Frenectomy

At Alexandria Children’s Dentistry, we use Laser Technology to repair tongue-ties.

We all have a frenum. A frenum encompasses the small folds of tissue that connect to mobile organs, like our tongues. Some people have a frenum that is too tight or low. Infants, specifically may suffer from a tongue-tie, or ankyloglossia. This is a condition which may cause problems with breastfeeding. A tight frenum may also cause dental health consequences over time. At Alexandria Children’s Dentistry, we can remove a tight frenum with laser frenectomy. Using a laser to perform frenectomies, ensures a fast, virtually painless, and anesthesia-free procedure.

You may notice that your child needs a frenectomy when they are unable to properly latch during breastfeeding. This can lead to weight loss and colic in the infant, and painful nursing and low milk supply for the mother. You probably don’t even notice your frenum, until they become a problem. Most of our patients are tongue-tie infants who are struggling to eat properly. But we also see older patients with abnormal frenum that make speaking or other activities difficult.

Traditionally, tongue-ties were repaired by surgically removing the tissue with a scalpel. Today, Dr. Angela Austin recommends laser frenectomy for infants, children, and adults alike. At Alexandria Children’s Dentistry, we invest in the best and most cutting-edge dental technologies to help our patients. We use the Solea Laser for our tongue-tie laser frenectomy patients.

Benefits of using a Laser

Laser frenectomy is superior to traditional frenectomy surgery in so many ways. The laser uses concentrated light and water to cut and cauterize the frenulum. Because of this, laser frenectomy:

  • Is virtually pain-free
  • Requires no anesthesia, which is especially important for infant-care
  • Takes only one to two minutes, for the whole procedure
  • Has a much lower risk of infection
  • Produces very little bleeding
  • Requires no sutures
  • Provides for a shorter healing and recovery time

For infants who suffer from tongue-tie, this Solea Laser technology can mean the difference between a colicky infant who isn’t thriving, to one that can start breastfeeding with a natural latch. Infants who receive a laser frenectomy can actually start breastfeeding almost immediately after the procedure. This is even encouraged to help calm the child.

How long does a frenectomy take to heal?

Fortunately, laser frenectomy recovery time is much faster than with a traditional surgery. After the laser frenectomy procedure, patients reported less postoperative pain and better function. Since patients generally don’t need anesthesia, there’s also less downtime after the frenectomy with laser. And, the laser itself encourages healing of the tissues in the mouth.

Talk to your dentist about the specific aftercare instructions they have. To help with the laser frenectomy recovery, you may need to do post-procedure stretches or wound-care. Dr. Angela Austin goes over all of this in step-by-step detail. She’ll also demonstrate how to do this on young infants.

We know visiting the dentist can be intimidating, especially when it’s for your infant. At Alexandria Children’s Dentistry, we work hard to ensure that our patients know what to expect before and after their procedure. If you need help correcting your infant’s tongue-tie, schedule a consultation today. Our caring and compassionate office team is always ready to answer any questions you have.