Are you considering a frenectomy for your infant? Frenectomy is a simple dental procedure that can greatly benefit infants in both the short and long term.
Frenectomy is used for conditions known as lip-tie or tongue-tie. It is typically used for infants, but it can be performed on children and adults as well. Frenectomy in babies helps improve feeding and oral functions and prevent future problems. Newtown Dentistry offers the most advanced form of frenectomy for an infant. It uses a laser to provide a quick, minimally invasive solution with a shorter recovery time.
What is a Frenectomy?
A frenectomy is a minor surgical procedure that removes or modifies the tissue of the tongue or lip. This procedure can be performed on infants in their first year of life. It is a surgical treatment for conditions known as tongue-tie and lip-tie.
The most advanced form of frenectomy uses a laser to provide a quick, minimally invasive solution with a shorter recovery time. During the procedure, the laser is used to remove or modify the frenulum, which is the band of tissue that connects the tongue or lip to the mouth.
What Do Tongue-Tie and Lip-Tie Mean?
Tongue-tie and lip-tie are conditions in which the labial or lingual frenulum, the bands of tissue that connect the tongue or lip to the mouth, are too tight or short.
A tight frenulum can cause difficulty with feeding, speaking, and other oral functions. Tongue-tie can also lead to speech difficulties later in life if not treated.
Signs that your child may need a frenectomy include:
Difficulty latching onto the breast or bottle during feeding
Gagging or choking while eating
A tongue that appears heart-shaped when sticking out of the mouth
How Infant Frenectomies Help Nursing Babies and Moms
Infant frenectomies can be a great help for nursing babies and their moms. The procedure helps to improve the baby’s ability to latch onto the breast or bottle, which can make feeding easier and more successful.
It also lessens the amount of time spent feeding, as well as the amount of air swallowed during feedings, which can reduce colic and gas in infants. Other Benefits of Infant Frenectomy can also provide other benefits. For example, it can help reduce the risk of dental problems in the future.
Untreated tongue-tie can contribute to overall poor dental health, tongue thrust, temporomandibular joint disorder, sleep apnea, and speech difficulties. A frenectomy can also improve facial development and help reduce the risk of speech difficulties later in life.
What To Expect With an Infant Frenectomy
When considering an infant frenectomy, it is important to understand what to expect. Before the procedure, your dentist will discuss the risks and benefits with you.
About the Frenectomy Procedure
During the procedure, your child will be given a local anesthetic to numb the area before the laser is used. The procedure typically takes less than 10 minutes, and recovery time is usually short.
Benefits of Infant Frenectomy with a Laser
The laser used for frenectomy is precise and minimally invasive, meaning that it can target only the affected area without damaging surrounding tissue.
This reduces the risk of complications and speeds up recovery time. Additionally, the laser cauterizes as it cuts, meaning that there is less bleeding and swelling after the procedure.
What Happens After a Laser Frenectomy?
After a laser frenectomy is performed, some patients may experience swelling and discomfort, but these symptoms should subside within a few days. The area may also be tender to the touch for a few days following the procedure.
For frenectomy in a newborn, recovery is particularly quick. Most babies can begin feeding again immediately after the procedure. Adults and children typically need more recovery time, although less when undergoing a laser procedure.
It is important to follow your dentist’s instructions for aftercare. Your dentist may recommend follow-up visits to ensure that the area is healing properly.
Do Adults Ever Need a Frenectomy?
Yes, adults can also benefit from the procedure. Some people with tongue-tie or lip-tie make it to adulthood without having any treatment for the condition.
You might benefit from frenectomy if you have difficulty with speech, eating and drinking, or breathing due to restrictions in the mouth.
An adult frenectomy is often used to treat speech impediments or improve the appearance of the mouth. It can also be used to treat gum recession, which can occur when the frenulum pulls too tightly on the gums and causes them to recede. Recovery steps for adults may include taking over-the-counter pain medication and avoiding certain foods or activities that could irritate the area.
Newtown Dentistry offers laser surgery for several procedures, including frenectomy for infants, children, and adults. Our dentists are trained to use this specialized equipment to provide patients with treatments that are less painful and invasive and that require less recovery time. Our frenectomy before and after pictures can show you just what this minor surgery can do for a baby or adult.
If you have any concerns about your child’s oral development or symptoms, call us at (215) 608-6401. Or, schedule your appointment online.