2021 ALSC Symposium • Online CE Lectures • Held Throughout February 2021


TOTS & Lasers Laser Dentistry, Surgery & Medicine Veterinary Laser Surgery, Dermatology & Dentistry, including treatments for BOAS Panel Discussions Show All

Session Speakers and Presentations

Ordered alphabetically by the lead presenters’ last name

Lauren Ballinger, DDS

Lauren Ballinger, DDS

The Pediatric Dentist’s Role in Prevention: The Prevention of Caries Starts At the Eruption of the 1st Tooth; The Prevention of Malocclusion Starts at Birth


Obstructive sleep apnea (OSA) “is a disorder of oral-facial growth.” Huang and Guilleminault 2013, Stupack and Park 2018, OSA; which exists on a spectrum of sleep breathing-related disorders including mouth-breathing and snoring. The dental and medical professions have accepted and encouraged the establishment of a dental home along with a child’s first dental visit occurring no later than one year of age as a preventative measure in the development of early childhood caries, which is associated with poor outcomes and consequences to a child’s overall health and quality of life. This preventive model should also be utilized in the prevention of childhood malocclusion that is associated with a child’s respiratory health, sleep quality, and quality of life. Pediatric Dentists, Orthodontists, and child-focused dentists play an essential role in the very early identification, prevention, and correction of the structural and functional compromises associated with childhood malocclusion that can put children at risk for the development and progression of sleep and breathing-related disorders. Babies born with tethered oral tissues (TOTs) are often structurally challenged with high narrow palates and constricted upper airway passages. These babies with TOTs not only face functional challenges, causing a myriad of nursing and feeding issues for both mother and baby, but progressive worsening of their orofacial structures and development of early malocclusions. The proper identification and treatment of tethered oral tissues not only aids in the establishment of the proper function needed for optimal nursing but is vital to promoting optimized orofacial growth and development in the first years of life. In turn, decreasing a child’s risk for the development of sleep and breathing-related disorders that can hamper a child’s overall health and wellness and ability to flourish in childhood and beyond.

Biographical Highlights

Dr. Lauren is a Board Certified Pediatric Dentist and a Diplomate of the American Board of Pediatric Dentistry. She earned her Doctor of Dental Surgery degree in 2000 from the University of Maryland Baltimore College of Dental Surgery. After graduating from Dental School, she moved to Germany to join her husband, Dr. Matt Ballinger, who was stationed there as a Dental Officer in the United States Army Dental Corp. While Dr. Matt finished his General Practice Residency and tour, she worked as a General Dentist in Darmstadt Germany.

In 2004, Dr. Lauren returned to Maryland to begin her 2-year Pediatric Dental Residency at the University of Maryland Baltimore College of Dental Surgery, earning her Specialty Training in Pediatric Dentistry in 2006. After working in Private Practice in Maryland for a few years, she decided to move back “home” with her husband and children in 2009.
She has extensive experience in treating infants, children and adolescents and those with special needs with an emphasis on the prevention of dental disease, restorative care utilizing child-centered behavior guidance and anxiolytic techniques, and dental outpatient surgery under general anesthesia. However, her main focus of interest is Airway Focused Pre-Orthodontic and Orthodontic care in the growing child; combining her knowledge of craniofacial growth and development and training in functional and myofunctional orthodontic techniques.

Dr. Lauren believes that it is imperative to understand, address and treat the underlaying issues in the developing child that cause malocclusions in the first place and to put the focus on the child that is attached to the teeth, not just focus solely on the teeth. This passion comes from not only her own professional development and training as a Pediatric Dentist, but from her experience as a mother looking for better solutions to her own children’s health and dental issues and finding hope and health through an “airway health” centered approach.

When it comes to her own children, she often says “I wish I had known then what I know now”, but now uses that knowledge as an opportunity to share her own personal and professional experiences to the benefit of other families. She is a staff member of Berkshire Health Systems where she lectures in the Advanced General Dentistry Residency program as well as a provider of dental surgical services at the Crane Center at BMC.

Dr. Lauren is active in the professional medical, dental, and educational communities in promoting the “Dental Home” Concept and advocating that all children have proper access to dental care and see a dentist by age 1. She is also working to bring knowledge to the local dental and medical community about the need to work together to screen children for Sleep Disordered Breathing and Pediatric Obstructive Sleep Apnea as well as recognize the risk factors such as mouth-breathing, soft tissue dysfunction, tongue or lip “ties”, as well as narrow palates.

She lives with her fantastic husband, Dr. Matt Ballinger, awesome kids Jack and Libby, and the sweetest dog ever, Kipper in Richmond, MA.

Diana Batoon, DMD

Diana Batoon, DMD

Airway, Breathing and Sleep: Collaborative Treatment That Every Healthcare Provider Should Know


With the increasing amount of cases of sleep-disordered breathing in adults and children, the need to properly screen and diagnose patients for airway health is long overdue. Integrative medicine and dentistry are making headway in evaluating and treating these patients earlier and identifying root causes of medical conditions. Collaborative care in the dental field allows for optimizing oral health and screening for sleep fragmentation and tethered oral tissues.

Today especially in the wake of a pandemic every healthcare provider should be aware of predisposing factors or congenital anomalies that can put an individual more at risk for unhealthy sleep, breathing, or airway.

Biographical Highlights

Dr. Diana Batoon has been at the forefront of integrative dentistry and dental sleep medicine to treat patients of all ages. She is an international speaker and clinical educator for Prexion, Clear Correct, and SPEAR Education. In the last 7 years, she has been building an integrative team of medical, ancillary and dental providers to successfully treat both children and adults. She successfully built her practice around laser dentistry, orthodontics, implant dentistry and dental sleep medicine to provide comprehensive treatment. She is an active member of the ADA, AACP, and AADSM. She maintains a private practice in Scottsdale, AZ, and spends her free time with her husband and 3 sons.

Richard Baxter, DMD, MS, DABLS

Richard Baxter, DMD, MS

The Impact of Tongue-Tie Education on Families and Providers


In this lecture, Dr. Baxter will discuss education strategies for providers and therapists to help spread the word about tongue-tie awareness. A comprehensive look at different ways we can all educate and teach our patient families, other community providers, and extend our reach around the world will be discussed. With practical information on how to educate patients during consultations, film videos, get started with research, and reach out to other providers, the attendee will find inspiration to contribute to education in their own community and beyond.

Biographical Highlights

Dr. Richard Baxter is a board-certified pediatric dentist and Diplomate of the American Board of Laser Surgery. He is a nationally recognized speaker on tongue-ties, instructor of the comprehensive online course Tongue-Tied Academy and lead author of the bestselling book Tongue-Tied: How a Tiny String Under the Tongue Impacts Nursing, Speech, Feeding, and More. He lives in Birmingham, AL with his wife, Tara, and their three girls, Hannah, Noelle, and Molly. He is the founder of the Alabama Tongue-Tie Center where he uses the CO2 laser to release oral restrictions that are causing nursing, speech, dental, sleep, and feeding issues. In his free time, he enjoys spending time with his family and outdoor activities. He serves as an elder at his church and serves on the board of Reach the Rest, a global missions organization. He is currently working on several research and educational projects related to tongue-ties.

Kimberly Benkert RDH, BSDH, MPH, COM, FAADH

Kimberly Benkert, RDH, BSDH, MPH, COM, FAADH

Lift the Lip and Look Under the Tongue – Assessing for TOTs is an Essential One!
Collaborative International TOTs Campaign Across the Professions


Coming soon.

Biographical Highlights

Kimberly Benkert is a graduate of Loyola University, College of Dentistry with a BS degree in Dental Hygiene, a Masters of Public Health in Health Policy and Administration from the University of Illinois-School of Public Health, and Certified in Orofacial Myology through the International Association of Orofacial Myology. She is a former faculty member at the University of Illinois-College of Dentistry, Kennedy King Dental Hygiene Program, a past President of the American Dental Hygienists’ Association, the Illinois Dental Hygienists’ Association, and the West Suburban Dental Hygienists’ Society. Kimberly holds a Fellowship in Orofacial Myology and Temporomandibular Muscular Dysfunction with the American Academy of Dental Hygiene. She is a recipient of many awards including the ADHA/J&J Award for Excellence, the ADHA/Discus Dental Distinguished Service Award, the IAOM Connie Painter Award for Outstanding Achievement, and the IDHA Award of Merit. She has been teaching training courses and lecturing on orofacial myofunctional disorders, oro-motor imbalances, frenum assessment, dysphagia – oral and pharyngeal phases, digit sucking, bruxism, parafunctional habits, muscular TMD, and ergonomics since 1982 on a national and international basis. She maintains clinical therapy offices located in the Chicago metro-suburban area.

Patricia Berg RLC, IBCLC, CST-D

Patricia Berg, RLC, IBCLC, CST-D

The Role of the Craniosacral Therapist on the Ankyloglossia Team


The more that we learn about the systems that are influenced by Ankyglossia the greater our understanding is of the importance of a team approach for proper identification, release and management pre- and post-release. Our goal is that the systems impacted by Ankyglossia can reach their optimal functionality.

The infant, child, or adult who has a tethered-oral-tissues often has structural as well as autonomic system dis-regulations. We will follow the musculature of the tongue to understand the potential strain patterns that may be created. Included will be a look at the innervation particularly in the infant who has more cranial pieces so that we can understand how easily the pieces may be pulled out of alignment causing tension to be exerted on the cranial nerves.
My focus is on the breastfeeding infant, but the strains and functional disruptions are seen in children and adults as well. These include, but, are not limited to: difficulty feeding – breast or bottle, poor weight gain or failure to thrive, difficulty feeding when solids are introduced, colic-like symptoms, pronunciation and enunciation complications, obstructive sleep apnea. Scoliosis and torticollis, abnormal craniofacial development, dental and oral health issues.

It is also my contention, supported by both what I have seen in my practice as well as from what adults have shared, that the autonomic nervous system is engaged causing heightened anxiety.

Craniosacral therapy (CST) was developed by John E. Upledger, D.O, and osteopathic physician. The craniosacral system influences and is influenced by all of the body’s systems. CST releases tensions enabling the body to relax, self-correct, restore normal physiological motion, and optimize functionality. CST works with all of the body systems to restore homeostasis. This includes not only structural and fascial but the sympathetic and parasympathetic systems as well.

Biographical Highlights

Patricia Abby Berg has been an international board certified as a lactation consultant (IBCLC) since 1990. She has published on Nipple Shields, Staph Infections of the Nipple, Galactosemia, and the CranioSacral Therapist and IBCLC’s working together.

Ms. Berg has been studying with the Upledger Institute since 1996. She has received both her techniques and her diplomate certifications. She has training in craniosacral therapy, lymphatic drainage, and visceral manipulation. She is a craniosacral therapy teaching assistant and is working towards her mentorship status.

She is in private practice as an IBCLC and a CranioSacral therapist.

Ms. Berg has been active in her local ILCA affiliates and is on the board of the International Consortium of Oral Ankylofrenula Professionals.

Noel Berger, DVM

Noel A. Berger, DVM, MS

Surgical CO2 Laser Power: More or Less?


