Frenectomy Procedures by Detail Dental Kids
Have you have noticed that your newborn is having trouble breast or bottle feeding, or your developing child has a speech impediment? Perhaps you’ve found that your child sleeps with their mouth open. These could be signs they have ankyloglossia, or tongue tie. While tongue-tie does not always cause issues, the condition presents at birth and affects as many as 3 million patients per year. Other times, however, cases may require correction through a frenectomy to avoid long-term developmental issues.
A frenectomy is a minor, in-office laser surgical procedure where the doctor removes the soft, fibrous connective tissue under the tongue (lingual frenum) or the upper lip to the gums (labial or maxillary frenum) to correct problems arising from a tongue tie or lip tie condition. The procedure is simple and straight forward, takes about fifteen minutes and involves a laser called a light scalpel and only a local anesthetic.
As mentioned, there are two types of frenectomies – lingual and maxillary. For a lingual frenectomy, tissue that connects the tongue to the floor of the mouth is removed to release a tongue tie allowing unrestricted range of movement for the tongue. This procedure often improves breast or bottle feeding for infants and make for more efficient eating in younger children. Lingual frenectomies can also improve speech development, jaw growth, and lead to improved airway development for better breathing. A maxillary frenectomy procedure releases the labial frenum which attaches the upper lip to the gum in instances where it is too large or too tight. This can prevent an infant from successfully latching during breast or bottle feeding, and if left untreated can lead to future orthodontic problems.
Dr. Sara may recommend a lingual frenectomy in older children if the child tends to push the lower jaw out to eat or speak, or if they are unable to elevate the tongue sufficiently. In some cases, lingual ties can cause pain in the jaw, or the patient may even develop an underbite. Upon successful treatment however, we can expand movement of the tongue allowing for proper jaw development.
Maxillary labial frenectomy in older children and some adults may be recommended for patients who have a gap between the front teeth. The procedure will not only make it easier to brush the gumline and help improve oral hygiene, it helps ensure orthodontic success by keeping teeth from separating after treatment.
Dr. Sara offers state-of-the-art soft tissue laser frenectomies for children to release tongue and lip tie. She recommends procedures be performed early in a child’s development, to minimize developmental problems that may arise if left untreated. Frenectomy procedures are safe, effective and offer fast recovery time with little or no pain. Detail Dental Kids performs tongue tie and lip tie surgeries on children and teens using a specialized state-of-the-art soft tissue laser which removes the oral tissue with minimal discomfort and little to no bleeding. Instead of traditional procedures where the frenum is cut with a conventional medical scalpel, here we remove the tissue using a highly-focused laser scalpel. This method allows for a faster healing process making it especially ideal for young children and young adults.