Oral Pathology Services

Close-up image of microscope.

Oral Pathology Services is accepting new patients.

The accurate and early diagnosis of oral disease is the cornerstone of effective and comprehensive dental care. At Tufts Oral Pathology Services, that is precisely what our expert oral and maxillofacial pathologists help dentists and physicians offer patients.

Tufts Oral Pathology Services is a full-service oral pathology laboratory at Tufts University School of Dental Medicine. Our services are provided by leading oral pathologists on the faculty of the dental school. In addition to providing laboratory services to dentists and physicians, Dr. Mark Lerman offers in-person evaluations for patients with oral disease.

On this page find out more about our comprehensive services, continuing education, why you should choose Tufts Oral Pathology Services, and our highly skilled pathologists. 

Comprehensive Services

  • Our primary focus is histopathologic analysis of biopsy specimens. We provide soft and hard tissue evaluation following:

    • Gross examination (with decalcification, when necessary)
    • Processing of formalin-fixed biopsy specimens
    • Routine hematoxylin and eosin staining

    When indicated, special studies, including histochemistry, immunohistochemistry, and in situ hybridization also are performed.

    The Biopsy Kit contains: 

    • Tufts biopsy instruction card
    • Specimen bottle with white lid containing 10% neutral buffered formalin
    • Adhesive label to complete with identifying information and affix to specimen bottle
    • TOPS specimen requisition form
    • FedEx shipping instructions card
    • FedEx specimen bag
    • FedEx billable stamp (prepaid postage sticker to be affixed to FedEx specimen bag)

    Order Online

  • When evaluating patients with desquamative gingivitis, direct immunofluorescence may help confirm a diagnosis of mucous membrane pemphigoid or pemphigus vulgaris. To run immunofluorescence studies, tissue cannot have been preserved in formalin; therefore, if you are considering these diagnoses or other vesiculobullous disorders, you need to use an immunofluorescence kit to submit a biopsy specimen in Michel’s medium in addition to submitting a routine biopsy in formalin.

    The Immunofluorescence Kit contains: 

    • Tufts immunofluorescence instruction card
    • Specimen vial with yellow lid containing Michel’s medium
    • Adhesive label to complete with identifying information and affix to specimen vial
    • TOPS specimen requisition form
    • FedEx shipping instructions card
    • FedEx specimen bag
    • FedEx billable stamp (prepaid postage sticker to be affixed to FedEx specimen bag)

    Order Online

  • For patients presenting with mucosal lesions suspicious for herpetic ulcers or candidal infections, exfoliative cytology is a diagnostic technique less invasive than a tissue biopsy that may help easily confirm a diagnosis.

    The Liquid-Based Brush Cytology Kit Contains: 

    • Tufts liquid cytology instructions card
    • Specimen bottle with blue lid containing Surepath® liquid media
    • Plastic handle nylon bristle brush within a sealable clear plastic bag
    • Adhesive label to complete with identifying information and affix to specimen bottle
    • TOPS specimen requisition form
    • Tufts FedEx shipping instructions card
    • FedEx specimen bag
    • FedEx billable stamp (prepaid postage sticker to be affixed to FedEx specimen bag)

    Order Online

  • Information for Referring Dentists and Physicians

    If you have patients whom you would like to refer for clinical oral pathology consultations, please:

    Email: tops@tufts.edu

    Address:

    Tufts Oral Pathology Services
    Tufts University School of Dental Medicine
    1 Kneeland Street, 6th Floor
    Boston, MA  02111

    *Fax: 617-636-6780 (NOTE: Clinical notes and referral forms may be faxed; however, please only send photographs or radiographs by email or mail.)

    Information for Patients

    Patients may schedule an appointment at Tufts’ Oral Medicine Clinic by calling 617-636-3932.

    Before scheduling an appointment, you should contact your medical insurance company to see if they cover appointments with Dr. Mark Lerman at Tufts University School of Dental Medicine (Oral Medicine Clinic) and if the insurance requires a referral from a dentist or physician.

    We are located at:

    Tufts University School of Dental Medicine
    6th Floor -- Oral Medicine
    1 Kneeland Street
    Boston, MA  02111

    Find out more about directions and parking.

Our Pathologists

Our board-certified pathologists have extensive expertise in the field of Oral and Maxillofacial Pathology, are on the faculty of Tufts University School of Dental Medicine, hold leadership roles in academic and national dental organizations, and are widely published in medical and dental peer-reviewed journals.

