Pediatrics — an ever-evolving specialty

In her introduction to this issue, Dr. Amy L. Luedemann applauds the always-improving world of pediatrics.

Welcome to the fall issue of Pediatric Dental Practice US! This is the second issue of a publication dedicated to bringing our profession new, cutting-edge treatment modalities so that we can not only be informed but also offer the very best to our patients. While it is always going to be important to know which sealant material performs better than another, the readership of this journal wants to dive deeper! It was such an honor to take part in the inaugural issue. Looking at the editorial themes of this issue — Airway, Orthodontics, Technology and Trends, Anesthesia and Sedation, Practice and Patient Management, and Behavioral Disorders — it’s going to be another exciting offering.

“It is clear now that suffering patients need more than simply structural or medicinal solutions, and our profession is starting younger and looking deeper to help heal our little patients.”

It’s been almost 10 years since the inaugural issue of The Journal of Dental Sleep Medicine and less than 100 years since Dr. Pierre Robin definitively made the connection between underdeveloped jaws and tongue obstruction as a cause of breathing challenges during sleep.1 Much has happened in our understanding as well as our ability to treat this debilitating condition. I believe we will see even more innovations, particularly in non-invasive laser applications and cranial-friendly approaches with the foundation being a whole body approach to sleep-disordered breathing and sleep apnea in the coming decade. It is clear now that suffering patients need more than simply structural or medicinal solutions, and our profession is starting younger and looking deeper to help heal our little patients.

Speaking of looking deeper and offering more powerful solutions, you won’t want to miss the technology and trends section of this issue. The first medical-grade laser was introduced in 1963, and the first dental laser (a 1064 Nd YAG) was marketed to dentists in 1989.2 Boy, have we come a long way! Lasers are now successfully used for addiction, trigger points, healing, esthetics, trauma, PTSD, Alzheimer’s, Parkinson’s, Stroke, Bell’s Palsy, and now there is early and promising work being done to activate local stem cells and the nervous system to reverse dental infections. Search almost any diagnosis on PubMed, and you will be surprised at how lasers have made advances in so many areas of medicine and dentistry. And in this journal specifically, you can expect to receive a steady stream of the options available to us, within our scope of practice, to help treat and benefit our patients.

Almost I can’t comment on everything in this short introduction, but if you are a reader who wants to see beyond old and outdated approaches to ever-evolving challenges our patients are facing, you have the right publication in your hand. Please stay connected with us, and share the innovations and successes of your own practice and your experiences as we push forward into a new paradigm in pediatric dentistry!

A Native Houstonian, Amy L. Luedemann, DDS, has been a board certified pediatric dentist since 2007. She has been a thought leader and innovator in her field for more than a decade. Dr. Luedemann’s clinic, Kidstown Dental, was the third clinic in the United States to have an interdisciplinary clinic on site to help infants with oral restrictions, including an osteopath for guided releases and IBCLCs for functional support. For “older” kids, she has brought in-house myofunctional therapy, PT, Integrative Chiropractors, SLPs, and a host of different types of providers depending on patient needs to support the most challenging patients. It is Dr. Luedemann’s passion for healing and transformation in a team setting with outside-the-box solutions that have drawn Functional Medicine MDs, Pediatric Neurologists, PTs, OTs, DCs, DOs, SLPs, ENTs, Midwives, Doulas, Neural Movement Specialists, Functional Nutritionists, and DDSs to join her Interdisciplinary Study Club that has met for almost 10 years in her office. This group of amazing, dedicated providers have met monthly for years to study and collaborate on best practices in the littlest of patients and have worked to set standards in the Greater Houston area and beyond. She has practiced “no-shot” laser pediatric dentistry since 2009. She has been transforming little lives with the ALF appliance since 2015, and in recent years has been one of the first providers to innovate new appliances that are helping 0-3 year old children with sleep apnea. Her appliance designs are based on osteopathic principles and are proving to be very powerful. If you ask “Dr. Amy” what her passions are, she will say that learning, innovating, and collaborating are passions of hers but that teaching others and sharing knowledge is when she feels she is living her purpose the most! In her time away from work, she enjoys traveling with her family and friends, reading, biohacking, and long scenic walks.

  1. Robin P. A fall of the base of the tongue considered as a new cause of nasopharyngeal respiratory impairment: Pierre Robin sequence, a translation. 1923. Plast Reconstr Surg. 1994 May;93(6):1301-1303.
  2. Parker, S. Introduction, history of lasers and laser light production. Br Dent J. 2007; 202:21–31.

Read more about Dr. Luedemann and how laser therapy helps her to provide more gentle treatment to pediatric patients in our previous cover story, “Life-changing laser dentistry at Kidstown Dental” here: