the mandible, management of childhood facial growth deformities due to TMJ injury, TMJ ankylosis surgery, stealth assisted computerized microscopic surgery, and methods to stimulate normal regrowth of mandibular condyles. His newest concepts of "Joint Based Dentistry" are firmly establishing diagnostic approaches to occlusal disorders that are revolutionizing the sequencing of bite management. Dr. Piper's training brings medical expertise to dentistry and dental expertise to medicine, and that is why many consider him to be the ultimate expert in treating TMJ, occlusion, and facial pain patients. Dr. Piper has been honored as a Top Educator in Dentistry by Dentistry Today.