Frenectomies – Lincoln, NE
Giving Your Baby Better Oral Functionality
When your child is having problems moving their tongue or lips, it may be because of a small piece of tissue that is hindering their full oral functionality. At Wilderness Station Pediatric Dentistry, Dr. Marty can perform a quick and easy procedure that will loosen the tissue and have your child breathing, feed, and talking with ease. Known as a frenectomy, this procedure addresses lip and tongue ties that are commonly found in infants and young children. Not only is it safe and effective, but Dr. Marty will make sure your child is comfortable throughout the duration of the procedure. To let Dr. Marty help your child, call us to schedule an appointment.
Why Choose Wilderness Station Pediatric Dentistry for Frenectomies?
- Soft tissue laser offers quick, painless treatment
- Sedation dentistry methods offered for comfortability
- Highly-skilled and trained pediatric dentist
What is a Frenectomy?
A frenectomy removes the tissue or “frenulum” from underneath the tongue or upper lip. This small piece of soft tissue can make it difficult for an infant to nurse, resulting in gassy, fussy babies, as well as a decrease in milk supply and/or nipple pain for the mother.
Types of Frenectomies and Frenuloplasties
There are two types of frenulum: a tongue tip or a lip tie. Depending on the location of the frenulum in your child’s mouth, the same procedure, a frenectomy, will be performed.
A tongue-tie means the thin tissue (lingual frenulum) is keeping your baby from being able to freely move their tongue. This can be problematic if a mother is trying to nurse and the baby is unable to latch properly. On average, around 5% of newborns have a tongue tie so severe they need a frenectomy; however, research shows that all infants have some form of this membrane under their tongue.
Unlike a tongue tie, a lip tie is located in the upper lip where a thin membrane known as the labial frenulum is attached to the gums. Babies with a lip tie can also experience difficulty nursing because they are unable to properly seal or latch to the breast. Should your child be experiencing this, it could be the reason they are gassy and fussy.
Why a Frenectomy is Needed
Since babies cannot talk, you may not realize there is a problem until other signs begin to show. However, most mothers can tell if their baby is unable to feed properly, which is one of the largest indicators that a frenectomy should be performed. Other ways to tell if this procedure is necessary include:
- Poor/slow weight gain for your baby
- Your baby is unable to drink from a bottle
- The infant is chewing or gumming the nipple
- Unsuccessful latching when trying to nurse
- Nipples that are bleeding or painful and tender to the touch
Benefits of a Laser Frenectomy
Using a soft tissue laser, Dr. Marty can quickly treat the lip or tongue tie, and you won’t have to worry about it being painful for your child. By using a soft tissue laser, it allows the dentist to avoid having to use scissors and sutures, and it significantly decreases pain, discomfort, and recovery time.
These small, handheld devices are designed to offer precision, which is helpful when working on such a small area. It’s important that Dr. Marty have a tool that eliminates the possibility of affecting any nearby tissue. With a quick motion, he can quickly release the tissue and instantly offer a greater range of motion.
By using this type of technology, the benefits include:
- Less pain and discomfort
- Faster recovery time
- Little to no bleeding because the laser cauterizes in the process
- Minimal time spent in the dentist chair (only a few minutes per frenulum)
- No incision or stitches
How Frenectomies are Used in Orthodontics
If your child still has their frenulum by the time they are having braces placed, it may be necessary to have a frenectomy performed. The reason for the procedure is to address problems with the gums or alignment of their teeth. If your child has gaps between their two front teeth, it may be because the soft tissue is attached to the upper gum and lip.
In order to ensure your child achieves a straight and properly aligned bite and smile, a frenectomy can be performed once all permanent teeth have erupted. It is possible to have the procedure done prior to placing braces, especially if it is damaging your child’s gums or they are in pain when trying to move their lips or tongue (if your child has a tongue instead of a lip tie).
We will take X-rays of your child’s mouth to evaluate if a frenectomy is necessary. Many dentists prefer to wait until after a child is finished with braces simply because the process of moving and shifting teeth while allowing the tissue to heal can be uncomfortable for patients.