I am so thankful that Dr. Mikel Newman in Indianapolis allowed me to shadow him for a day recently. He and his team treat infants, children and adolescents, and boy were they busy! For the frenectomies they release, the dentist has been using the Light Scalpel CO2 laser longer than I have (even though I have quite a few more grey hairs). I took more away from the visit than I expected and really appreciate how he truly cares for the little ones. He has done a tremendous job learning about breastfeeding and it shows in the counseling his gives his families. Integrating this very specialized service within a general dentistry practice was something his practice has done very well. As for my team, we are ironing out the wrinkles and making systems flow better since I am not a pediatric dentist. It makes me giggle when a parent of a little one asks me if I see adults, and then in the afternoon an adult may ask if I see kids. My adult patients are adapting to seeing many babies, car seats and nursing mothers when they arrive for their dental cleaning. So many comment after learning about tongue-ties "I didn't know that was a thing." Since implementing the small changes I learned, I have became a more well rounded tethered oral tissue practitioner.
My goal to educate myself led me to start having conversations with local pediatric ENT's. I traveled all the way to Eagan (much quicker than Indianapolis) to pick a local children's Ear, Nose, Throat Physician's brain. Being an MD gives him a different perspective on the tongue tie and airway patients. I am continuing to seek providers in the Twin Cities who will give excellent care to little children.
On a similar note, Life Smiles hosted the third meeting of the Twin Cities Tongue Tie Professionals Group last week in Plymouth. Our focus was on the importance of body work, specifically chiropractic care and cranial sacral therapy (CST). I find it extremely helpful to spend face to face time with the people that I refer to. Knowing these women who care so much, gives me confidence in how families will be related to and the babies cared for. Investing time into relationships also builds a true team, because ankyloglossia is not a snip or clip and you're done type of problem. Unfortunately, many healthcare professionals don't have that same viewpoint of the complexity of frenulums impact on overall health and wellness. Scissors releases in the hospital that are incomplete may resolve some symptoms early on. When that occurs, parents are confused as to why they are struggling so much. As I have opened my dental practice to laser frenulum releases, I have committed to learning as much as I possibly can, and not getting comfortable with what I know right now. There will always be more I can learn and people to learn from which will benefit my patients. The coming year presents more awesome learning experiences which I cannot wait to attend! In January a local meeting regarding pediatric airways is on my calendar. In April I will be joining a symposium on laser dentistry in Florida (who can complain about Orlando?). The coming summer has me booked to an international conference in Canada. Cool, eh?