By MICHAEL POLLACK
The Jewish World recently sent me into the field to find out what our readers are interested in. One consistent response was something like this: “Let’s see more about members of our community and their accomplishments.” As a result, we’ve instituted “The Capital District Spotlight.” We plan for this to be a monthly article highlighting a member of the community and her/his “story.”
Dr. Lawrence Kotlow is a pediatric dentist. He received NYTop Docs award for both 2021 and 2022 from the USA top docs.TOPDocs is an exclusive healthcare resource that reviews healthcare providers (both doctors and dentists) in New York State based on merit. For providers that meet a high level of merit-based criteria, they are then awarded the title of NY Top Doctor or NY Top Dentist. No small accomplishment on its own, the award is based on the doctor’s dedication, accomplishments, and devotion to patient care. Dr. Kotlow received his award for excellence in pediatric dentistry. He is also listed as a leader in CE in Dentistry Today for the third year.
Kotlow has been practicing in Guilderland since 1974. He is considered an expert in the use of dental lasers for infants and children. He lectures worldwide on the use of lasers in restoring decayed teeth and for treating infants who have difficulty in breastfeeding due to tethered oral tissues such as upper lip-ties and tongue-ties. He is an expert in the diagnosis and treatment of infants, toddlers and young children who develop sleep apnea due to airway blockage from tongue-ties. His book SOS4TOTS has been distributed worldwide and is considered one of the key educational texts for dentists and physicians who want to learn about the assessment, diagnosis, and treatment of restrictive oral tissues.
The dentist and his wife Ellen have been married for over 52 years and are native Albanians. Dr. Kotlow attended Albany College of Pharmacy, graduated from SUNY Buffalo Dental School and completed his pediatric residency in Cincinnati, Ohio.
I asked the doctor to reflect on his youth, and to tell us what he had wanted to do when he grew up. He told me that he had always been interested in, and enjoys using his hands and working with children. As a teenager, he worked every summer as a counselor and head counselor at the Albany Jewish Community Center (AJCC). During the school year, on Sundays, he would work at the AJCC supporting an array of children’s activities. When asked about general advice to share with someone starting out in his profession, he told me that unlike other medical professionals, for the most part, he is not controlled by insurance requirements. Independence can be maintained. Moreover, dentistry is enjoyable, rewarding, and offers a flexible schedule that depends on when and how much one wants to work, asserted Kotlow.
Kotlow considers one of his greater accomplishments to be working with families and their newborn infants to fix breastfeeding problems. Moreover, he continues to be passionate about learning and teaching laser dentistry, an effective tool to understand and prevent sleep disordered breathing at an early age, thus preventing multiple adult comorbidities.
According to the dentist, his mentors have been all the scientists who worked to develop safe and effective lasers.
One thing the dentist is challenged by, he told us, is trying to educate those in the medical profession about how a tongue, which is tethered, can affect so many body systems.
When not practicing dentistry, Kotlow enjoys spending time with his family, especially his grandchildren. He enjoys playing golf, too. And he is also sure to emphasize that he views his profession as a hobby.
Asked about what he would go back in time and change, he answered “nothing really.” That’s because he reports that he has “enjoyed a wonderful life in so many ways and continues to enjoy many of the fruits of my life.”
Information about Kotlow’s practice, maybe found on his website, named:KIDDSTEETH.COM.
We, at The JewishWorld are open to receiving nominations for candidates that would be great to spotlight. Please send nominees’ names along with a brief description of why you are nominating the individual to: [email protected]