One of the most common and often overlooked barriers to successful breastfeeding is related to restricted oral-muscle function. When this is the problem a quick, safe procedure called a frenectomy, can restore function and allow mother and baby to get back on track toward the rewarding experience of breastfeeding.
Oral restrictions, tongue and lip ties, are when the lingual (tongue) or labial (lip) frenulum restricts function. Approximately 5% of the population has this condition, so your lactation consultant or doctor may feel that a procedure is warranted to improve symptoms.
Our team at Progressive Dental Buffalo Speedway is committed to ensuring that needs for families are met when it comes to the resolution of all symptoms of tongue and lip ties. This means a thorough assessment for an accurate diagnosis and plan, that babies and parents are properly prepared for the procedure, and that families are supported in all aspects of the recovery.
We work with pediatric doctors, midwives, and lactation specialists to ensure adequate need of the attachment release. After a thorough examination, we will determine if your infant is a candidate for a labial/lingual frenectomy.
PAINLESS LASER FRENECTOMY
Progressive Dental we use a painless Waterlase laser that has allows us to avoid drilling and shots, in most situations, so many procedures can be done with no anesthetic. We utilize the Waterlase laser in for infant/child frenectomies so your child feels virtually no pain.
WHAT TO EXPECT AFTER A FRENECTOMY
In general, our laser frenectomy procedure is very well-tolerated by infants and children. We take every measure to ensure that pain and stress during the procedure are minimized.
General anesthesia is not utilized in the office and is almost never needed to perform the procedure.
For babies under the age of 12 months, a topical numbing cream is applied to the area(s) that will be treated. This medication works very quickly.
For children, 12 months of age or older, numbing cream is applied. In some instances, an injected local anesthetic may be applied for additional anesthesia.
Crying and fussing are common during and after the procedure. In older children, we have the option of giving an oral dose of Versed (midazolam), which is a relaxing medicine similar to Valium. It is very safe or children and begins working in 20-30 minutes. It helps alleviate separation anxiety in addition to providing an amnesia-like effect during the procedure. It lasts for about 90-120 minutes.
You may breastfeed, bottle-feed, or soothe your baby in any manner you’d like following the procedure. You may stay as long as necessary.
CARE AFTER A LASER FRENECTOMY
There are two important concepts to understand about oral wounds:
Any open oral wound likes to contract towards the center of that wound as it is healing (hence the need to keep it dilated open).
If you have two raw surfaces in the mouth in close proximity, they will reattach.
You may use Tylenol, Ibuprofen (if 6 months of age or older), Arnica, Rescue Remedy or other measures to help with pain control.
The main risk of a frenotomy is that the mouth heals so quickly that it may prematurely reattach at either the tongue site or the lip site, causing a new limitation in mobility and the persistence or return of symptoms. In our office, we will show you stretches to perform to do with your infant/child in order for the surgical wound to heal properly.
If you are having trouble breastfeeding because of a potential tongue-tie or lip-tie, don’t wait. Make an appointment today. The results can be life-changing! If you’d like to learn about other options we have, feel free to visit our Pediatric Dentistry hub page.
We are conveniently located in the Greenway Plaza area off of HWY 59 and Buffalo Speedway
We serve clients from Upper Kirby, River Oaks, Midtown, West University, Bellaire, Galleria, Memorial, The Heights and even those down in Sugarland. We brighten smiles all over Greater Houston!
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