CO2 laser surgeons are constantly seeking to create the perfect skin incision. Using what we know about laser-tissue interaction, we can clinically produce a perfect single pass, full-thickness skin incision, and enjoy better outcomes with higher client satisfaction. The efficient use of a CO2 laser for skin incisions requires high power in SuperPulse mode using a small spot size, and fast hand speed. In this presentation, participants will explore mathematical models that explain our current understanding of LTI. Clinical examples will be demonstrated to support the theoretical physics presented in video and still image format. The method of delivery will be an interactive internet-based meeting platform.

Biographical Highlights

Dr. Berger graduated in 1988 from the New York State College of Veterinary Medicine, and also earned the MS degree in Veterinary Clinical Sciences in 1989 from Cornell University. Following a residency in pathology, he entered private small animal veterinary practice and since that time he has been a clinician and successful business owner. He was certified by the American Board of Laser Surgery in veterinary surgery, physics and safety in 2000 and provided leadership in the practical use of surgical and therapeutic lasers. He was a charter member of the Veterinary Surgical Laser Society and served as its president in 2002. He is the first author of several peer-reviewed papers in veterinary laser surgery, laboratory diagnostics, and regenerative medicine. He has co-authored several book chapters and published a textbook on small animal laser surgery. He is an internationally recognized speaker, having instructed hundreds of veterinarians and technicians on how to use therapeutic and surgical lasers. Dr. Berger delights in teaching the theory and safe techniques required to minimize post-surgical pain and inflammation using lasers.

Ann Bynum
Autumn Henning

Ann Bynum, DDS; and
Autumn Henning, MS, CCC-SLP, COM®, IBCLC

Plot the TOT: Detour Ahead!


Even with all the knowledge and planning when we help a patient or family, sometimes things don’t go as designed. In this course, we will discuss scenarios that can detour a successful outcome. We will talk about how to recognize and correct them quickly to get back on track.

Biographical Highlights - Ann Bynum, DDS

Dr. Ann Bynum first moved to Simpsonville and opened Holly Tree Pediatric Dentistry in 1997. Originally from Ocala, Florida, Dr. Ann did her undergraduate training at Florida State University before attending dental school at the University of Iowa, where she met her husband, Dr. Matt Bynum. She did two further years of training in Pediatric Dentistry at the University of Texas Health Science Center in San Antonio, Texas, and is a Board Certified Pediatric Dentist. Dr. Ann is passionate about pediatric dental care. Drawn to pediatrics in large part because of the unique educational opportunities the field affords, Dr. Ann sees her office as both a clinic and a classroom. She considers every visit, no matter how routine, an opportunity to teach and motivate her patients. Dr. Ann is a Diplomate of the American Board of Pediatric Dentistry and an active member of the Southeast Society of Pediatric Dentistry, the American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry, and the American Dental Association. She has lectured and written numerous articles on customer service, marketing, and teamwork over the years. When not in the office, she enjoys spending time with her husband and their three boys: Matthew, Luke, and John.

Biographical Highlights - Autumn Henning, MS, CCC-SLP, COM®, IBCLC

Autumn R. Henning, MS, CCC-SLP, COM®, IBCLC graduated from the University of Kentucky with a Master’s Degree in Communication Disorders. She is currently appointed and in good standing as an Assistant Professor within the voluntary faculty series in the Department of Communication Sciences & Disorders at the University of Kentucky College of Health Sciences. She was a Founding Board Member for the International Consortium for Oral Ankylofrenula Professionals (ICAP). Autumn has completed specialty continuing education including Beckman Oral Motor, TummyTime! Method, Understanding the Orofacial Complex, and Foundations in Myofascial Release for Neck, Voice, and Swallowing. She has experience working in the school system, early intervention, and outpatient clinics including a nationally award-winning intensive feeding program. Autumn specializes in orofacial function and development throughout the lifespan. Autumn has been invited to speak for many prestigious conferences and organizations including the International Association for Orofacial Myology (IAOM) and the International Consortium of Oral Ankylofrenula Professionals (ICAP). Autumn also has experience presenting webinars. She has presented as part of GOLD Learning’s First Tongue Tie Symposium. She has written professional articles and has been featured on podcasts. She also has trained thousands of professionals from varying fields. Autumn is married to Dr. Zach Henning and they have one daughter. They reside in Greer, South Carolina with their beloved cats. Her hobbies include travel, reading, church, and any activity with family!

Lorraine A. Corriveau, DVM, DABVP (canine/ feline)

Lorraine Corriveau, DVM, DABVP

Use of the CO2 Laser In Exotic Animal Species


I have done numerous procedures using the CO2 laser in a wide variety of exotic species and can present case examples of these procedures and their outcomes. The latest interesting procedure I have done is using the CO2 laser to remove a large number of papilloma growths from around the rectum in a rabbit.

Biographical Highlights

A 1999 graduate from the Purdue University College of Veterinary Medicine. I did 2 years in private practice before returning to the college to teach at Purdue’s Primary Care service within the veterinary teaching hospital. I started using the CO2 laser in 2006 and become a diplomate of ABLS in veterinary laser medicine and surgery in 2019. Special interests include using the CO2 laser for dogs, cats, and exotic small animal species for mass removals.

David D. Duclos, DVM, DACVD

David Duclos, DVM, DACVD

CO2 Laser in Veterinary Dermatology: Lessons Learned & Most Memorable Cases Across 30 Years


This lecture will draw on several memorable cases treated over the last 30 years in a veterinary dermatology specialty practice. The goal is to show how the CO2 laser can be used, lessons learned, what to use it for and what to avoid. This laser has made it possible to treat many dermatologic conditions with better results some of which would be untreatable without the CO2 laser. In the discussion, it will be shown how the CO2 laser works both as a scalpel and as an ablation tool. While sharing the different cases, tips on how to use the laser will be revealed. How to get the best results by just understanding the role of the settings to control power, time, and spot size. By the end of this lecture, it will be evident that the CO2 laser can become an indispensable part of the practice of surgery in all branches of medicine.

Biographical Highlights

Dr. Duclos received his Bachelor of Science degree in biology and chemistry from St. Martin’s College, in Lacey, Washington, and received his professional training at the School of Veterinary Medicine, WSU, and his degree in Veterinary Medicine (Cum Laude) from Washington State University, in Pullman, Washington. After graduation, he was engaged in private clinical practice in Forks, Washington, before going to the University of Pennsylvania, in Philadelphia, for his dermatology residency. After residency, he attained board-certification status, and in 1991, moved back to the Northwest to become the owner of the Animal Skin and Allergy Clinic, near Mill Creek, Washington.

In addition to his duties as a specialist in the dermatology practice, Dr. Duclos has also contributed to the advancement of the specialty of veterinary dermatology by writing many articles, book chapters, and scientific papers on various subjects in the specialty of veterinary dermatology. He also gives continuing education lectures to veterinarians and their staff in the local Northwest region, as well as in other areas of the United States, Canada, and Europe. Dr. Duclos is well known in the veterinary dermatology specialty for his expertise in CO2 laser surgery and for his interest in clinical photography. Many veterinary dermatologists use his photographs in their lectures and publications.

Dr. Duclos is also known for his discovery of interdigital follicular cysts as one of the causes of pododermatitis in dogs. He developed a special procedure using the CO2 laser, which can cure the cause of this condition in affected dogs. He has published several papers and has given many veterinarians hands-on training in the surgical techniques used in the treatment of interdigital follicular cysts in dogs.

Tara Erson, DMD

Tara Erson, DMD, CLC

Stories from the Trenches: Cases and Contemplations


Dentistry loves quick solutions and fixes, so frenectomies can be a hard problem to tackle in the constructs of a traditional dental practice. Often the solution is to dedicate time and space specifically to the treatment of oral tethers. I will show you how I accomplish this in my practice for infants, children, and adults, utilizing the team approach, collaborating with both in-house and community professionals. Through infant case studies, we will follow patients through the frenectomy process: from consultation to four weeks post-op. Examples of operatory set up, supplies needed, assistant placement, and surgery techniques will be discussed. Though rare, it is also important to know how to manage complications during and after treatment. We have gathered data from hundreds of babies about the most commonly reported problems related to feeding and quality of life. This will be discussed, along with my thoughts about how the treatment of oral tethers can be improved through the full medical community.

Biographical Highlights

Dr. Tara, who was born and raised in Las Vegas, completed her undergraduate degree at the University of Southern California but happily returned home afterward where she earned a DMD from the UNLV School of Dental Medicine. Dr. Tara is dedicated to providing excellent, comfortable dental care. She is exceptionally committed to children, and the life-changing potential of treating problems when they are noticed.

​Dr. Tara wanted to be a dentist even as a child; in fact, she saved and still has all of her baby teeth. When she is not practicing dentistry, she is spending time with her husband, Cliff, and sons, Kale, Rye, and Sage. She also loves to read, swing dance, and try out new restaurants.

​As a rare Las Vegas native, Dr. Tara has a deep connection to this community. She received great dental care in Vegas as a child and is happy to continue that cycle with future generations. Giving back to the community is very important to Dr. Tara. She makes it a priority that her services are available to all people in the community. She has also volunteered with the Huntridge Teen Dental Clinic, TeamSmile, Give Kids a Smile, and Saturday Children’s Clinic.

Dr. Tara was introduced to tongue-tie while attending La Leche League meetings with her first child. As time went on she began to see how negatively ties impacted breastfeeding. She was inspired to learn more about how she, as a dentist, could help these moms and babies.

​As this information is not taught routinely in dental/medical/lactation education, Dr. Tara realized she must create her own pathway of education. In the summer of 2016, she traveled to Portland, OR to spend half a day observing Dr. Bobby Ghaheri perform the procedure.

Now, Dr. Tara is uniquely qualified to assess, diagnose, and treat tongue ties. She has completed over 400 hours in continuing education specifically on ties and tongue function and continues to attend classes, courses, and conferences almost monthly. Dr. Tara takes great pride in bringing up-to-date knowledge to her patients for the best possible outcomes.

Dr. Tara uses a LightScalpel CO2 laser. A CO2 laser uses laser light to cut soft tissue, as opposed to a diode which cuts tissue with a hot glass tip. A true laser allows a high level of surgical precision during the procedure with minimal collateral heat damage while still providing excellent bleeding control.

Piya Trehan Gandhi, DDS

Piya Trehan Gandhi, DDS

Shepherding Children To Live Their Best Lives: A Multidisciplinary Approach To Tethered Oral Tissues.


Successful treatment of TOTs requires more than simple surgical intervention. Setting up a team of practitioners to support your patients before and after release is paramount to good functional outcomes. In this course, you will know how to incorporate functional providers into your process and your practice. We will discuss best practices on how to perform a comprehensive tethered oral tissues diagnosis. Choosing the right functional providers for your team and other questions with regard to setting up a TOTs practice will also be addressed.

Biographical Highlights

I am originally from New York, but I have lived in Houston since 2010. I never imagined being a Texan, but am now very proud to call West U home. I completed a two-year specialty training in pediatric dentistry at the University of Texas and am currently affiliated with Texas Children’s Hospital. I am excited about my practice and sharing my passion with my patients. As a healthcare provider, I believe my job is to partner with parents and empower them to make the best decision possible for their children. In my free time, I enjoy exploring the neighborhood parks in West U with my two daughters, Cyrah and Ayana, and my husband, Neil.

