Frenectomy (Lip and Tongue Tie Correction)

A frenectomy is a procedure where the lingual frenulum is released to allow a freer range of motion for the tongue. This is like cutting a “tongue-tie” because the tongue is otherwise restricted by the “tie”. This can be a problem for infants when breastfeeding and is otherwise a nuisance for some children and adults. Some adults experience future orthodontic health problems due to this tongue-tie if it isn’t addressed at a young age. Here at Accent Dental of Wentzville MO, the surgery is simple and only takes about 15 minutes and has about a two week recovery period.
 
There are certain signs specifically for the mother to look for if you suspect your baby may require a frenectomy. These signs include:
 
Pain when breastfeeding 
Cracked or bruised nipples
Pain with latch
Incomplete drainage
Plugged ducts 
Mastitis
Thrush
 
If you notice your baby showing any of these signs, it is possible they may also require a frenectomy:
 
Prolonged feedings
Gumming or chewing of the nipples
Clicking noises when feeding
Poor weight gain
Reflux
Gas
Poor sleep patterns
Cannot hold a pacifier
 
A tongue-tie is not always detected right away, and it can cause issues in the future. Potentially, if not initially taken care of, an elongated frenulum near the gum line can cause future orthodontic issues. If your child suffers from any of the following signs in young to mid-adolescence, a frenectomy may be a possible treatment for them:
 
Speech problems
Persistent gaps between teeth, even after braces
Esthetic concerns with upper lip drape
 
Procedure:
 
All Frenectomies are treated in our surgical suite while parents are in the waiting room. This allows us to concentrate on the surgery and have our attention directed solely to performing the procedure. We use laser-light technology for the quickest and most precise procedure with the lowest risk of infection, due to the sterilization from the laser. There is minimal bleeding and little to no post-op pain, with full recovery time being about two weeks. Mothers are allowed to nurse immediately after the procedure. 
 
To ease the pain, the dentist may use infant numbing gel during the procedure. In older children, a local anesthetic will be administered by injection. We at Accent Dental want our patients to be as comfortable as possible, which is why we use only the safest and highest quality of treatment. The numbness can last anywhere from 5 minutes to an hour depending on the type of anesthetic used. Sedation is available for the older apprehensive child if deemed necessary.
 Infant follow-up appointments will be necessary at one week, two weeks and one month just to make sure the healing process is going smoothly.
 
Most insurances will cover these procedures. When making an appointment, a letter from your pediatrician, lactation consultant, or speech therapist is required.
 
 

 

 

Lip tie before corrective procedure

 

 

Tongue tie before corrective procedure