In Memoriam – Jay Marlin

MARLIN, JAY, Dental Pioneer If you’ve had a root canal in the past 30 years — you’ve likely experienced Dr. Marlin’s work. Dr. Jay Marlin, DMD, of Dartmouth, MA, pulled endodontics from its nascent roots developing many of the tools and techniques used today by endodontists across the world.

Although Dr. Marlin passed away Friday, May 1 at 78 from COVID-19 complications, he ensured millions of patients would receive a far more comfortable and reliable root canal. Jay participated in ROTC at UMass Amherst, and after graduating from Tufts Dental School, he served as a Captain in the U.S. Army where he earned an honorable discharge after two years of active duty and two in reserve from 1966 to 1970. After a short stint in private practice, Jay trained in the then nascent specialty of Endodontic Dentistry at Boston University with some of the world’s leading Endodontists. Jay went on to establish a successful career with offices in Fitchburg, MA, Worcester, MA and Keene, NH. He was also a dedicated teacher, devoting one day a week to endodontic instruction first at Harvard Dental School then at Tufts. Always curious and inventive, Jay believed that the arduous process of filling root canals could be greatly simplified, and in the early 1970’s, he invented the tool known today as the Obtura, a standard tool in dental offices. Born in Boston on April 21, 1942 to Herman and Eva Marlin as the elder of two boys, Jay attended The Boston Latin School and spent summers with his close extended family on the beaches of Nahant. He was Associate Professor at both Harvard School of Dental Medicine and Tufts University School of Dentistry.

More than anything, Jay loved his family. As a doting parent and grandparent, one could often find him with his family on a boat or on the slopes. Jay died with his beloved wife Carol and their children Adam and David by his side. Jay leaves behind his brother Dr. Arthur Marlin and his wife Broche, sons David Marlin and wife Joanna Grand and Adam Marlin and wife Randi, his sister-in-law Barucha, along with 8 beautiful and adoring grandchildren Eli, Moshe Levi, Benyamin, Yehuda, Leba, Asher, Max and Yedidya.

Jay was buried in Jerusalem, Israel.

If you would like to make a donation in Jay’s name, please consider: The Northampton Survival Center, The Alyn Pediatric Hospital in Israel or the AAE Foundation for Endodontics.