Milton Geivelis, DDS, MS
Kelly Wells, DC

Milton Geivelis, DDS, MS; and
Kelly Wells, DC

The Integrative Functional Lingual Frenuloplasty: Incorporating Craniopathy, Myofascial release and Chiropractic


Tongue-Tie, also known as Ankyloglossia is a restriction of the lingual frenulum, which limits the mobility of the tongue. The tongue plays an important role in speech, swallowing, sleep, as well as breathing. In addition, adequate tongue range of motion is important in the proper growth and development of the jaws.

Lingual Functional Frenuloplasty is a precise surgical release of the restricted tongue. The success of the procedure is based not only on the surgical skill of the provider, but on incorporating a multidisciplinary protocol that includes myofunctional therapy and Craniopathy, before, during, and after surgery.

This presentation describes this integrative approach of therapy for a successful Lingual Functional Frenuloplasty.

Biographical Highlights - Milton Geivelis, DDS, MS

Dr. Geivelis is a periodontal specialist, whose practice is limited to Periodontics and Dental Implants.  Dr. Geivelis is on staff at Northwestern Medicine- Central DuPage Hospital and he believes that the most important people in our practice are our patients. He strives to deliver the highest quality care, utilizing the most up-to-date techniques and equipment, in the most comfortable and gentle manner possible.


Born in Athens, Greece, Dr. Geivelis received his dental and graduate training from Northwestern University. He has a Doctor of Dental Surgery Degree, a Master of Science Degree, and a Specialty Degree in Periodontics.

Dr. Geivelis regularly participates in continuing education and is a Diplomate of the American Board of Periodontology.  He is also certified in Dental Lasers by the Academy of Laser Dentistry. From 1993 to 2001, Dr. Geivelis was professor and director of Graduate Periodontics at Northwestern University Dental School, training the residents in Periodontal and Implant Surgery. He has been involved in academic research and has authored and co-authored several professional articles.  One of his main clinical interests is Bone Regeneration procedures and Computer Guided Surgery for the placement of Dental Implants.   Dr. Geivelis lectures about Periodontics, Implants, as well as Tongue and Lip Ties (TOTs) nationally and internationally.  He has been given several academic and clinical awards for his work as a scientist and a Periodontist.  In the last several years Dr. Geivelis has dedicated a significant part of his time treating infants, children, and adults with tongue-ties and lip-ties.  He collaborates with some of the most well-known and skilled clinicians in these procedures, Dr. Bobby Ghaheri, Dr. Larry Kotlow, Dr. Scott Siegel, Dr. Soroush Zaghi (Functional Frenuloplasty).  He completed a mini-residency in Functional Frenuloplasty with Dr. Zaghi in Los Angeles, and he became the first Affiliate member of the Breathe Institute.

Our Philosophy

Our goal is to restore our patients’ oral health in the most gentle and professional manner.  We strongly believe in the Team Approach to treatment.  The patient, the dentist, other Health Professionals, and Dr. Geivelis confer in all cases before any treatment is initiated.

Biographical Highlights - Kelly Wells, DC

Dr. Kelly Wells is one of only a handful of chiropractic physicians in the Midwest specializing in craniopathy (cranial adjusting) – and one of few across the country specializing in dental co-treatment. Intense physical training, coupled with a major auto accident, left her with chronic pain and sleep issues, and years spent seeking relief. Her journey led her to non-traditional treatment methods and inspired her to help others who don’t get relief from traditional healthcare. Dr. Wells graduated from Palmer College of Chiropractic in 2005. She became interested in TMJ/TMD-dental co-treatment in 2009. She completed chiropractic cranial therapy training through SOTO USA from 2009 to 2011, and advanced TMJ/TMD-dental co-treatment training from 2011 through 2013. When her daughter was born in 2011, Dr. Wells immediately became aware her child had significant difficulties the pediatrician, occupational therapist, and others, couldn’t address. She expanded her cranial training during the next two years, completing additional post-graduate coursework in Pediatrics through SOTO USA and the International Pediatric Chiropractic Association. Most recently, she is expanding her education with certifications in Orofacial Myology (myofunctional therapy) and Breathing Behavior Analysis. Dr. Wells is passionate about helping patients experience health and wellness at their full genetic potential, especially in children ages 0-7. She has been in practice for 12 years and has completed over 120 hours in post-graduate education in cranial adjusting and Dental Co-Treatment alone, with a related 200 additional post-graduate hours in functional nutrition and integrative healthcare. Dr. Wells is board licensed in Illinois in both Chiropractic and Physiotherapy.

John Godbold Jr., DVM

John C. Godbold, Jr., DVM

Brachycephalic Obstructive Airway Syndrome in Veterinary Patients & The CO2 Laser Paradigm Shift


The management of brachycephalic obstructive airway syndrome has been transformed in veterinary patients with the use of the CO2 laser.

Prior to CO2 lasers becoming a common tool in the hands of general veterinary practitioners, BOAS surgery was primarily performed by boarded surgeons on a referral basis. With the development of protocols and techniques using the CO2 laser, general practitioners began performing BOAS surgery, resulting in a more widespread and better understanding of the pathology and pathogenesis of the condition. Early intervention became accepted and allowed a radical improvement in patients’ quality of life.

This presentation will discuss current understanding of the pathology and pathogenesis BOAS in veterinary patients based on a review of current publications, as well as detailing the paradigm shift to early interventions that CO2 lasers have allowed.

Biographical Highlights

Dr. Godbold graduated with honors from Auburn University School of Veterinary Medicine in 1978. In 1980, he established Stonehaven Park Veterinary Hospital in Jackson, Tennessee where he practiced full time as a solo small animal practitioner for 33 years. Dr. Godbold currently works full time with Stonehaven Veterinary Consulting, teaching and assisting colleagues, and working in the development of new technologies.

Since 1999, Dr. Godbold has pursued a special interest in the use of laser modalities in small animal practice. He has extensive experience with surgical and therapeutic lasers, has developed new surgical and therapeutic techniques, and assists equipment manufacturers with their technologies.

Dr. Godbold has published numerous papers, articles, and chapters about the use of lasers in small animal practice. His publications have appeared in the Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association, Clinician’s Brief, Laserpoints, The Feline Patient, Laser Surgery in Veterinary Medicine, Laser Therapy in Veterinary Medicine – Photobiomodulation, Today’s Veterinary Practice, Veterinary Practice News, The Integrative Veterinary Care Journal and the Newsletter of the Veterinary Surgical Laser Society.

Dr. Godbold published the internationally distributed Atlas of CO2 Laser Surgery Procedures in 2002, with a new edition each year since. He is co‐editor and a chapter contributor of the 2017 textbook Laser Therapy in Veterinary Medicine ‐ Photobiomodulation, published by Wiley‐Blackwell.

In high demand as a continuing education speaker, Dr. Godbold has led over 700 laser and thermal imaging workshops, wet‐labs, and continuing education meetings throughout North America and in over 25 countries around the world.

Molly Gunsaulis, DDS

Molly Gunsaulis, DDS

Tongue-Tie, My Missing Link. Connecting the Dots to the Most Rewarding Moments in My Dental Career.


Presenting pediatric case studies that exemplify the positive life-changing results to patients following tethered oral tissue release. The results of releasing tethered oral tissue on infants, children, and young adults allow the majority of patients to achieve normal oral function which can lead to profound improvements in overall quality of life, not only for the patient but parents as well. Parents report less daily stress and worry as their child’s oral function improves. Case studies will address the improvements in six specific pediatric dental patients ranging in age from 2 weeks to 11 years old. Three case studies include the specific improvements parents witnessed to their own quality of life as a result of their child’s successful frenectomy/frenuloplasty.

Biographical Highlights

Dr. Gunsaulis is a Diplomate of the American Board of Pediatric Dentistry, Member of the Medical Staff at Providence Sacred Heart Medical Center of Spokane, Affiliate Faculty Member at University of Washington School of Dentistry, Clinical Professor and Advisory Board Member at Eastern Washington University School of Dental Hygiene and member of the American Laser Study Club. Dr. Gunsaulis has provided frenectomies since graduation from Northwestern University Dental School in 2000. She actively attends laser/tongue-tie courses year-round with an emphasis on integrating a Team approach for best outcomes which she incorporates in her Spokane pediatric dental practice daily.

Ken Hooks

Ken Hooks, RRT, RPSGT

Facial Pharyngeal Freeway


Extending from the peak of the nasopharynx down to the laryngopharynx, the pharyngeal structure can subtly alter our physiology while we sleep. Pharyngeal dynamics are directly affected by the cavernous mid-face. Deficiencies/abnormalities in the mid-face facilitate disruptive “traffic”, crashing the sleep process and parasympathetic ambiance.

Biographical Highlights

Founder/operator of True Sleep Diagnostics Ken is a registered respiratory therapist with 7 years of experience and a registered polysomnographic technologist for adults and pediatrics with 6 years of experience. He is also the polysomnographic technician instructor at Greenville Technical College. He co-authored the case report “Rapid Maxillary Expansion and Adenotonsillectomy in 9-Year-Old Twins with Pediatric Obstructive Sleep Apnea Syndrome: An Interdisciplinary Effort. He is currently working on 2 case studies; “Pediatric Home Sleep Testing” and “Myofunctional Therapy, the Missing Link”.

Samira Jafari. DMD

Samira Jafari, DMD

Does the tool matter? Comparing surgical technique and healing post functional frenuloplasty completed using LightScalpel CO2 laser vs scissors


Although it is ultimately the skill and knowledge of the provider to be able to perform a full functional release of all tethered oral tissues, the question remains if the tool plays a part in the outcome, patient comfort, or healing postoperatively. Having started my surgeries using scissors and then switching to CO2 LightScalpel, a few key differences were noted. In this presentation, I will be sharing my experience using the two different tools. I will show several cases that I treated with each tool as well as a couple of Interceptive orthodontic cases and how they would relate to treating tongue ties.

Biographical Highlights

Dr. Samira Jafari is a co-owner of Tongue-tie Laser Center of Atlanta. She graduated with a doctorate in dentistry in 2013 from Augusta University, formerly known as Medical College of Georgia. Soon after graduating, Dr. Jafari fell into the path of pursuing post-graduate continuing education courses in airway dentistry. This field of dentistry became a huge passion of hers as she could see that by addressing problems with the airway, she could make a huge difference in the lives of her adult patients and sometimes completely change the life trajectory of her child patients. Completing courses through The Breathe Institute and The American Laser Study club her eyes were opened to the world of tethered oral tissues. She began treating tongue ties in kids and adults using Dr. Zaghi’s functional frenuloplasty technique and saw amazing results in her patients. Due to this knowledge in tethered oral tissues, she was able to immediately diagnose her own newborn daughter with a tongue-tie which was then released at 7 days of age. The changes she felt and saw with her own daughter gave Dr. Jafari a new purpose. She had to extend her treatment to infants as well in order to help other moms and babies who are suffering from the effects of undiagnosed tethered oral tissues and guide families through this emotional journey. Dr. Jafari is extremely happy to be able to share this passion with Dr. Persaud and Amelia Persaud with whom she is able to bring to Atlanta the first tongue-tie treatment & therapy center. Along with her husband and 2 children, Landon and Lana, Dr. Jafari lives in Johns Creek Georgia. She enjoys outdoor activities, trying new foods, and exploring new restaurants and cuisines in the city. In her free time, she loves spending time with friends and family.

