A frenectomy is a simple and minimally-invasive surgery that's used to treat tongue ties or lip ties. Tongue ties occur when the band of tissue (frenulum) that connects the tongue to the base of the mouth is excessively thick. Lip ties are similar, but affect the band of tissue that connects the lips to the gums.
Tongue tie and lip ties can cause problems with feeding in babies, and lead to speech impediments, orthodontic issues, and other problems in the future. In a frenectomy, the band of tissue is snipped by Dr. Alexandra Otto to release the tongue tie or lip tie. This restores your child's oral range of motion.
If your child needs a frenectomy, please visit one of our three office locations in Buda, TX, South Austin, TX, and Kyle!
The frenectomy process is pretty simple to understand. First, Dr. Alex will clean your child's mouth. We also offer numbing and sedation dentistry , but this is not always necessary since we use laser tools for pain-free pediatric dentistry.
Once your child's mouth has been prepared, Dr. Alex will use a tiny, hand-held soft-tissue laser to snip your child's tongue tie or lip ties. She will remove a small amount of tissue to release the tongue or lip tie from the upper lip, and improve their oral range of motion. Typically, stitches are not even required, since dental lasers are minimally invasive.
The entire process takes only a few minutes. Once your child's appointment is over, Dr. Otto will discuss care and recovery steps with you. You'll need to take some special steps like doing oral exercises to make sure your child's mouth heals properly.
Have you been told that your child needs a frenectomy? Not sure if that's really the case? We offer free second opinions at Kids Tooth Team . Dr. Alex has years of experience with frenectomies.
She can examine your child's mouth and determine whether or not a frenectomy is truly necessary. As a conservative pediatric dentist, Dr. Alex will only recommend surgery if she truly believes that it is necessary to protect your child's oral health.
We are dedicated to child-focused, comfortable, and safe dental care. That's why we use an NVPro3 soft tissue laser for frenectomies. While most laser dental tools are really big, this dental laser is only about the size of a pen. It's quiet, hand-held, and non-intimidating for kids, which makes it easier for them to get the care they need.
Laser dentistry has lots of other benefits, too. Dental lasers don't make noise or vibrate. They're more precise and less invasive. They also seal blood vessels and nerve endings on contact. This means there is little-to-no pain or bleeding during treatment, and numbing needles are often unnecessary. Your child will also heal and recover from soft tissue laser dentistry more quickly compared to surgery done with traditional dental tools.
In addition to frenectomies, Dr. Alex uses our NVPro3 soft tissue laser for a variety of other treatments at our office. These include:
Since we use a soft tissue laser for frenectomies, there should be minimal (if any) bleeding, and your child will not need stitches. They may feel a little bit of discomfort, which can be treated with children’s Tylenol or a similar medication. However, this will fade quickly.
As they recover, you will need to do some special exercises with your child’s tongue or lips. These exercises are meant to help stretch their frenulum and ensure that it recovers properly. You will need to do them with your child several times a day. Dr. Alex will give you a full set of instructions on how to perform these exercises as your child heals from their frenectomy.
Depending on the situation, your child’s frenectomy may be covered by their medical insurance, dental insurance, or both. We highly recommend consulting with your medical and/or dental insurance providers to understand the benefits to which you’re entitled.
We’re dedicated to making your child’s treatment affordable, too. If needed, we offer payment plans through CareCredit, which means you can split their procedure into monthly payments.
Absolutely not. Since we use a soft tissue laser for frenectomy, your child will feel no pain or discomfort during their treatment. Often, numbing is not even necessary for a laser frenectomy. This makes treatment easier, especially if your child is scared of needles.
However, we do offer numbing and sedation dentistry for all patients. If your child is nervous about their procedure or you want to make sure that they feel no pain at all, you can discuss your options with Kids Tooth Team. We’re always dedicated to the comfort of your little ones.
Soft tissue lasers are built with a small fiber-optic tip. A very powerful laser sends light through this tip, which makes it extremely hot. When the tip of the laser contacts soft tissue, it immediately vaporizes it on contact, cutting through the tissue.
Because the tip of a soft tissue dental laser is so hot, it helps seal blood vessels and nerve endings, which means that there is less bleeding and less discomfort, and stitches are not usually needed after treatment.