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LASER FRENECTOMY: WHAT TO EXPECT, WHAT TO ASK YOUR DENTIST? Written By: Dr. Ankita Shah, Feb 2020

Laser Frenectomy

Mum's are often confused with "Should I go with a provider who can perform a laser frenectomy or are scissors okay?"

It is an understandable question, but the more relevant and important questions are:

How experienced and trained is my provider?

How does a tongue tie inhibit proper breastfeeding?

What is the proper way to actively manage the post-op care?

I recommend you give it a read in our Blogs and FAQ’s section to further educate yourself!

Dr. Ankita Shah
Dr. Shah is
Laser Certified
by Global Laser Oral Health,
(GLOH), LLC to perform laser
frenectomies.

Dr. Ankita Shah

What is a laser tongue tie lingual frenectomy?

Also known as laser tongue tie release, a laser lingual frenectomy is a simple procedure through which a tight fascial band of tissues connecting the underside of the tongue (to the floor of the mouth) is released. This procedure is performed with a topical local anaesthetic gel and causes no pain.

WHICH FRENECTOMY TOOL IS BETTER/SAFER: LASERS OR SCISSORS?

The provider should be skilled and trained. BOTH instruments have proven to be successful in long-term treatment. My opinion is that a laser yields a more precise and complete result than scissors when treating an infant. Laser treatment limits the amount of bleeding as it cauterizes the tissues within your child’s mouth, minimizing risk of infection.

Why is a laser infant frenectomy performed?

Infants with tongue ties and lip ties can often face difficulty while breastfeeding. Failure to diagnose tongue ties can also affect jaw growth and airway development, speech, swallowing and posture. After a thorough history taking and clinical examination, treatment if necessary is recommended. In severe cases, a frenotomy is advised. Frenectomy can be performed using either a scissor or laser. The laser technique is most commonly used for infants as it is quick, simple, and painless. Also, since the laser cauterizes the tissues, it helps reduce bleeding, pain and recovery time.

HOW DOES THE PROCEDURE WORK?

The pen-sized laser is used to remove the tight tongue/lip tie. The infant is swaddled and the procedure is completed in just a few minutes.

DOES IT HURT?

I apply an effective topical anesthetic gel on the frenulum prior to treatment, allowing for zero to minimal discomfort during the procedure. The anesthetic lasts for approximately 30 minutes.

WHAT HAPPENS AFTER THE PROCEDURE?

Breastfeeding is encouraged immediately following the procedure, however typically there is a healing period that your infant must undergo before the full benefits are realized. I teach each mother proper active wound management and daily stretching exercises in order to facilitate healing. I cannot stress enough the importance of interdisciplinary approach and continued lactation support following the frenectomy procedure. Post-treatment follow up is just as important as pre-treatment care. I send a detailed report of my assessment and/or procedure to the bodyworker and lactation consultant and stay up to date with the baby's progress.

Don’t hesitate to take action in order to improve your baby’s breastfeeding! Schedule a consultation with us and I'd be happy to examine your baby to determine if a laser frenectomy is recommended. I will also review with you in more details about what to expect during and after the procedure.

Who can perform a laser frenectomy?

For best results, infant laser frenectomies must be performed by a certified laser surgeon. We, at the Tongue Tie and Sleep Institute, carry out a comprehensive functional assessment of the tongue before recommending a treatment. Laser tongue-tie surgery is advised only in severe cases.

What are the benefits of laser surgery for tongue tie?

Laser frenectomy has a high success rate and is known to improve the child’s efficiency in breastfeeding significantly.

Since no incision is made, there is no need for stitches after the procedure.

There is no need for general anaesthetic, and the procedure is quite safe.

There is no swelling and minimal pain after the procedure.

Is reattachment common?

A new frenulum is likely to form during the healing process. However, to prevent the frenulum from attaching, post operative supportive care like tongue stretches and exercises are necessary. Since I follow an interdisciplinary approach, I send a comprehensive report to the bodyworker and lactation consultant for effective post-treatment follow-up. This will prevent reattachment.

What is the laser frenectomy's recovery process and time?

Typically, it takes about 6 weeks for the tissues to heal completely. Mothers are advised on proper active wound management and daily stretching exercises for the infants to facilitate faster healing. The ebb and flow of discomfort after the procedure is quite normal. Also, post-treatment follow up with the team is essential to ensure the tongue functions are restored.

How soon after the tongue-tie lingual frenectomy can I nurse my baby?

Immediately after the laser tongue tie surgery, you can nurse (breastfeed) your baby. Breastmilk has lots of healing factors and antibodies that prevent infection and fasten up the healing process. Breastfeeding in the presence of a lactation consultant can also help you determine if the feeding position is correct.

What is the alternative to laser tongue-tie surgery?

Frenectomy procedure instruments include both scissors and lasers. Usually, parents opt for laser tongue tie surgery as it has a faster post-surgical recovery time.

Don’t hesitate to take action in order to improve your baby’s breastfeeding! Schedule a consultation with us and I'd be happy to examine your baby to determine if a laser frenectomy is recommended. I will also review with you in more details about what to expect during and after the procedure.