Martin A. Kaplan, DMD, DABLS

Martin A. Kaplan, DMD

How We Can Help Educate Our SLPs and IBCLCs et. al. To Understand What We Do: Case Studies and Understanding What Laser Beams Do That the Diode Cautery Can Not


The intent of this presentation is to demonstrate through case studies, how we as TEAM members can best support our colleagues with our very specific and exacting optic CO2 laser surgical skills. There are many false claims of equality between all lasers and this presentation will provide unbiased and specific physics vs. opinion science to truly better treat surgical patients with oral dysfunction that require surgery. Attendees will be able to learn what the real differences are and how CO2 can best treat the skeletal-muscular and fascia restrictions so that a TEAM can accomplish their best outcomes.

Biographical Highlights

Dr. Kaplan earned his dental degree at Tufts University School of Dental Medicine in 1975. While attending dental school he became involved with the pediatric dental department and was captivated by the comprehensive nature of the program and the ability to treat the youngest of patients and direct them to better oral and physical health.

Upon graduating from Tufts he was accepted into a pediatric dental residency program at Montefiore Hospital and Medical Center where he received his certification as a pediatric dentist. Following the residency, he opened his pediatric dental practice in Stoughton, Massachusetts. In 2003, Dr. Kaplan became interested in dental lasers and became an early adopter of this new treatment modality.

He became laser certified through the Academy of Laser Dentistry in 2003 and achieved his Fellowship stasis in 2013. He has been a long time contributing member and lecturer in the academy and has been a volunteer laser instructor at Tufts Dental School in the post-graduate pediatric dental department from 2006 through 2016. In 2015 he was instrumental in developing the first in the country “Infant Laser Frenectomy” training class through the continuing education department at the dental school. The class has been attended by dentists and physicians from around the globe.

Dr. Kaplan is a 45-year member of the American Dental Association, Massachusetts Dental Society, the Academy of Pediatric Dentistry, Academy of Laser Dentistry, the American Board of Laser Surgery, the Academy of Breastfeeding Medicine, Massachusetts Breastfeeding Coalition, Breastfeeding USA plus multiple other professional organizations.

In 2016 he also became a Diplomate of the American Board of Laser Surgery and is its first-ever director of Dental Laser Surgery.

Dr. Kaplan joined the American Laser Study Club at its inception in 2017 and received the Kumar Patel Award for Pediatric Dental Laser Education.

Natasha Khurana DDS IBCLC
Sarah Early
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Seth Spencer
Emily Griffin
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Brittany DeFrehn

Natasha Khurana, DDS, IBCLC;
Sarah Early, RN, IBCLC;
Natalia Barszcz, DC;
Seth Spencer, DC;
Leslie Bergmann, PT, CST;
Emily Griffin, MSW, LICSW, LCSW-C; and
Brittany DeFrehn, CD

The Importance of an Integrated Multi-Disciplinary Approach for the Mother and Infant Dyad


This presentation will introduce individual specialists that work together as part of a holistic team that provides comprehensive care for the mother and infant dyad. Understanding this dynamic approach will help providers meet the needs of the most complex cases when deciding the timeliness of a surgical intervention. Learning how to effectively communicate and participate within these unique collegial partnerships, across multiple specialties, will improve patient outcomes.

Biographical Highlights - Natasha Khurana, DDS, IBCLC

Dr. Khurana is a Diplomate of the American Board of Pediatric Dentistry. She earned her dental degree from the University of Maryland and attended New York University’s College of Dentistry for her specialty training. At NYU, Dr. Khurana supervised undergraduate dental students and provided treatment in complex cases involving patients with special needs.

To this day, she maintains a profound interest in her work with children and adults who have rare health conditions, syndromes, and genetic disorders. She enthusiastically collaborates with other dental and medical specialists, including occupational and speech therapists, to ensure that every patient receives the best comprehensive care possible.

Dr. Khurana is not only a Diplomate of the American Board of Pediatric Dentistry, she is also an International Board Certified Lactation Consultant (IBCLC) and Diplomate of the American Board of Laser Surgery.

Biographical Highlights - Sarah Early, RN, IBCLC

Business owner, nurse, IBCLC, mom, and wife, Sarah wears many hats. She started Lactation Room because she realized there was a gap for families with support after leaving the hospital or birth center. Her teaching revolves around a holistic approach taking into consideration personal needs, physiological challenges, and individual circumstances. Sarah went back to school to get her RN while her own kids were in school and spent the first years of her nursing career in the Maternal Child world. Now with three college-age kids, Sarah is focused on addressing the needs of new families in the community. She provides breastfeeding support at their Rockville office location. She is an active member of ILCA, USLCA, IATP, and MBC.

Biographical Highlights - Natalia Barszcz, DC

Coming soon.

Biographical Highlights - Seth Spencer, DC

Dr. Seth Spencer is a 2013 graduate of New York Chiropractic College. Throughout the program, he advanced his knowledge of nutritional assessment tools, drug-induced nutrient depletion, and nutritional support for various diseases and disorders. He participated in multiple events throughout his time at NYCC and also trained and received experience at various multidisciplinary settings, including the Canandaigua VA Medical Center in New York and Monroe Community Hospital.

Dr. Spencer likes to utilize many techniques; Diversified, Myofascial Release, and trigger point therapy, Graston technique, Flexion/Distraction, Drop Table, Dry Needling, and many other techniques to treat his patients to the fullest extent.

Before opening up his own practice, Dr. Seth Spencer practiced in both Baltimore, Maryland as well as Bethesda, Maryland. There, he learned invaluable lessons that he has since been able to incorporate into his philosophy of chiropractic.

Dr. Seth Spencer advocates engaging in a healthy, vigorous workout regimen, as it is mentally and physically beneficial. In his free time, he enjoys hiking, skiing, working out, traveling, and any activity that can be enjoyed outdoors.

He seeks only to improve his patients’ overall health and wellness and he hopes for more opportunities to teach about nutrition and the body.

Biographical Highlights - Leslie Bergmann, PT, CST

Coming soon.

Biographical Highlights - Emily Griffin, MSW, LICSW, LCSW-C

I am a proud native Washingtonian with 18 years of experience serving DC-area families. I received my Bachelor of Social Work (BSW) degree and a Master of Social Work (MSW) from George Mason University. As a Licensed Independent Clinical Social Worker (LICSW) in Washington, DC, I have had experience in child welfare, LGBT family support & advocacy, international adoption, court programs, school settings, and integrative in-home parent counseling. In these positions, I have worked with diverse families on postpartum depression & anxiety, grief and loss, trauma, mood disorders, family conflict, behavioral and academic support for school-aged children and their parents, relaxation/stress reduction, media management, bullying (prevention and resolution), healthy relationships, and other parenting needs and concerns.

In March of 2013, I had the pleasure of being selected to present at a national conference for school social workers on the topic of parenting strategies with diverse families, including managing media use.

In 2014, I completed training as a Certified Gottman Bringing Baby Home Educator. I have completed training in Mindfulness, EFT, Perinatal Mood Disorders, Trauma, IFS, and more.

At home, I have had lots of hands-on parenting experience with my husband, four active sons, and a young daughter, and am a survivor myself of childhood trauma and anxiety, and depression.

My family is multiracial and I am a supporter of BLM and racial justice and adamantly against white supremacy.

Biographical Highlights - Brittany DeFrehn, CD

I’m Brittany DeFrehn…wife and mom to four. I live a crazy messy, beautiful life as a business owner, photographer, doula, and women’s health advocate. I am passionate about all things motherhood and the work I do is designed to support and celebrate moms in the ways they deserve. My work is rooted in my love for this time in life. From photography to doula support to building meaningful communities, my heart is with women walking through this stage of life.

I am also the owner of Frederick Moms and Doulas where I have a team of amazing women that is just as passionate about women’s health, pregnancy, birth, and postpartum.  I love walking this journey with women and their families.

Kirk Kollmann, DMD

Kirk Kollmann, DMD

Tips and Tricks I’ve Learned Through the Years.


Go on my journey from Scissors to Diodes to Scissors to CO2 lasers.

Find out the pitfalls and advantages of each and why I settled on the CO2 laser.  I will discuss my protocol and what happens when a mother and infant come to my office.  Having fine-tuned my skills over the years has led to better outcomes and happier patients.

Biographical Highlights

Dr. Kirk Kollmann graduated from the University of Florida College of Dentistry and received his pediatric dental degree from Children’s Hospital of Michigan in Detroit. Keeping with his hospital background, he is a clinical instructor and volunteers his time working with the Cleft Palate-Craniofacial Team at Children’s Memorial Hospital. Dr. Kollmann has taken extensive continuing education in the field of Orofacial Myofunctional Therapist by the Academy of Orofacial Myofunctional Therapy. He serves as a spokesperson for the Chicago Dental Society and is involved in various aspects of organized dentistry.

He loves to be the do-it-yourself craftsman, being proficient in electricity, carpentry, woodworking, plumbing, etc. Computers and gadgets are another one of his hobbies.

Lisa Lahey RN, IBCLC, OMT

Lisa Lahey, RN, IBCLC, OMT, CSOM

Resistance, Resilience, and Recovery: The 3 Stages Seen in Post Frenectomy Aftercare


The post frenectomy aftercare period is an area that is not well researched at this time in clinical practice. This lecture identifies the 3 stages seen in post-frenectomy care resistance, resilience, and recovery. Lisa will review areas of resistance in regards to active wound management, then explore ways to foster resilience in patient’s post frenectomy care, and finally outline signs of successful recovery in frenectomy patients. Ideas for future research and clinical practice guidelines will be offered.

Biographical Highlights

A 1996 graduate of the University of Indianapolis with a baccalaureate in nursing and a minor in psychology and in 100 days will complete her Master’s degree and clinical practicum as a Family Nurse Practitioner. Lisa has taken many extra training in craniosacral therapy, infant massage, holistic and complementary therapies, and certificate programs in lactation and myofunctional therapy. She is active as a board member with the International Affiliation of Tongue Tie Professionals, Member of the International Lactation Consultant Association, United States Lactation Consultant Association, The International Consortium of Ankylofrenula Professionals, and the Applied Academy of Myofunctional Sciences. She is also a contributing author to the book Tongue Tied. Lisa has a private practice located in Indianapolis with a focus on lactation and myofunctional therapy across the lifespan. You will find her hiking or biking with her family when she is not working and looking to unplug.

Brynn L. Leroux, DDS

Brynn L. Leroux, DDS

Function, Form, Facial Growth and Development. Role of TOTS Laser Release


Historically, the orthodontic literature has influenced clinicians to delay the release of the maxillary labial frenum until after the eruption of the maxillary permanent canines (approximately age 11-12). In addition, there has been no strong correlation in the literature between a tongue tie and the overall growth and development of the dental arches. This presentation will highlight numerous clinical cases that show the value of early treatment of tethered oral tissues on the growth and development of a child’s craniofacial respiratory complex (CFRC).

