Chestnut Dental was “born” in 1970 as a private practice specializing in pediatric dentistry. Our founding partner, Dr. Stephen Shusterman, welcomed the first patients in an office located at 111 Lincoln Street in Needham. Dr. Shusterman divided his time between his Needham office and the Department of Pediatric Dentistry at Children’s Hospital, Boston. It was there that he met Dr. Howard Needleman, who was training in pediatric dentistry from 1972-1974. Dr. Shusterman invited Dr. Needleman to join the Needham practice. Both men enjoyed caring for their Needham patients as they continued their affiliation with the residency program at Children’s.
In 1977, Drs. Shusterman and Needleman invited another Children’s trained pediatric dentist, Dr. Jack Hertzberg, to join their team. Dr. Hertzberg was attending a residency program in orthodontics at the time, and in 1978 “Shusterman, Needleman and Hertzberg, DMD PC” became the first practice in Massachusetts with a dual-trained specialist in both pediatric dentistry and orthodontics. Additionally, the three men were committed to academics and for nearly 35 years they divided their time between private practice and teaching, research, and administration at Children’s Hospital and Harvard School of Dental Medicine.
While teaching at Children’s Hospital and Harvard Dental they trained many talented young dentists, so as the situation allowed, some of their best students were invited to join Chestnut Dental. Because of this connection, the majority of doctors at Chestnut Dental are Harvard-trained, and a very close relationship between Children’s Hospital, Harvard Dental, and Chestnut Dental continues to this day. Our pediatric dentists continue to teach residents at Children’s Hospital, and our orthodontists work closely with the oral surgeons and craniofacial team at Children’s Hospital to coordinate patient care.
With time, our pediatric patients grew up, so general dentists joined the Chestnut Dental team to treat these adult patients. This final piece enabled us to treat patients of all ages, with coordination between specialties, throughout life. As word spread about the unique comprehensive dental care model offered by Chestnut Dental, additional locations were opened in Franklin in the 1990s and Bedford in the 2010s. Each office continues to offer coordinated care between pediatric dentists, orthodontists, and general dentists, as the original three dentists pioneered over 40 years ago.