What is Frenectomy for Lip-tie and its benefits
Frenectomy for lip-tie is a procedure of releasing the frenum under the tongue or upper lip to allow for better range of motion. Children may be born with a condition called a lip-tie causing difficulty with breastfeeding, and in some instances, other problems like teeth spacing, speech, airway difficulties, and digestive issues. These issues can be corrected by a simple procedure using a soft tissue laser.
What happens if Lip-tie is not corrected with Frenectomy
- Creates spacing between the maxillary central incisors, a large gap can form called a diastema
- Difficulties with brushing and flossing
- Difficulties in self-cleansing.
- Repeated trauma to the maxillary frenum because it is so low and prominent
- Pain with breastfeeding
- Inability to adequately flange the maxillary lip upward during breastfeeding, affecting an infant’s latch and ability to create a good seal
How is Frenectomy procedure for Lip-tie performed?
Frenectomy for lip-tie can be performed by four major techniques
- Simple excision using steel scalpels with a dissection of muscle from periosteum and reapproximation of the wound.
- The Z-plasty technique, which is an extension of the simple excision.
- A localized vestibuloplasty, with secondary epithelialization of the wound.
- A soft tissue laser-assisted technique.
Laser Assisted Frenectomy for Lip-tie
The soft-tissue procedure is performed with a dual approach (Er:YAG and Super-Pulsed CO2), where the potential for thermal damage is greatly reduced and provides a wider window of available working time. This is due to the special properties and photobiology of the Er: YAG laser and tissue interaction.
The addition of the Er:YAG laser, the dental surgeon is presented with a less stressful and more beneficial treatment protocol for soft-tissue excisional procedures.
Advantages of Laser-Assisted Frenectomy
- A soft tissue laser vaporizes the tissue using light energy and does NOT cut
- There is little or no pain with the use of a laser. Some babies and children sleep through the procedure.
- There is nearly no bleeding from the laser procedure.
- Lasers sterilize at touch, therefore, have less risk of infection.
- The healing is quick – a laser stimulates bio-regeneration and healing.
- The result is a beautiful tissue, less chance of relapse.
Considering the complications of conventional techniques such as the need for incisions with steel scalpels, mechanical excision of the muscle attachment from the periosteum, placement of sutures, significant postoperative discomfort and delayed healing, minimally invasive laser-assisted soft-tissue excision and ablation is an attractive technique to accomplish a simple frenectomy procedure.