Biographical Highlights

Dr. Brynn Leroux is a graduate of Louisiana State University School of Dentistry and was ranked 2nd in her graduating class. She completed a residency in Pediatric Dentistry at the Medical University of South Carolina, acting as Chief Resident. A native of Maringouin, LA, Dr. Leroux graduated as Valedictorian from Catholic High School of Pointe Coupee and continued on to study Biological Sciences at LSU in Baton Rouge. Dr. Leroux is a partner in Associates in Pediatric Dentistry, a group practice with 4 locations serving the Greater Baton Rouge area. She is a Board Certified Pediatric Dentist of the American Board of Pediatric Dentistry and has begun the certification process through the American Board of Laser Surgery. Dr. Leroux has completed Standard Proficiency certification by the Academy of Laser Dentistry. She is an active member of numerous local and national dental organizations and honorary societies, including the Greater Baton Rouge Dental Association, Louisiana Dental Association, American Dental Association, Southwestern Society of Pediatric Dentistry, American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry, OKU National Dental Society, C.E. Kells Honorary Society, and Pierre Fauchard Honor Society.

After being personally affected by tongue-tie and sleep-disordered breathing, Dr. Leroux has taken a special interest in tethered oral tissues, airway centered dentistry, sleep medicine, and interceptive orthodontics. She is a TOTS trained professional, an active member and speaker of the American Laser Study Club, and a founding member of the International Consortium of Oral Ankylofrenula Professionals (ICAP), in which she currently serves on the Board of Directors as Treasurer. She evaluates her patients for signs and symptoms of tethered oral tissues and sleep-disordered breathing and provides laser lip and tongue tie revisions from birth through adulthood using the Light Scalpel CO2 laser. Her practice can offer any level of sedation or anesthesia “in house” as needed to provide patients with the most thorough, positive, and safest laser revision experience. Dr. Leroux works closely with a team of local lactation consultants, therapists, bodyworkers, pediatricians, and ENTs to ensure collaboration, follow-through, and comprehensive care for her patients. In her spare time, Dr. Leroux, her husband, Lance, and her children, Anson and Amelie, enjoy entertaining family and friends, attending LSU football games, exercising, traveling, and spending time at their lake house.”

Robyn Merkel-Walsh, MA, CCC-SLP, COM®
Lori Overland, MS, CCC-SLP, C/NDT, CLC

Robyn Merkel-Walsh, MA, CCC-SLP, COM®;
Lori Overland, MS, CCC-SLP, C/NDT, CLC; and

TOTS and the Terrible Twos: A Collaborative Model for Frenectomy with Toddlers


Tethered Oral Tissue (TOTs) is often being discussed in the fields of dentistry, otolaryngology, speech pathology, lactation as well as occupational and physical medicine. While many agree on the impact of TOTs on breastfeeding, some professionals debate, or do not understand the functional impact of TOTs across the lifespan. Often babies seemingly improve with functional skills after a release in relation to breastfeeding, but as they advance to solids and age-appropriate drinking vessels problems arise. There are also toddlers who are picky eaters or have unintelligible speech that the TOTs diagnosis was missed in infancy. While some argue that toddlers cannot undergo frenectomies or engage in pre- and post-op care, this is a myth. Many toddlers have successful TOTs release outcomes when therapists combine oral sensory-motor techniques with behavior management strategies. Robyn, Lori, and Scott have collaborated on multiple cases of TOTs in Toddlers with great success in both surgical and therapeutic interventions. This course will outline the functional symptoms of toddlers with TOTs and the clinical parameters for surgery and functional treatment.

Biographical Highlights - Robyn Merkel-Walsh, MA, CCC-SLP, COM®

Robyn Merkel-Walsh, M.A., CCC-SLP, COM® is a Licensed Speech Pathologist and Certified Orofacial Myologist with over 24 years of experience in the state of NJ. She is employed full time by the Ridgefield Board of Education and runs a private practice in Ridgefield, NJ. She has been elected NJ Kids Top Doctors in 2012, 2013, 2014 and 2018.

Robyn specializes in Oral-Placement, feeding and orofacial myofunctional disorders in children. Her private practice focuses on Oral-Placement Disorders in children, and she has expanded her practice to teens and adults over the past two years. She conducts evaluations and Program Plans for children across the tri-state area.

Her publications include SMILE (Systematic Intervention for Lingual Elevation), Art Talk, Handy Handouts, OPT-S Kit, and she co-authored Sensory Stix, A Sensory Motor Approach to Feeding, Functional Assessment and Remediation of Tethered Oral Tissues and OPT Goals for Speech Clarity. She has also written several articles for the TalkTools® website, the ASHA Leader and Advance Magazine for Speech Pathologists. She has been published five consecutive years at the annual convention of the American Speech-Language and Hearing Association.

Robyn is a lecturer for professional enhancement courses as part of TalkTools® Speakers Bureau. She teaches OPT,  TOTs, Tongue Thrust and Autism classes that have been offered for ASHA CEUs, and has been invited to speak on Oral Placement disorders by the New Milford Board of Education, The Apraxia Network, AAPPSPA, the International Association of Orofacial Myology The American Laser Study Club and the MOSAIC Foundation. She is actively involved in parental support groups for apraxia and autism, and monitors an interactive Oral Placement Discussion Board on Facebook. Robyn was a chief clinician in a research project for the Moebius Foundation, and trains Level 3 and 4 Talk Tools candidates.

Robyn received both her undergraduate and graduate degrees from Montclair State University, where she was later invited to be an adjunct/clinical supervisor. She also taught classes at Bergen Community College, and is a former clinical site coordinator for Seton Hall University. She currently is a clinical site supervisor for Malloy College. She is a member of ASHA, AAPPSPA, NJEA, IAOM, OMI, Ankyloglossia Bodyworkers, ICAP, and The Bergen County Apraxia Association.  She served a term on the NJSHA Board of Directors and as the private practice chair. She is the Board Chair of the Oral Motor Institute which was founded by Pamela Marshalla. She is the proud recipient of the ASHA ACE Award and the Ridgefield Woman of the Year 2019 in Business.

Robyn has specialized training in Oral-Placement Disorders, feeding, apraxia, Applied Behavioral Analysis, TOTs, autism, Myofunctional disorders, orofacial myology, craniofacial anomalies, Beckman Techniques and PROMPT.  Robyn also has a specialized interest in integrative medicine and holistic healing.

Biographical Highlights - Lori Overland, MS, CCC-SLP, C/NDT, CLC

Lori specializes in dealing with the unique needs of infants, toddlers, preschoolers and school-aged children with oral motor, feeding and speech disorders. She has received an award from the Connecticut Down Syndrome Association for her work within this population.

Lori consults with children from all over the world, providing evaluations, re-evaluations, program plans, and week-long therapy programs. Lori also provides consults to local school districts and Birth-to-Three organizations. Her goal in addressing feeding and speech challenges is to improve the quality of life for both the children she serves and their families.

In addition to her private practice, Lori is a member of TalkTools speaker’s bureau. Lori has lectured on sensory-motor feeding disorders across the United States and internationally. Her classes, “Feeding Therapy: A Sensory-Motor Approach” and “Developing Oral-Motor Feeding Skills in the Down Syndrome Population” are approved for ASHA and AOTA CEUs. She is the author of “A Sensory-Motor Approach to Feeding”, Perspectives on Swallowing and Swallowing Disorders (Dysphagia) (October 2011) and “Food for Thought”, Advance for Directors in Rehabilitation Magazine (May 2001). She holds degrees from Hofstra University and Adelphi University and has her neurodevelopmental certification. She is a Certified Lactation Counselor and is pursuing her IBCLC certification.

Biographical Highlights - Scott A. Siegel, MD, DDS, FACS, FICS, FAAP, DABOMS

Scott A. Siegel, MD, DDS, FACS, FICS, FAAP, Diplomate American Board of Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery / Diplomate American Board of Laser Surgery Effects of Lingual Frenectomy on Infant Sleep and Tongue Mobility. Ongoing Research. Scott A. Siegel, MD, DDS, FACS, FICS, FAAP is a double board-certified, dual degree MD, DDS, Oral and Maxillofacial Surgeon. Dr. Siegel is a Fellow of the American College of Surgeons, International College of Surgeons, and the first oral and maxillofacial surgeon awarded a Fellowship to the American Academy of Pediatrics. Dr. Siegel is also an active member of numerous medical and dental professional organizations. Dr. Siegel has over 25 years’ experience as an oral and maxillofacial surgeon and has devoted the past 19 years to the treatment of issues related to tethered oral tissues, he has performed over 30,000 tethered oral tissue surgical procedures to date.

Educated at the State University of New York at Stony Brook Schools of Medicine and School of Dental Medicine, and OMFS residency at Long Island Jewish Medical Center in New York. Dr. Siegel maintains a private practice based in New York City, and Long Island, NY.

Dr. Siegel is internationally recognized as a pioneering laser TOTs surgeon. During his surgical residency and in private practice Dr. Siegel was mentored by his close friend and colleague, world-renowned pediatric surgeon and tongue-tie pioneer Elizabeth “Betty” Coryllos, MD, FACS, FRCS, FAAP. Dr. Siegel has been treating TOTs patients for the past 19 years ranging from infants to adults. Dr. Siegel lectures internationally, is a peer reviewer, on editorial boards of medical journals and conducts clinical research and publishes in various areas related to TOTs including aerodigestive disorders related to TOTs such as Aerophagia Induced Reflux (AIR).

Dr. Siegel is currently working as a clinical investigator working in collaboration with the Department of Biomedical Engineering at Columbia University and Tel Aviv University in utilizing ultrasound in the understanding the kinematics of tongue movement in infants, children, and adults with ankyloglossia as well as a clinical investigator with the City University of New York Child Development Lab looking at infant sleep pre- and post-lingual frenectomy with measures of cortisol and melatonin.

Robyn Merkel-Walsh, MA, CCC-SLP, COM®
Lori Overland, MS, CCC-SLP, C/NDT, CLC

Robyn Merkel-Walsh, MA, CCC-SLP, COM®; and
Lori Overland, MS, CCC-SLP, C/NDT, CLC

Understanding the Variations of Active Wound Management and Neuromuscular Re-Education


There is a better understanding within the fields of medicine and dentistry, lactation, speech pathology, occupational and physical therapies that functional assessment and treatment are critical for optimal lingual, buccal, and labial frena releases. Semantics and terminology however are often confused regarding a treatment protocol. Post-op TOTs care has two phases: 1) Active Wound Management to maintain the integrity of the wound and avoid scarring and re-attachment and 2) Neuromuscular Re-Education to address the underlying muscle and motor-based deficits that are secondary to the oral restriction(s). Both stages of treatment must be considered. This course will outline the two stages, review national scopes of practice for various professionals involved in TOTs care, and discuss guidelines for referrals to team members. Specific techniques will be reviewed and categorized as to which stage of treatment is being addressed, which sometimes may overlap.

Melissa Mugno, OMT

Melissa Mugno, OMT

A Deeper Dive Into the Implementation of Myofunctional Therapy In a Dental Office


This presentation will take a deep dive into the communication between dentist and myofunctional therapist. We will look at how to set up dialect between dentist, therapist, and patient. There are many moving parts in a successful dental office and making sure the myofunctional program compliments the current business plan is essential for success. When adding myofunctional therapy as a service it must complement the office to have a seamless overall workflow.

