Laser Dentistry in Hurst,TX
Frenectomy for Lip and Tongue Ties
Frenectomy Laser Dentistry in Hurst, TX
What Are Lip-Tie and Tongue-Tie?
Inside our mouths we have several frenula. You might not have known what they were called, but you have undoubtedly seen them.
Frenula are the thin folds of soft tissue that help stabilize our lips and tongues. Two of the frenula in your child’s mouth are of particular interest here: the lingual frenulum and the maxillary labial frenulum. The maxillary labial frenulum is the fold of tissue that attaches the center of your upper lip to the gum tissue between your top two front teeth. The lingual frenulum is the fold of tissue that connects the base of your tongue to the floor of your mouth.
In most children, the maxillary labial frenulum and lingual frenulum function properly and do not cause any issues. Sometimes, however, children are born with an usually thick or tight maxillary labial frenulum that restricts the mobility of the upper lip (lip-tie) or with a lingual frenulum that is too short and thick, limiting the tongue’s ability to move (tongue-tie).
*Please note that, for all frenectomy-related appointments, we require a referral from your child's pediatrician, lactation consultant, speech therapist or orthodontist.*
What Is a Frenectomy?
A frenectomy is a procedure in which the maxillary labial frenulum or the lingual frenulum is removed. At Hurst Pediatric Dentistry, we use a soft tissue laser to release the frenulum. The entire pediatric laser procedure takes only a few minutes.
When Are Frenectomies Performed?
At Hurst Pediatric Dentistry, we perform frenectomies only when a lip-tie or tongue-tie is negatively affecting a patient’s life. Accordingly, we request that patients receive a referral from a pediatrician, lactation consultant, speech therapist or orthodontist before making an appointment for a frenectomy consultation.
What types of problems can lip-ties and tongue-ties create? Some children with lip-tie or tongue-tie do not experience any significant problems. Other children may experience any of the following:
- breastfeeding difficulties (including reflux, inadequate milk transfer and poor weight gain) due to ineffective latch,
- speech issues, and/or
- gum recession.
A frenectomy can be used to “release” the lip-tie or tongue-tie to reduce or eliminate these problems.
In certain cases, a lip-tie can also create a gap between a child’s two front teeth. When this happens, an orthodontist may ask for a pediatric dentist to remove the maxillary labial frenulum to prevent the two teeth from drifting apart after orthodontic correction.
Dr. Lin and his team will work closely with your child’s lactation consultant, pediatrician, speech therapist and/or orthodontist to determine if your child will benefit from a frenectomy to release the lip-tie or tongue-tie.
Advantages of Lip-Tie and Tongue-Tie Laser Surgery for Kids
Traditionally, lip-ties and tongue-ties were released using scalpels or scissors. At Hurst Pediatric Dentistry, we offer cutting-edge soft tissue laser technology for frenulum procedures.
Laser surgery offers many advantages over scalpels and scissors. Laser technology
- helps patients bleed less;
- makes the frenectomy procedure and the healing process less painful and more comfortable for your child; and
- reduces the risk of postoperative complications, such as swelling and infection.
Tongue- and Lip-Tie Laser Surgery in DFW
Finding the right place to get lip-tie or tongue-tie laser surgery for your child is critical to feeling comfortable and positive about the procedure. You can feel confident that our team will do everything we can to provide a positive, uplifting experience for you, your child and your family.
Hurst Pediatric Dentistry is located in Hurst, Texas, and provides pediatric dental care to patients across Hurst, Euless, Bedford, North Richland Hills, Colleyville, Keller, Southlake, Fort Worth and the surrounding area. Call the office at (817) 510-6400 to book an appointment today.
Please note that, for all frenectomy-related appointments, we require a referral from your child's pediatrician, lactation consultant, speech therapist or orthodontist.
It depends. Some children have tongue-tie but do not experience any significant problems. Other children may experience difficulty breastfeeding, speech problems or gum recession. A frenectomy may help reduce or eliminate these problems.
Although the risks associated with laser frenectomies are low, it is always best to avoid unnecessary surgeries. As a result, we recommend treating tongue-tie only if the condition is actually creating an issue for your child. If, instead, the frenulum merely looks like it might create issues in the future, we recommend taking a wait-and-see approach.
We also generally recommend that parents consult with their child’s pediatrician, lactation consultant, and/or speech therapist, as applicable, prior to the frenectomy procedure to see if the breastfeeding or speech issues can be resolved using noninvasive techniques.
In certain cases where the maxillary labial frenulum is too wide or too long, it can create a gap between the two front teeth. If this happens to your child, an orthodontist may recommend lip-tie release to prevent the two front teeth from drifting apart after the gap is closed through orthodontic treatment.
After a frenectomy, your child may experience some swelling, but it typically subsides after 24-48 hours. Minor bleeding and soreness are also common for several days following the procedure.
White “healing tissue” begins to form around the wound site 1-2 days after a laser frenectomy and typically disappears after 1-2 weeks.
It is extremely important that your child perform daily stretching exercises after the procedure to prevent the frenulum from reattaching. Your child’s pediatric dentist will discuss appropriate stretching techniques and timing with you at the frenectomy appointment.
No one knows for certain how a frenectomy feels to a young infant, but it is widely believed that the procedure causes very little, if any, pain for infants. Laser frenectomy procedures (as opposed to traditional frenectomies performed with scalpels or scissors) take only a few minutes and help make the healing process faster and more comfortable for babies.
This article is intended to provide general information about oral health topics. It should not be used to diagnose or treat any disease or as a substitute for the advice of a healthcare professional who is fully aware of and familiar with the specifics of your case. Always seek the advice of your dentist or other qualified healthcare provider with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition or treatment.