A frenectomy is the removal of this connective tissue that is restricting the movement of the tongue or the lip allowing more mobility and flexibility to use their mouth as it was designed to be used. Knight Pediatric Dentistry offers:
Gentle, laser frenectomies
The benefits of a frenectomy can vary from improved latch, better ability to express milk from a bottle or while nursing, less leaking of milk along the cheeks, less swallowing of air that can lead to reflux or stomach distension, greater comfort for mom during nursing, quicker feeds, increased milk consumption leading to better weight gain.
An improved latch allows your baby to better express milk from a bottle or during nursing.
Frenectomies help mothers nurse more comfortably and allows for quicker feeds.
Less leaking milk and swallowed air means more food and better weight gain for baby.
Dr. Knight will go over an in-depth questionnaire with you to determine the root cause of your child's symptoms and perform a clinical evaluation to help diagnose whether or not a tie is present. Once that is determined, Dr. Knight will explain the recommended treatment options (or if treatment is not needed) and often the procedure can be done the same day if the parents desire.
With our Solea laser, the treatment process is simple and takes only a few minutes. Babies can usually nurse or bottle feed immediately after the procedure.
Due to the gentle nature of the Solea laser used for treatment, recovery is very fast. Infants often nurse or bottle feed immediately after and appear very comfortable. Sometimes one dose of Tylenol is needed that evening to help baby be comfortable, but often parents do not even give the dose. Simple exercises are performed for two weeks to help with proper healing. Dr. Knight performs a post-op evaluation two weeks later to confirm that the treatment was successful and healing has occurred.
A tongue or lip tie is a small piece of connective tissue that holds the tongue or lip in place. If this tissue is too large, it can restrict movement of the tongue and lip resulting in an infant having difficulty feeding or pain for mother when nursing. Everyone is born with these pieces of tissue, but not everyone experiences the symptoms of restricted tissues. The symptoms dictate much of the treatment recommendations and that is what can make the diagnosis of a tongue or lip tie difficult.
Symptoms can range from leaking milk from the infant's mouth, swallowing excess air leading to stomach distension/pain, inability to drink sufficient amounts of milk, and reflux. Mother's can also experience significant discomfort that can be relieved by releasing your child's ties.
The ideal age to perform a frenectomy for an infant struggling to feed is between 4-8 weeks of age. This allows the first 2-3 weeks of life to work with a lactation consultant or chiropractor to help teach the infant to feed on their own and determine if there is a structural issue responsible for their difficulty with nursing / bottle feeding. If they determine that there is an issue, they will refer to a pediatric dentist for evaluation and treatment. However, frenectomies can be performed as early as the first few days of life.
Absolutely. Dr. Knight can diagnose tongue and lip ties and perform the treatment without a referral. However, if he thinks that the tie is not the sole cause of the feeding difficulties, he may recommend a consultation with another provider before performing the frenectomy.
Yes! Older children experience difficulties with speech, spaces between their front two teeth, and many other problems that can easily be treated with a release of a tongue tie. Dr. Knight will perform the procedure, when appropriate, for children of any age.