Biographical Highlights

Melissa is a pioneer within the modern Myofunctional Movement. Since becoming an Orofacial Myofunctional Therapist in 2014, she has improved the lives of hundreds of patients, lectured around the country, and raised the standards of the profession. Her background as a Dental Hygienist and experience in the fields of Orthodontics and Pedodontics contributes to her success. Melissa treats patients of all ages suffering from a wide range of conditions stemming from adverse myofunctional habits. She now resides in Las Vegas where she enjoys being with her family, cooking, and being involved in her community. Melissa is proud to announce that she has become a Breathe Associate at the Breathe Institute in Los Angles with Soroush Zaghi, MD, ENT.

Leyli Norouz-Knutsen
Sarah Hornsby, RDH
Chad Knutsen

Leyli Norouz-Knutsen;
Sarah Hornsby, RDH; and
Chad Knutsen

TBI’s Credo: Inspiring a Culture of Knowledge Sharing, and Community Building for Collaborative Success


Synergistic relationships exist everywhere in nature, and humans are no exception. By operating in alignment with nature’s blueprints, we can cultivate a culture of knowledge sharing and collaboration. This presentation will help providers and practices set forth clear intentions, learn how to fortify open lines of communication, and foster connections and community.

Biographical Highlights - Leyli Norouz-Knutsen

Leyli Norouz-Knutsen is the Co-Founder and Managing Director of The Breathe Institute, based in Los Angeles, CA. She is known for her uniquely fine-tuned ability to streamline organizational management structures, maximize collaboration, communications, media and branding and to inspire innovation and entrepreneurship.

Leyli has more than a decade of experience in higher education non-profit, board management and operations as a director at both the University of California Los Angeles (UCLA) and San Diego State University (SDSU). Since leaving UCLA’s Anderson School of Management in 2007, Leyli has had the privilege to visit many countries, exploring cultural and business trends around the world. Leyli’s extensive background in healthcare-specific consulting and corporate strategy was the perfect combination to parlay into Co-Founding The Breathe Institute, and having the honor to serve on the Board of the American Academy of Physiological Medicine & Dentistry (AAPMD).

Biographical Highlights - Sarah Hornsby, RDH

My journey to becoming a myofunctional therapist started when I graduated from Eastern Washington University with a bachelor’s degree in Dental Hygiene. At that point, I had no idea that I would end up becoming a leader in the field of myofunctional therapy.

As I started my myofunctional therapy training and began helping my patients and learning more about my own orofacial myofunctional symptoms, I became increasingly interested in holistic health and wellness.

I wanted to understand the root cause of not only oral myofunctional problems but poor health in general. This interest became a passion that drove me to investigate how the airway, craniofacial development, breathing, and the tongue are linked to our overall health, sleep, and wellbeing.

I also started asking the bigger questions. Why were so few of my colleagues looking at these connections? Why had I never heard of this field? Why did none of my own doctors and dentists notice my symptoms when I was a child?

After I opened Faceology, my myofunctional therapy practice in 2010, it didn’t take me long to realize that most dentists, pediatricians, orthodontists, and ENTs don’t fully understand oral myofunctional therapy because most were simply never trained in this topic as part of their medical or dental education.

I’m trying to change this!

I’m passionate about connecting with and creating a community of like-minded professionals who are dedicated to collaboration, learning, and elevating the standards of patient care.

Biographical Highlights - Chad Knutsen

Chad is the Chief innovation officer and co-founder of the Breathe Institute in Los Angeles, CA.

Chelsea Pinto, DDS
Anna Gross, MS, CCC-SLP
Julie Matheney, MS, CCC-SLP, CLEC, IBCLC
Sara Mangano, CST, SLP

Chelsea Pinto DDS;
Anna Gross, MS, CCC-SLP;
Julie Matheney, MS, CCC-SLP, CLEC, IBCLC; and
Sara Mangano, CST, SLP

Modern healthcare as a collective experience: How clear and supportive communication between providers and parents can optimize treatment outcomes


Infant frenectomy patients are unique and often complex in presentation. With so many critical systems of development rapidly progressing, addressing global deficits and associated compensations is critical to optimal functioning and wellness. This presentation will provide an overview of the importance of establishing an interdisciplinary team and creating a system of communication among team and family members to facilitate healthy and sustained outcomes.

Biographical Highlights - Chelsea Pinto, DDS

Dr. Chelsea Pinto is a general dentist specializing in infant tongue ties at The Breathe Institute in Los Angeles. She earned her Doctor of Dental Surgery (DDS) degree from the USC Ostrow School of Dentistry and completed a post-graduate General Practice Residency program. Dr. Pinto’s interest in helping babies with feeding challenges due to oral restrictions turned into an undeniable passion after having her first son and experiencing her own breastfeeding journey.

Dr. Pinto is a member of the American Dental Association, California Dental Association, International Affiliation of Tongue-Tie Professionals and International Consortium of Oral Ankylofrenula Professionals. When a mother has breastfeeding problems, she should feel confident and comfortable turning to her established system of medical support for help. Dr. Pinto provides CO2 laser frenectomy treatment and is proud to offer a comprehensive approach – educating families on appropriate bodywork therapy, oral motor and breastfeeding support referrals to best address tongue function and its impact on the rest of the body.

Biographical Highlights - Anna Gross, MS, CCC-SLP

As a licensed speech-language pathologist certified by the American Speech-Language-Hearing Association (ASHA) Anna offers evaluations and treatment for infant and toddler oral motor and feeding difficulties and disorders, as well as children and adults with orofacial myofunctional disorders.

Anna became passionate about working with babies and children after her own 2 daughters were born with their own unique feeding difficulties. After being told “it’s fine” or “she will grow out of it” by friends, family, and professionals, Anna pursued further learning to help parents like her who are looking for answers.

In addition to private practice, Anna enjoys lecturing on oral motor, feeding and myofunctional disorders, and is a faculty member and guest lecturer at The Breathe Institute ‘Breathe Baby’ Course.

Biographical Highlights - Julie Matheney, MS, CCC-SLP, CLEC, IBCLC

Julie Matheney earned her Masters in speech-language pathology from Miami University in Oxford, Ohio, and the Certified Lactation Educator Counselor certificate from the University of California, San Diego. She has worked with infants and children with pediatric feeding disorders. Her skillset includes working with infants with tongue and lip tie, cleft lip and palate, trach and vent dependent, children with developmental delays, and other feeding disorders. She approaches babies from head to toe. After moving to California from the Midwest, she has worked in several local hospitals where she works in both the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit and the acute care hospital. While most people assume speech therapists teach children with stuttering or to say their “r’s and s’s”, the bulk of her job is feeding and swallowing. The same things you speak with, you eat with! She became a certified lactation counselor in 2012, a certified lactation educator counselor, and IBCLC in 2017. She enjoys helping both mother and baby in the feeding process.

Biographical Highlights - Sara Mangano, CST, SLP

Sara Mangano has been training and practicing craniosacral therapy, Speech-Language Pathology, reiki, and energy work,  for 20 years.  She feels her students with articulation and oral motor disorders demonstrate greatly improved articulations skills when structural, fascia, tissue, and musculature tension are addressed with craniosacral therapy and bodywork.  She also feels this work can significantly improve the health of each individual and decrease stress and tension that is carried in this modern-day world.

Dr. Cara Riek
Stevanie Bahnerth, DC

Cara Riek, DNP, RN, FNP-BC, IBCLC; and
Stevanie Bahnerth, DC

Learning to Breathe, Breathing to Thrive


Tethered Oral Tissues (TOTs) can affect a person across a lifespan. While release at a young age can be beneficial, appropriate pre and post-care must accompany the procedure to ensure proper function. More often than not, we find compensations are made due to the restrictions. Compensations can involve mouth breathing, tongue thrusting, oral fixations or aversions, GI distress, and more depending on the patient. Proper tongue placement and nose breathing are biologically necessary for proper growth and development. Lack of proper tongue placement and nose breathing comes with a host of health issues. This talk focuses on teaching the body to overcome compensations with a multidisciplinary approach pre and post-release.

Biographical Highlights - Cara Riek, DNP, RN, FNP-BC, IBCLC

Dr. Cara graduated from Arizona State University with a Doctor of Nursing Practice degree. She is a board-certified Family Nurse Practitioner in addition to having her IBCLC certification. Dr. Cara is also a diplomate of the American Board of Laser Surgery, specializing in “Oral Surgery in Infants, Toddlers, and Adults.” She has also is a Certified Specialist in Orofacial Myology (CSOM).

Dr. Cara describes her career as a diversifying adventure: research, teaching, nursing, and now breastfeeding medicine specialist. She strives to provide meaningful, evidence-based care to mother-baby dyads. Her mission is to support mothers where they are at and help them journey into the breastfeeding relationship they desire. She strives to make sure that each patient is able to reach their desired goal and have an amazing breastfeeding relationship.

Biographical Highlights - Stevanie Bahnerth, DC

Dr. Stevanie Bahnerth is a family chiropractor with over 14 years of experience. She earned her Bachelor of Science degree from Purdue University and then attended Palmer College of Chiropractic in Davenport, Iowa. Her practice revolves around providing ongoing care and treatment for patients with TOTS: infants through adults. In her free time, Dr. Stevanie enjoys spending time with family and friends, yoga, and traveling.

Justin Roche, MB ChB, MRCPCH, IBCLC

Justin Roche, MB ChB, MRCPCH, IBCLC

How Young Can You Do a Frenuloplasty? Frenuloplasty Under Conscious Sedation in Pre-school Children


The management of tethered oral tissues in pre-school children presents many challenges to the surgeon, the therapist, and the parents. Similarly changing the outcome for infants who have had reattachment despite post-frenotomy exercises can prove to be difficult. This presentation will discuss the best approach to meet these challenges in a safe and effective way.

Biographical Highlights

Justin is a Consultant Paediatrician and a Member of the Royal College of Paediatrics and Child Health (MRCPCH) and a Fellow of the Faculty of Paediatrics, Royal College of Physicians of Ireland and have registration with the Medical Council (Number 171584) under the Specialist Division for Paediatrics.

He has spent thousands of hours on continuing education having attended numerous conferences and courses on tongue-tie, predominantly in the States, in order to be at the forefront of care for infants, children, and adults. He is also a board member of the International Consortium of Ankyloglossia Professionals (ICAP).

Justin’s interest in Tongue Tie dates back to 1999 when his first daughter was born. At 5 days old she had her tongue tie divided in Southampton. Six children and four tongue ties later, he returned to Southampton to start his training in how to divide tongue ties himself. He has been treating tongue ties since 2008 and running a dedicated tongue tie clinic since 2010. Currently, Justin and the Team would assess and divide tongue-ties +/- lip-ties in over one thousand children each year.

Maribel Santos-Cordero, DMD

Maribel Santos-Cordero, DMD

Keep Your Tongue Up! The Effects of Abnormal Tongue Posture On Children’s Orofacial Development


The body has an amazing capability to adapt in order to survive. When it comes to the development of orofacial structures, there is a synergistic effect between form and function. The tongue plays an important role in a child’s orofacial growth and development. The tongue’s ability to move freely in the mouth and rest comfortably against the palate can have a direct effect on other basic functions like sucking, chewing, swallowing, speaking, and breathing. Dental issues like a narrow palate, cross-bites, crowding, gingivitis, dental cavities, and poor orofacial growth may also develop as a result of improper tongue posture.

There are several factors that can contribute to abnormal tongue posture and function. Recognizing these factors in early childhood may allow us to intervene at the right time in order to correct function and maximize growth potential. Adequate screening seems prudent when evaluating children with apparent tongue dysfunctions. Treatment goals should be geared towards restoring structure and function. A team approach with other specialists may be necessary to help the patient overcome their compensations and promote proper orofacial growth.

