Everyone has small folds of tissue, known as frenums, that connect the tongue or lip to the mouth. In some people, though, the frenum is misplaced or too tight, causing a condition known as a tongue or lip tie.
Infants with a tongue tie may need a procedure known as a frenectomy, which releases the tongue tie, to properly latch on to the mother’s breast for feeding. Many mothers come to us for an evaluation after working with a lactation consultant. Older children may need the procedure for orthodontics, as part of speech therapy or myofunctional therapy, or to improve the tongue position during sleeping.
Advantages of Laser Frenectomies
At My Town’s Little Dentist, we have been using lasers in our office for 15 years, and we have repeatedly seen the benefits of releasing a tongue tie with a laser. When compared to traditional frenectomies, which use a scalpel to cut the tissue, laser frenectomies are faster to perform with shorter healing times. There is less bleeding, as the laser cauterizes the wound. There is less chance of infection, as the laser disinfects the area. There is also less swelling or discomfort.
Laser frenectomies can be done on infants as young as 4 days old, often without anesthetic. There is no need for antibiotics or sedation, and the procedure is considered minimally invasive.
Older children and adults may require anesthetic. Our state of the art technology provides not only the best results, but also the most comfort for your child. It takes only a few minutes, and we just request that parents of infants bring a swaddle to keep the child comfortable and safe.
What to Expect
We work hard to make a laser frenectomy as easy as possible for the parents as well as the patient. After the procedure, we have a recovery room where you can remain with your child until you are both ready to leave. Infants can immediately breast feed, and we strongly encourage this.
Although there is little to no discomfort, your child’s mouth could be a little sore. For infants we recommend having some breast milk ice pops ready when you get home to aid in soothing the affected area. Older children can use regular ice pops of course. We are available around the clock for emergency calls, and we can follow up in our office as needed.
Feel free to contact us for a consultation! We work closely with many lactation consultants as well.