What is a tongue tie or lip tie?
Have you ever heard of someone being ‘tongued tied’ or ‘lip tied’? If your child has a tongue tie (TT) or lip tie (LT) you may notice some common symptoms, including difficulty nursing, speech impediments, pain and discomfort, periodontal issues, tongue thrust, and bite misalignment. A large frenulum can also cause a gap in the front teeth, known as a diastema. A tongue-tie or lip-tie can be corrected with a procedure called a frenectomy.
Who could benefit from a frenectomy?
Most of the frenectomies we perform at Kids Town are called Infant Laser Frenectomies.If your baby has challenges related to a tongue tie or lip tie, he/she may experience difficulty establishing or maintaining a latch (manifested as clicking, snap-backs or breaking latch), excessive air intake due to an inadequate seal, leading to bloating, fussiness, colic, reflux, gassiness, weight loss, feeding refusal, failure to thrive, extended feeding times, falling asleep at the breast due to exhaustion, and/or restless sleeping due to inadequate feedings leading to continual feeding cycles.Common problems for the mother may include pain when nursing, plugged ducts, mastitis, bleeding, cracking, structural damage to the nipples, and/or early loss of milk supply, not to mention the psychological, mental and emotional impact of the difficulty in providing for your newborn. If you or your baby are experiencing any of these symptoms, your baby may need a frenectomy to revise the problem.
Toddlers or older children with a tongue or lip tie may experience imprecise articulation, especially at speed, bite misalignment, gapped teeth, pain or discomfort, and restricted movement. A frenecto-my can be performed for your child at any age, but typically they should be seen before the eruption of the permanent incisors, between 5 and 7 years old. Kids Town would be happy to meet with you for a consultation to see if a midline revision would benefit your child’s development.
What is a Frenectomy?
A frenectomy, also known as a tongue tie (TT) or lip tie (LT) procedure, is a surgical procedure to remove a section of the frenulum. The frenulum is a tissue that connects the lips and tongue to the jawbone. In some cases the frenulum may be too short, too long or too tight, which may require revision. A TT/LT revision can be done quickly and effectively in our office using a small laser.
With the use of modern technology and lasers, frenectomies have become more precise and complete with less bleeding and quicker healing time than conventional methods. This procedure is done right in our office using a small diode laser that provides an analgesic effect lasting 4-6 hours, while sealing the vessels as it removes the excess tissue. A diode laser also eliminates the need for stitches and minimizes infection risk, promoting faster healing time. There is also no need for sutures.
Why choose Kids Town Pediatric Dentistry for your TT/LT procedure?
Kids Town Pediatric Dentistry is pleased to offer the latest in laser technology, making this proce-dure safe and more precise, with a faster recovery time than ever before. Our pediatric board certi-fied doctors are specially trained to use the laser for these procedures.
You can expect gentle, individualized care from our experts here at Kids Town Pediatric Dentistry that will help both you and your child have a comfortable experience. The doctors and staff will answer all of your questions prior to the procedure and walk you through exactly what will be done and what to expect after the procedure as well. We have three convenient locations in Layton, Roy and Syracuse, to meet your location and scheduling needs.
What to expect during the procedure
Our number one priority is to ensure the safety of the patient during the TT or LT revision. Smaller babies and infants are gently wrapped in a swaddler to limit their movements and protect them during the oral examination and evaluation and for the surgical procedure. A topical anesthetic cream will be used to mini-mize pain. Our staff will, with two hands, gently stabilize the patient’s head. The laser is then used to remove the excessive attachment.
For our older children having a TT/LT proce-dure, there are sedation options available if needed, and will be determined with a pre op consultation.
The laser procedure takes between 2 and 10 minutes, depending on age, behavior, and size of the tongue or lip tie. After the procedure, a final assessment is done and then the patient is immediately returned to his/her parents. For babies, nursing is encouraged immediately after the procedure. For older kids, staff will provide a popsicle that will help with any swelling, and which should induce an immediate smile!