  • Mark A. Lerman, DMD, is the Laboratory Director of Tufts Oral Pathology Services, where he also practices clinical oral pathology. He is the Division Director of Oral and Maxillofacial Pathology and an Associate Professor at Tufts University School of Dental Medicine (TUSDM). Dr. Lerman graduated from TUSDM in 2002 and completed a one-year general practice residency at Harvard School of Dental Medicine and Brigham and Women’s Hospital. After undergoing his oral pathology residency at New York Hospital Queens, Dr. Lerman joined the faculty at Harvard School of Dental Medicine in 2006 and was appointed in the Department of Surgery at Brigham and Women’s Hospital in Boston. Dr. Lerman returned to TUSDM as a member of the faculty in 2014.

  • Tanya A. Wright, DDS, is an Assistant Professor in the Division of Oral and Maxillofacial Pathology at Tufts University School of Dental Medicine. Dr. Wright is a 2001 graduate of Meharry Medical College School of Dentistry and completed her oral pathology residency in 2004 at New York Hospital Queens. Upon completion of her training, Dr. Wright was appointed as an Assistant Professor at Meharry, and in 2008-09, she served as Interim Chair of the Department of Oral Diagnostic Sciences. She was selected as a member of the 2007 ADEA/AAL Institute for Teaching and Learning, and she earned a student choice award from the Meharry Dental Class of 2010. Dr. Wright joined the TUSDM faculty in 2015.

  • Nora M. V. Laver, MD, is an Associate Professor in the Department of Ophthalmology at Tufts University School of Medicine and in the Division of Oral and Maxillofacial Pathology at Tufts University School of Dental Medicine. Dr. Laver is a graduate of the University of Buenos Aires School of Medicine and completed a residency in pathology at Georgetown University Medical Center. She then completed a fellowship in cytopathology at Georgetown University Medical Center, and completed Callender-Binford Fellowships in ocular pathology and in oral and maxillofacial pathology, both at the Armed Forces Institute of Pathology.  In addition to directing ocular pathology at the New England Eye Center, she has served as their Director of Pathology Residency Training, Director of Cytopathology, and Director of Head and Neck Pathology. She is a consultant pathologist at Boston Medical Center’s Department of Pathology and at Atrius Health – Harvard Vanguard Medical Associates.  Dr. Laver joined the TUSDM faculty in 2013.

    Dr. Laver has published over 50 medical peer-reviewed articles and 12 book chapters, organized two head and neck cancer conferences, and participated in numerous presentations and continuing education courses locally, regionally and internationally.  Dr. Laver’s training and experience uniquely qualify her to evaluate head and neck pathology specimens.  She is certified by the American Board of Pathology in anatomic pathology and cytopathology.

Why Choose Us

State-of-the-Art Services

We process and analyze your patients’ specimens using state-of-the-art equipment and procedures. Our primary focus is histopathologic analysis of biopsy specimens. We provide soft and hard tissue hematoxylin and eosin evaluation and special studies, including histochemistry, immunohistochemistry, and in situ hybridization, when indicated. We also evaluate immunofluorescence and liquid cytology specimens. In addition, Dr. Mark Lerman offers in-person evaluations for patients with oral disease.

Exceptional Oral Pathologists

Our pathologists have extensive expertise in the field of Oral and Maxillofacial Pathology.

  • We are on the faculty of Tufts University School of Dental Medicine.
  • We are board-certified Diplomates of the American Board of Oral and Maxillofacial Pathology or American Board of Pathology.
  • We hold leadership roles in academic and national dentistry organizations.
  • We are widely published in prominent peer-reviewed journals.

Fast & Convenient Service

Our practice is committed to making submitting specimens to us as easy and convenient as possible. We provide:

  • Complimentary biopsy, immunofluorescence, and cytology kits that you can request by email (tops@tufts.edu), phone (866-670-8677), or fax (617-636-6780) or online
  • Pre-paid local and nationwide courier pickup of specimens via FedEx
  • One-day turnaround for routine biopsy cases from the time we receive your specimen to when we fax or mail you the pathology report
  • Direct billing to your patients’ medical insurance (self-pay patients also accepted)

Accurate & Thorough Reports

Along with our expert final diagnosis, our detailed pathology reports include photomicrographic imaging, gross and microscopic descriptions, and corresponding current International Classification of Diseases (ICD) codes for insurance claims. For challenging diagnoses, we also will call you to discuss the diagnosis and implications for patient management.