Dr. Piya Gandhi – 2024 Kumar Patel Prize Recipient

2024 Kumar Patel Prize Recipient for outstanding contributions to laser frenectomy education

Piya Trehan Gandhi, DDS

My journey into laser dentistry began with a deeply personal experience. Following the birth of my eldest daughter, Cyrah, I sensed that something was amiss. Struggling with breastfeeding, she was a noisy, colicky baby who always needed to be held. Like many parents today, I was reassured that she was “fine” and would outgrow her fussy phase. Advised to switch to bottle feeding, I had no exposure to TOTS or lasers in dentistry at the time, obliging me to follow the given recommendations.

Fast forward 3.5 years, and Cyrah did not outgrow her fussy phase; instead, her behavior continued to decline. Dealing with nightly snoring, dark circles under her eyes, and multiple daily tantrums, I sought an evaluation from an ENT. The diagnosis revealed enlarged tonsils and adenoids, which were subsequently removed, alleviating her snoring but leaving a lingering sense that something was still off.

A turning point occurred when I attended a continuing education course with Dr. Soroush Zaghi of the Breathe Institute. He outlined the signs and symptoms of a child with tongue tie, emphasizing its impact on sleep, breathing, and behavior. Every characteristic he described resonated with Cyrah, bringing me to tears as I realized I had found the missing piece. Returning home after the course, I diagnosed Cyrah with a posterior tongue tie.

Unfortunately, lacking awareness of the importance of a functional approach to treating ties, I opted for a release without pre/post therapy, resulting in minimal improvements. Frustrated as a parent and aware that I was missing crucial pieces as a practitioner, I refused to give up. This motivated me to delve deeper into TOTs and airway development over the next few years, determined to bring this treatment not only to my own child but also to my patients.

Cyrah’s second tongue tie release at the age of 7 was a comprehensive approach, involving expansion, months of pre/post chiropractic care, myofunctional therapy, and the functional frenuloplasty technique. It was after this release, around age 7.5, that I finally witnessed my daughter thriving—sleeping well, excelling in school and socially, and regulating herself both physically and emotionally. After waiting over seven years to truly enjoy my own daughter, I made it my mission to raise awareness about airway health, believing that no parents should endure a seven-year wait to connect with their child.

Dr. Gandhi Biographical Highlights

Dr. Piya Gandhi is a board-certified pediatric dentist with a focus on functional pediatric dentistry. Her practice is dedicated to thorough screenings for various disorders, including airway, sleep, speech, feeding, and growth and development issues. Dr. Gandhi specializes in the diagnosis and treatment of tongue and lip ties, particularly in infants and children with airway disorders.

Her commitment to tethered oral tissues (TOTs) stems from personal experiences and challenges with her own daughter, Cyrah. Dr. Gandhi’s primary goal is to prevent similar experiences for her patients and their families. She has undergone extensive training beyond her residency, specifically in airway development and the diagnosis and treatment of tethered oral tissues.

Dr. Gandhi advocates for a comprehensive team approach, utilizing the Function First Model. In her practice, she has built a network of practitioners in the greater Houston area, including a speech-language pathologist, myofunctional therapist, pediatric chiropractor, and an international board-certified lactation consultant. This collaborative team ensures both convenient and comprehensive care for patients.

Passionate about professional growth, Dr. Gandhi actively pushes her limits as a practitioner. Outside clinical hours, she engages in meetings with local practitioners to foster collaborations and delivers national lectures to enhance training and awareness regarding airway disorders and tongue ties. Her dedication to expanding knowledge in the field reflects her commitment to providing the best possible care for her patients.

Professional Training and Affiliations:

  • American Board Certified in Pediatric Dentistry
  • TOTS Trained Provider
  • Affiliate of the Breathe Institute
  • Active Member of the American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry