The condition known as being tongue-tied is caused when the frenulum (the band of tissue that connects the bottom of the tongue to the floor of the mouth) is too short and tight. As a result, the movement of the tongue is restricted, leading to possible problems breastfeeding newborns – and potential speech problems down the road. A frenectomy is a surgical procedure that releases the frenulum from its attachment, allowing for proper tooth alignment and a full range of motion of the tongue.
Park Smiles NYC Pediatrics is pleased to offer sedation-free frenectomies via laser surgery in our office for patients as young as a few days old. Dr. Cohen has extensive experience in performing safe and effective frenectomies that reverse the side effects of being tongue-tied and restore healthy oral function.
Benefits of Frenectomy
- Once the release of the tongue tie is complete, your baby will be more able to latch on to the breast and feed more efficiently. This will improve the baby’s health and wellbeing – in addition to the mother’s.
- A frenectomy will prevent issues later on — including palatal development, tooth spacing and dental caries (tooth decay).
- It can also prevent issues with speech, swallowing and gum disease.
- If detected before a child’s permanent teeth erupt, a frenectomy can prevent gaps that might require orthodontics if left untreated.
Benefits of a Laser Frenectomy
- Laser frenectomies are extraordinarily precise and quick. There is often no need for general anesthesia.
- Your baby will only have minimal discomfort or swelling. In addition, laser treatment sterilizes the treatment area, reducing the chance of infection.
- Minimal bleeding. In most cases, no sutures are required.
- Faster recovery.
First, your baby will be swaddled and an anesthetic, such as lidocaine, will be applied to the area. Dr. Cohen will then use a precise laser to release the tightened or tethered tissue. The whole procedure takes less than 10 minutes and in most instances the baby is able to latch immediately when he or she is returned to you.
Your baby may experience some slight swelling for a day or so following the treatment. Dr. Cohen will provide advice on how to care for the baby’s mouth and if any post-surgical care is needed to ensure that the frenulum does not reattach again.
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