Biographical Highlights

Dr. Maribel Santos-Cordero was born and raised in San Juan, Puerto Rico. She earned a DMD degree from the University Of Puerto Rico School Of Dental Medicine with high honors and has been practicing dentistry since 1994. Dr. Santos-Cordero completed her residency program in Pediatric Dentistry at The Children’s Hospital of Buffalo, NY. She is a Diplomate of the American Board of Pediatric Dentistry, a fellow of the American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry, certified in Oral Myology and a member in good standing of the Academy of Laser Dentistry, the American Dental Association, and its local affiliates.

Treating children is her vocation and it is her mission to provide each patient with the necessary tools to achieve better oral health. She speaks Spanish and English fluently. She has earned privileges to practice dental surgery at the Johns Hopkins All Children’s Hospital in St. Petersburg, FL, and has been on staff since 2002.

A firm believer of the quote: “If you can’t repay a favor, pay it forward”, she often volunteers her time and services to those in need through different charitable events. Since 2012, she has organized a “Give Kids a Smile” event at her office and provided free dental treatment to children from disadvantaged homes with limited access to care. She also gives back to the community by providing consultations and treatment to patients with Cleft Lip and Palate and other craniofacial deformities.

Dr. Santos-Cordero believes that learning is a never-ending process. She regularly attends continuing education courses internationally and across the United States to expand her professional scope and to stay up to date on the very latest techniques. She has been a guest lecturer at various local and international groups and organizations. Dr. Santos is deeply passionate about the need to create awareness of the potential health problems in children with lip & tongue ties and sleep disorder breathing. She engages in a team approach with other healthcare professionals to provide her patients with treatment options that will help them thrive.

Dr. Santos-Cordero moved to Sarasota, Florida with her husband and two boys in 2001. When she is not in the office you can find her exercising, enjoying church and sports activities with her family or involved in her non-profit organization, Ride 2 Remember, to raise awareness and funds for Alzheimer’s disease research.

Will Schultz, DVM

William E. Schultz, DVM

Turn Up the Dial for Faster Cleaner Laser Surgery


When lasers first entered the veterinary market, they were low watt lasers, and veterinarians did all incisions with 2 to 10 watts SuperPulse and very slow movement. Now with more powerful lasers, the incisions are made with 25 to 30 watts SuperPulse with a much cleaner incision. The increased power allows for a much more rapid incision with very clean margins and little collateral damage. We will address several procedures in which the higher wattage is used as well as procedures in which much lower power is still used for success. The high dynamic range of current surgical lasers has given the veterinarian an incredibly useful piece of equipment.

Biographical Highlights

Dr. Schultz graduated from Michigan State University in 1973, went into private practice, and opened his companion animal practice in the fall of 1974. Dr. Schultz has been a board member on the Synbiotics Reproductive Advisory Panel, The Society for Theriogenology, and The Theriogenology Foundation with speaking engagements at several veterinary conferences, veterinary associations, and national specialties because of special interest in canine reproduction. Dr. Schultz has lectured and published articles on transcervical and surgical inseminations using fresh, chilled, and frozen semen. Soft tissue and orthopedic surgery are also areas of special interest with laser surgery being an important modality for over 20 years.

Robert A. Strauss DDS, MD, FACS

Robert A. Strauss DDS, MD, FACS

Laser physics for poets: how the good practitioner uses basic principles for the best clinical laser results


As a surgical modality, lasers have many advantages over cold steel or electrocautery. However, using a laser in the same manner as either of these will result in unpredictable, erratic and potentially very poor results. Understanding that laser use is based strictly on the physics of light energy, one can apply a few very basic physics concepts to obtain repeatable, predictable and positive results. This lecture will discuss the “Big 3” techniques to using surgical lasers and how to manage power, time and spot size to maximize efficiency while limiting lateral thermal damage.

Biographical Highlights

Robert A. Strauss, DDS, MD, FACS, Professor and Director of the Residency Training Program in Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery at the Virginia Commonwealth University Medical Center, and Past President of the American College of Oral and Maxillofacial Surgeons. Dr. Strauss is Board Certified by the American Board of Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery and is a former Chair of the Major Surgery Section of the Board. Over the last 30 years he has authored numerous publications and textbook chapters on the use of lasers in oral and maxillofacial surgery.

Dr. Strauss received his dental degree from the University of Buffalo and his medical degree from the UHSA School of Medicine. He completed his internship at the Buffalo General Hospital and residencies in both Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery and in Anesthesiology at the Michael Reese Medical Center in Chicago.

Dr. Strauss specializes in laser surgery of the head and neck, facial and jaw reconstructive surgery, cosmetic facial surgery, and sleep apnea surgery. His research interests include laser and cosmetic surgery, sleep apnea, anesthesia and orthognathic and reconstructive surgery.

James Thomas, DDS, MS

James Thomas, DDS, MS; and
Jill Ghormley, ND

Impactful laser frenectomy case presentations using technologies from our every day lives


It turns out that much good can come from utilizing our everyday mobile devices in our healthcare workflows. These smart devices have endless potential to streamline both our administrative and clinical systems. In this presentation Dr. Thomas, the founder + changemaker at health:latch in Bellevue, WA and now the health:latch circle, will take the viewer on a virtual and eye-pleasing adventure into the art of incorporating an iPad into an educational journey that can grow your message in and outside of your professional offices.

Biographical Highlights - James Thomas, DDS, MS

Dr. Thomas received his Doctor of Dental Surgery (DDS) from The University of Michigan in Ann Arbor, Michigan. He discovered his love for working with young patients while volunteering at a special needs camp in Bay Cliff, Michigan, and decided to focus on preventing oral health problems in the youngest population. He completed his Masters in Pediatric Dentistry (MS) from The University of Michigan in 2005. After relocating to Seattle in 2006 with his family, Dr. Thomas practiced as an associate in Lakewood and Mt. Vernon before opening his own practice – Everyone By One – in Bellevue, and later a second practice in Lynnwood and business office in Centralia. He sold the entire business in April 2016 in order to found health:latch. After treating thousands of children, some of whom struggled with breastfeeding due to tongue and lip tie, he has a unique understanding of the issue. Seeing firsthand how stressful it can be for families, he has created a specialty practice dedicated to changing the lives of these babies and their families.

Dr. Thomas is a member of the Tongue Tie and Lip Tie Support Network, the International Affiliation of Tongue Tie Professionals, the American Dental Association, the American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry, the WA State Association of Pediatric Dentists, the WA State Dental Association, and the Seattle Lactation Journal Study Club.

Biographical Highlights - Jill Ghormley, ND

Dr. Ghormley is a graduate of Bastyr University and the first licensed deaf Naturopathic Physician in the United States. She is currently an adjunct professor at Bastyr and past adjunct professor at the National University of Natural Medicine in Portland, Oregon. Dr. Ghormley is a coalition leader for medical aid in developing nations worldwide. She received the Top Doctor of Naturopathic Medicine award in 2016, 2018, and 2020 from The Leading Physicians of the World. She also received the VIS Award from her profession.

Dr. Ghormley completed a residency with an osteopath and chiropractor specializing in physical medicine and spinal manipulation techniques as well as naturopathic modalities. She has extensive knowledge and experience in sacral occipital technique, spinal and extremities manipulation (alignment), hydrotherapy, physical therapy rehabilitation, applied kinesiology, acutonics, cranial osteopathy, and muscle energy stretching – just to name a few. She is certified in IV and injection therapy; craniosacral therapy, visceral manipulation, activator technique, Gonstead Technique, and Kinesio taping.

As a child, Dr. Ghormley was misdiagnosed by a number of doctors before her family discovered her deafness at age four. She had to learn how to communicate in other ways and it proved to be a very difficult time for her entire family. It was very frustrating to not have the simple language abilities – something many people take for granted. For years her parents worked tirelessly to find ways that worked for her to communicate and sought the help and advice of several experts. She was very fortunate to be given the opportunity to become fluent in both sign language and English. Extensive speech therapy and lip-reading skills have allowed her to have a fluent speaking ability.

Once Dr. Ghormley overcame the immense communication challenges that being totally deaf brought to my childhood, it was all uphill from there. Being deaf in a hearing world creates unimaginable obstacles every single day. Conquering obstacles communicating in her youth instilled a ferocious desire to learn about the world. She obtained a degree in fine arts, working as a painter, tile layer, and massage therapist to get her through college. Dr. Ghormley became a medical illustrator for JAMA (Journal of the American Medical Association) and worked as a graphic designer in Chicago. She also became a certified diver and has traveled all around the world witnessing the mysterious beauty of the oceans.

Through the experiences of her youth, she developed a fascination with medicine and a desire to understand how the body works. Dr. Ghormley obtained a graduate degree in Biomedical Communications then pursued the arduous journey of becoming a physician. It really is true that the loss of one sense enhances the other senses. She believes that her deafness served as an incredible asset to her abilities as a physician. It has allowed her to be exceptionally attuned to my patients’ visual, olfactory (smell), and energetic cues.

Her passion for international medicine has led her to do volunteer medical work in Nepal, DR Congo, Russia, Malaysia, Thailand, Laos, Vietnam, Cambodia, and Sri Lanka. She plans to continue her work in developing countries and teach the power of self-reliance and self-healing both in the US and abroad.

James Thomas, DDS, MS

James Thomas, DDS, MS

HLC 2.0 – The evolution to find “true collaboration” within the health:latch circle


Time to take it up a notch. The health:latch circle is ready for you to take it out for a drive. We assembled a technology team worldwide and built an IT infrastructure to handle 100 impressions or 100 million. That aside, it is about something bigger than the algorithms and code we created. There is a common thread with the members that we currently have inside the HLC. They all believe they can be part of something bigger than themselves. They want to share a message that is principled in intuition, awareness, and advocacy. Dr. Thomas will guide you through where we started, where we are now, and together where we can go!

Biographical Highlights

Dr. Thomas received his Doctor of Dental Surgery (DDS) from The University of Michigan in Ann Arbor, Michigan. He discovered his love for working with young patients while volunteering at a special needs camp in Bay Cliff, Michigan, and decided to focus on preventing oral health problems in the youngest population. He completed his Masters in Pediatric Dentistry (MS) from The University of Michigan in 2005. After relocating to Seattle in 2006 with his family, Dr. Thomas practiced as an associate in Lakewood and Mt. Vernon before opening his own practice – Everyone By One – in Bellevue, and later a second practice in Lynnwood and business office in Centralia. He sold the entire business in April 2016 in order to found health:latch. After treating thousands of children, some of whom struggled with breastfeeding due to tongue and lip tie, he has a unique understanding of the issue. Seeing firsthand how stressful it can be for families, he has created a specialty practice dedicated to changing the lives of these babies and their families.

Dr. Thomas is a member of the Tongue Tie and Lip Tie Support Network, the International Affiliation of Tongue Tie Professionals, the American Dental Association, the American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry, the WA State Association of Pediatric Dentists, the WA State Dental Association, and the Seattle Lactation Journal Study Club.

