Laser Assisted Frenectomy for tongue-tie in infants
What is Tongue-tie in infants and its problems
Tongue-tie or ankyloglossia is a condition where the strip of skin connecting the baby’s/adult’s tongue to the floor of their mouth is shorter than usual.
1. Tongue-tie problems in the Infants or babies
Tongue tie in babies leads to Inability to breastfeed successfully, causing a variety of challenges for the infant, the mother, and the family. For the baby, these may include:
- Impact on milk supply
- Termination of breastfeeding
- The baby failing to thrive
- Poor bonding between baby and mother
- Sleep deprivation
- Problems with introducing solid foods
- Restricted tongue movement during feeding
- Inability to open the mouth wide enough to latch on to the breast properly
2. Problems of tongue-tie in Children
Children with a tongue tie begin to face difficulties which may only be discovered as they grow older. These can include:
- Inability to chew age-appropriate solid foods
- Malnutrition due to inability in sucking.
- Gagging, choking or vomiting foods
- Persisting food fads
- Difficulties related to dental hygiene
- Persistence of dribbling
- Delayed development of speech
- Deterioration in speech
- Behaviour problems
- Dental problems starting to appear
- Loss of self-confidence because they feel and sound ‘different’
Treatment options for tongue-tie release or correction
There are three treatment options available to correct a tongue tie:
- Snipping the frenum in neonates, referred to as frenotomy
- Surgical revision of the frenum: Referred to as ‘frenectomy’, ‘frenulectomy’, or ‘frenuloplasty’, performed under a general anaesthesia at or after 6 months of age.
- Revision of the frenum by laser without a general anesthetic, called as Laser Assisted Frenectomy
Laser-Assisted Frenectomy for tongue-tie release
Using a laser to release the frenulum under the tongue in infants is a highly successful and relatively straightforward procedure.
A topical anesthetic gel is applied to number the area before the procedure, the frenulum is exposed and the tongue is elevated, stretching the frenulum as much as possible to facilitate access, later the dentist or dental surgeon skillfully relieves the attachment using a laser light that vaporizes the tissue without causing much discomfort or bleeding
Benefits of using Laser frenectomy procedure
- A state-of-the-art soft tissue laser in this highly precise procedure which essentially vaporizes the affected tissue rather than cutting the frenulum with a steel scalpel.
- Suitable for neonates, older children, and adults.
- No general anesthetic is used, but an analgesic gel might be applied.
- As the soft tissue is ablated rapidly, the entire procedure takes only 2 to 3 minutes to perform, without compromising safety or accuracy.
- The laser reduces bleeding significantly and almost never necessitates placement of sutures.
- Less discomfort, no risk of infection and the healing period is quicker when compared to conventional method.
- The laser sterilizes the region (which results in lower risk of infections) and stimulates healing through bio-regeneration.
- Extremely safe with a high success rate
- The baby can be nursed as soon after the surgery,
Optimal management of tongue tie including timely and appropriate laser surgical intervention followed by speech therapy when indicated delivers pleasing results, often in a shorter time than expected.
It is highly recommended to have this procedure performed by a dentist specialized in laser dentistry and who is familiar with tongue-tie revision.
What is the cost for laser tougue tie treatment