When patients visit the Pediatric Dentist near 75034, many parents come with a query about lip or tongue ties. Let’s explore more about the lip and tongue tie condition and if laser frenectomy is the right option for your child.
Dr. Shir has advanced training in laser use. She perfected her treatment of infants by learning from doctors that specialize in infant frenectomy release.
What do I need to know about Frenulectomy?
Frenulectomy, or Frenulotomy, is surgery to remove a small piece of tissue called the frenulum. A Frenulectomy for the tongue may be needed if your child has ankyloglossia (tongue tie). This condition causes the frenulum to develop too close to the tip of your baby’s tongue. The tongue becomes tied down and cannot move as freely as it should. A Frenulectomy for the upper or lower lip can help your child’s teeth come incorrectly. A frenectomy is usually done if the frenulum is too short, thick, or tight to be divided. Surgery may help your baby breastfeed or help your older child speak more clearly.
How Does Untreated Lip or Tongue Tie Affect Your Child?
Whether your child is a newborn, a toddler, or an adolescent, it has been observed that a restricted upper lip or tongue tie, which hinders full mobility of the upper lip can lead to health and dental issues. Some of the issues that are caused by tongue or lip tie include:
- Speech difficulty
- Narrow plate
- Difficulty in eating/ breastfeeding
- Dental malocclusion
- Sleep apnea
- Digestive issues
- Restricted mid-face growth
As parents, it is your responsibility to be aware and informed about what to look in order to identify the lip and tongue ties, how it can impact your child’s health and growth if it remains unidentified or untreated. When diagnosed, a frenectomy procedure can help in addressing the condition and promoting optimum growth, health, sleep, and development for your child.
What is Frenectomy?
A frenectomy is the removal of the connective tissues from under the tongue or the upper gum. Dr. Shir, DDS will remove the frenula or small folds of tissue found in various parts of the body that are responsible for keeping an organ from moving too far from its correct position. Also known as a Frenotomy Technique or a Frenulectomy, the procedure is most commonly performed in various parts of the mouth as part of orthodontic treatment. The procedure is now performed using advanced surgical techniques that help minimize wound contraction, bleeding, and scarring.
The healing and recovery for Laser Frenectomy is quite fast as there is no need for invasive techniques and the pain and discomfort are minimal.
When is a Frenectomy Required?
The parents can choose frenectomy for their kids for various reasons at any age. When a laser frenectomy procedure is chosen for an infant lip or tongue tie, the reason is that the child has difficulty in breastfeeding or bottle feeding. The tongue or lip tie symptoms in the infant include:
- Prolonged breastfeeding
- Excessive gassiness
- Frequent spitting or reflux
- Difficulty in latching on to the breast
According to the pediatric dentist near you, in toddlers or young children, the symptoms that indicate the presence of lip or tongue tie are:
- The gap between the front teeth
- Speech impediments and difficulty with annunciation
- Jaw pain
- Eating problems
Significance of Identifying Tongue or Lip Tie in Your Child
During the routine checkups, the pediatrician dentist near you may not always notice the lip or tongue tie condition. In some kids, the condition remains unidentified till the kid reaches pre-kindergarten or elementary school. This is sad as frenectomy can help in addressing the condition that too with minimal pain during the first few weeks after the birth. Thus, parents must be aware of these conditions and the effect they can have on a child’s general health and growth. Frenectomy can have a huge impact on the patient’s quality of life, says the Pediatric Dentist in Frisco, TX.
After reviewing mom’s and baby’s symptoms associated with breastfeeding, Dr. Shir will evaluate your child for tongue function and appearance. Parents are included in the evaluation and shown where their child may have a tongue or lip tie. If a frenectomy is indicated, the procedure happens during the same visit, so your family won’t need to make an additional trip.
What Does Laser Frenectomy Involve?
According to Sheer Smiles, a Frisco Pediatric Dentist near you, the procedure is performed simply and straightforwardly. It usually needs only a single visit for the procedure to go through. Traditionally, the frenectomies were performed with the help of a scissor or a scalpel and sedation was used along with the need for sutures. However, with laser frenectomy, these things are no more required.
The advanced laser frenectomy equipment makes sure that it is minimal or no bleeding involved. The recovery time is also shortened to a couple of weeks.
What can I expect after surgery?
- Your baby may be able to breastfeed right after surgery. Breastfeeding may also help stop any mild bleeding from the incision.
- General anesthesia may make your child’s chest or neck red for a few hours. This is normal.
- If your child received stitches, they will dissolve on their own. It may be painful or difficult for your child to swallow after surgery. Talk to your child’s healthcare provider about ways to make sure your child is getting enough liquid. Liquids help prevent dehydration.
- Your child may have some swelling and mild pain after surgery. This is normal and should go away within a few days. Your child may also have a mild fever after surgery. Ask about safe ways to take a temperature before the stitches have dissolved.
- Your child’s healthcare provider may recommend speech therapy for your older child. Therapy can help your child improve his ability to say certain sounds. The therapist may teach your child tongue exercises to do for 1 month. The exercises can help your child eat and speak normally and prevent tongue scars.
Your child may be fussy for a few days following the procedure. Some show immediate improvement with breastfeeding following the procedure, while other babies may need some time to learn how to use their newly released tongue. Dr. Shir strongly recommends making an appointment with a lactation consultant within days after the release to help get your changing breastfeeding relationship off to a good start.
Since the bottom of the tongue and floor of the mouth frequently touch, the site will occasionally reattach. To prevent reattachment, Dr. Shir recommends a specific aftercare regimen. Any reattachment requiring laser revision at a later date is performed at no additional charge.
Benefits of Laser Frenectomy
- Shorter duration of treatment, i.e. 1-2 minutes
- There is no or minimal bleeding
- The healing and recovery is quite fast as there is no need for invasive techniques
- The pain and discomfort are minimal
- Doctors recommend and encourage parents to feed their child immediately.
- It is a minimally invasive procedure
- There is no need for sutures
- Since there is no use of invasive techniques, there is no need for anesthesia or sedation dentistry
- There is nil to minimal chances of reattachment
Paying For Care
We keep the payment as simple as possible. This means one all-inclusive fee that includes any and all frenectomy-related care. This fee is due at the appointment. Payment plans are available as needed. We provide a statement with medical coding for you to submit directly to your medical insurance company. Many insurance companies cover all or part of the cost of the procedure. The insurance company reimburses you directly based on your coverage.
We want to make this process as easy as possible to access care.
The laser frenectomies for children are completed at the dental office in a single visit by Dr. Solmaz Shir, DDS. The doctors follow the required safety precautions making sure that the baby is safe and receives the best treatment. Not every child may need both lip and tongue revised and oftentimes only the upper tongue is tied and not the upper lip. The dentists will evaluate the condition before proceeding further. Read more about Laser Frenectomies.