Peter Vitruk, PhD, MInstP, CPhys, DABLS

Peter Vitruk, PhD, MInstP, CPhys

Laser Beam Incision/Coagulation Depth Controls vs. Laser Diode Cautery Tips


The Depth of Incision is rarely discussed in the laser surgery and laser dentistry educational texts and programs, however, it is one of the most important and critical features that every laser surgeon and dentist needs to master and excel at. Similarly, the Depth of Incision on the surgical margins is of great significance for the practicing laser surgeons and laser dentists. Unlike the laser treatment with the laser beams, the diode-powered hot glass tips obey very different laws of Physics, which defines their performance characteristics somewhere in between hot tip cautery devices and the non-ablative laser beam devices. This presentation includes both (1) a detailed discussion of how laser beam fluence and wavelength define the depth of laser beam incision/coagulation, as well as (2) a description of how the temperature and charring of the glass, as well as the hand speed, impact the thermo-mechanical interaction of the diode tip with the soft tissue.

Biographical Highlights

Dr. Peter Vitruk was born and raised in Ukraine. He earned his Ph.D. degree in Physics from the Moscow Physics and Technology Institute, Moscow in the late 1980s in the former USSR. In the 1990s he held a Research Scientist position with The Academy of Sciences in the former USSR and then a Royal Society Visiting Research Fellow position at Heriot-Watt University in Edinburgh, Scotland, UK. He later worked as Senior Scientist with Synrad Inc. in Seattle, WA, and then as Chief Scientist with Luxar/ESC/Lumenis also in Seattle, WA. In 2002 Dr. Vitruk founded Luxarcare LLC – an exclusive certified Luxar laser service and accessories provider for 12,000+ surgical Luxar laser installations around the globe. In 2005 he founded Aesculight LLC and LightScalpel LLC – the only American based designer and manufacturer of surgical CO2 lasers for the small office out-patient market. Dr. Vitruk has authored 10 patents and over 20 articles on CO2 lasers and is a Member of The Institute of Physics, UK. In 2017 he founded the American Laser Study Club, an educational platform that helps physicians, dentists, veterinarians, and practice staff members to excel at the efficient and safe application of laser energy in everyday practice. He is married to his wife of 34 years Natasha and they together have two children, Olga and Alexander.

Jimmy Yu, DVM

Chih-Ming “Jimmy” Yu, DVM

CO2 Surgical Laser Clinical Application In The AAHA Accreditation Veterinary Practice: Clinical Cases Presentation


CO2 surgical laser isn’t only a great tool to perform surgeries and an important part of the standard of Veterinary Excellence in the surgical suite.

Biographical Highlights

Dr. Yu is a graduate of the National Pingtung University of Science and Technology and obtained the Taiwanese veterinarian license in the same year. He is a member of the Chinese Society of Veterinary Sciences. He came to America and earned his master’s degree in Public Health from Tulane University, New Orleans, LA. He received further training at Purdue University, West Lafayette, IN. He worked at the Greenbrier Animal Hospital in Evansville, IN, and began to use a surgical laser in various surgeries. He is now the owner of the U-Vet Animal Clinic LLC – a small animal practice in Newburgh, IN, and laser surgery provider around the tri-state area. Dr. Yu is a member of AVMA, INVMA, SWINVMA, AAHA, VIN, and IVPA. Dr. Yu has a particular interest in patients with anal gland issues, Diabetes, Cushings, Addisons, and tumors.

Soroush Zaghi, MD

Soroush Zaghi, MD

The Breathe Outlook: Fueling the Future With the Best In Airway and Tongue-Tie Research


This presentation will review new evidence-based resources published by our group in 2019-2020 supporting the role of ankyloglossia evaluation and management, as well as to introduce research projects that we will be opening for participation by ALSC members in 2021-2022. Important updates include a newly published grading scale for assessment of posterior tongue mobility, the impact of tongue-tie on pediatric bruxism, FAIREST- 6 pediatric sleep screening tool, and Functional Tongue Space Classification system. A multicenter study will be introduced to help us learn more about tongue-tie release outcomes and protocols in regards to pain, wound healing, tongue mobility, and patient satisfaction. To suture, or not to suture? Does the tool matter? Is there an ideal pain protocol? We hope to answer these questions with your active participation and support of ALSC and The Breathe Outlook.

Biographical Highlights

Dr. Zaghi graduated from Harvard Medical School, completed a residency in ENT (Otolaryngology-Head and Neck Surgery) at UCLA, and Sleep Surgery Fellowship at Stanford University. The focus of his sub-specialty training is on the comprehensive treatment of tongue-tie, nasal obstruction, mouth breathing, snoring, and obstructive sleep apnea. He is very active in clinical research relating to sleep-disordered breathing with over 80+ peer-reviewed research publications in the fields of neuroscience, head and neck surgery, and sleep-disordered breathing.

Dr. Zaghi is particularly interested in studying the impact of tethered-oral tissues (such as tongue-tie) and oral myofascial dysfunction on maxillofacial development, upper airway resistance syndrome, and obstructive sleep apnea. He is an invited lecturer, author, and journal reviewer for topics relating to the diagnosis and management of sleep-disordered breathing and tongue-tie disorders.

Research interests include Study design, literature review, and statistical analysis. Special interest in collaborative and multidisciplinary research projects relating to airway and breathing disorders, obstructive sleep apnea, nasal obstruction, upper airway resistance syndrome, pediatric sleep disorders, myofunctional therapy, frenuloplasty, facial and airway development, and maxillofacial reconstructive surgery.

Clinical interests: Sleep and Breathing Disorders, Tongue-tie, Snoring, Obstructive Sleep Apnea, Nasal Obstruction, Upper Airway Resistance Syndrome, Inspiratory Flow Limitation, Sleep Endoscopy, Deviated Septum, Tonsil Hypertrophy, TMJ Pain, Teeth-grinding, Mouth Breathing, Frenuloplasty, Tonsillectomy, Septoplasty, Turbinate Reduction, Vivaer Nasal Valve Remodeling, Maxillary Skeletal Expansion, MMA Jaw Surgery.

panel discussion

Panel Discussion Veterinary Laser Surgery, Dermatology & Dentistry, including treatments for BOAS
High Power, Highspeed Ablative and Incisional/Excisional Veterinary Laser Surgery

9:00 – 10:00 am PST on Saturday, February 20, 2021
Live via Zoom

John Godbold, DVM; David Duclos, DVM; Noel Berger, DVM; Chuh-Ming “Jimmy” Yu, DVM; Lorraine Corriveau, DVM; Will Schultz, DVM; and Peter Vitruk, PhD


The advancement of surgical CO2 lasers in the last decade has tripled the SuperPulse laser power available to veterinary surgeons, as well as significantly reduced the laser beam focal spot size. These innovations have enabled the 10-fold increase in the hand speed for the laser surgeons for incisional/excisional applications and tripled the hand-speed for ablative dermatological applications. Laser surgery is no longer lagging behind the scalpel in incisional/excisional applications, and also offers a unique and time-efficient modality in surgical dermatology where no other surgical tools can apply (large area ablations of skin lesions and tumors). This round table panel discussion is designed to educate the attendees as to the best laser surgery practices and techniques enabled by the high power surgical lasers with novel handpieces that are fine-tuned for both incisional/excisional and large area dermatological applications.

panel discussion

Panel Discussion Laser Dentistry, Surgery & Medicine

11:00 am – Noon PST on Saturday, February 20, 2021
Live via Zoom

Robert Strauss, MD, DDS; Cara Riek, DNP, RN, FNP-BC, IBCLC; Piya Trehan Gandhi, DDS; Kirk Kollmann, DMD; Martin Kaplan, DMD; and Peter Vitruk, PhD


The advancement of surgical CO2 lasers in the last decade, as well as significantly reduced the laser beam focal spot size, has greatly enhanced the efficacy, ergonomics, and usability of these lasers in soft tissue surgeries. However, the challenges to the best use of laser energy in medicine and dentistry remain almost unchanged – the training and education that is based on Science and not Opinions (that still are greatly proliferated throughout laser dentistry textbooks). This round table panel discussion is designed to educate the attendees as to the best laser surgery practices and techniques with CO2 surgical lasers with novel handpieces that are fine-tuned for both incisional/excisional and large area dermatological applications.

panel discussion

Panel Discussion TOTS & Lasers

11:00 am – 1:00 pm PST on Sunday, February 28, 2021
Live via Zoom

Richard Baxter, DMD, MS; Soroush Zaghi, MD; Ann Bynum DDS; Autumn Henning, SLP, COM, IBCLC; Lauren Ballinger, DDS; Chelsea Pinto, DDS; Cara Riek, DNP, RN, FNP-BC, IBCLC; Diana Batoon, DMD; Maribel Santos-Cordero, DMD; James Thomas, DDS, MS; Piya Trehan Gandhi, DDS; Molly Gunsaulis, DDS; Kirk Kollmann, DMD; Brynn Leroux, DDS; Tara Erson, DMD, CLC; Samira Jafari, DMD; Natasha Khurana, DDS, IBCLC; Robyn Merkel-Walsh, MA, CCC-SLP/COM; Lisa Lahey, RN, IBCLC, CSOM; Patricia Berg, RLC, IBCLC, CST-D; Melissa Mugno, OMT; Leyli Norouz-Knutsen; and Martin Kaplan, DMD


This Panel is designed to highlight and emphasize the importance and significance of multi-specialty teams in treating TOTS related disorders. Not only the frenectomy surgery providers but also the Chiropractors, Osteopaths, Physical and Occupational Therapists, SLPs, IBCLCs, OMT specialists, et. al. are key and integral parts of delivering the best care for patients of all ages. It is also highly desirable that non-providers, as well as patients, have even the most basic elementary knowledge of surgical laser tools and the differences between commercially available dental lasers such as (a) soft tissue surgical CO2 lasers and (b) hard tissue Erbium lasers and (c) thermal cautery devices such as dental diodes. Panelists will share their experiences and advice on delivering the best patient care when involving surgical lasers for releasing TOTS as well as on pre- and post-operative care.

The 4th Annual Symposium of the American Laser Study Club (ALSC) will take place online throughout the month of February of 2021. The presentation formats will include live and on-demand lectures as well as live round-table panel Q&A discussions. All lectures and panel discussions will be available on-demand until March 31, 2021.

The ALSC promotes Science-Based Laser Surgery, Dentistry and Safety Education. The ALSC fills the void in current Laser Surgery and Laser Dentistry education (i.e., the physics of laser-tissue interaction, such as absorption, scattering, ablation, coagulation and hemostasis, soft and hard tissue ablation, laser safety, etc.) and helps Physicians, Dentists, Veterinarians, and Practice Staff Members to excel at the efficient and safe application of laser energy in everyday practice.

← Go Back to the 2021 Symposium Overiew

ADA CERP**Dentistry CE Credits – GLOH Education is an ADA CERP Recognized Provider. ADA CERP is a service of the American Dental Association to assist dental professionals in identifying quality providers of continuing dental education. ADA CERP does not approve or endorse individual activities or instructors, nor does it imply acceptance of credit hours by boards of dentistry. This continuing education activity has been planned and implemented in accordance with the standards of the ADA Continuing Education Recognition Program (ADA CERP) through joint efforts between GLOH Education and the American Laser Study Club (ALSC).

*Information, terms, and conditions in this communication are subject to change without prior notice. Refunds will incur a 20% processing fee. No refunds after January 31, 2021.