Infant Laser Frenectomy
Tongue-tie, or ankyloglossia, is a condition in which the frenulum (the thin flap of skin under the tongue that attaches to the bottom of the mouth) is short, limiting tongue motion, especially the ability to lift and extend. The frenulum may be attached near the tip of the tongue and on the back of the lower gum.
Impact of lip-tie and tongue-tie on infants’ breastfeeding and speech
Breastfeeding problems associated with infants’ Tongue- and Lip-Ties manifest themselves through the infants’ failure to thrive, and include, but are not limited to: inability for baby’s lips, mouth and tongue to properly latch on mother’s breast; inability to stimulate milk production through vigorous nursing, resulting in low milk supply; improper tongue mobility may prevent babies from clearing milk from their mouth; painful nursing, colic, reflux, speech difficulties; sleep deprivation for mother and infant due to frequent feedings; etc.
Together with lactation consultants, the dentist has a role in providing timely treatment using the best modern methods and tools, such as soft tissue dental lasers.
A frenectomy is a procedure that consists of releasing the frenum under the tongue or upper lip to allow for better range of motion. Using a dental laser, the dentist would cut the tissue releasing the frenum.
Benefits of laser frenectomies
- Minimized Bleeding
- Less Swelling and Discomfort
- Reduced Risk of Infection
- Shortened Procedure Time
- Faster Recovery
Modern literature on frenectomy indicates that there is no legitimate reason to withhold treatment of tongue-tie in an infant, child, or adult. Research demonstrates the effectiveness and safety of lingual frenectomies.