The Frenectomy procedure takes 5-10 minutes and is an in-office procedure.
We gently swaddle your child and place laser protective eyewear over their eyes for protection. All babies receive a specially made anesthetic gel to minimize discomfort. No sedation or general anesthesia is needed. Depending on your child’s age, some older children may require small amounts of short acting, injectable local anesthetic combined with light conscious sedation for best results. One of our dental assistants will gently stabilize your baby’s head in an appropriately sized neck roll and head pillow throughout the procedure.
Once your baby is securely swaddled and protected, the procedure usually takes 5-10 minutes. A laser tip is used to delicately and precisely remove restrictive tissue under the tongue and lip.
Because the laser seals blood vessels, there is little to no bleeding during the procedure. The laser also seals nerve endings, which creates a numbing effect for several hours after the visit. The risk of infection is also minimized with laser use.
As soon as Dr. Anderson releases the ties, the swaddle and protective eyewear are removed and you are reunited with your child. Breastfeeding is possible immediately after the procedure. You may do so in our lactation room.
The revision site heals similarly to a canker sore so your child may be a bit fussy for a few days following the procedure. Some show improvement with breastfeeding immediately following the procedure. Other babies require a bit more time to adjust to their newly released tongue or lip. Working with a lactation specialist can help you and your baby change your breastfeeding relationship and get you back on the path to pleasure and wellness.
Since the bottom of the tongue and floor of the mouth frequently touch, the revision site will occasionally find a way to reattach. To prevent reattachment, Dr. Anderson recommends a specific aftercare routine. Any reattachment requiring another laser revision will be performed at no additional charge with Dr. Anderson at a later date.
Paying for Care
We keep payment as simple as possible. This means one all-inclusive fee for the Frenectomy and all Frenectomy related care. Many dental insurance carriers cover all or part of the cost of this procedure. As a courtesy to you we can file an electronic claim to your dental carrier. Your co-payment is collected at the time of your visit. If your insurance carrier decides you are responsible for partial payment of the service provided we would bill you for the outstanding balance. We kindly ask that your balance be paid upon receipt or within 30 days of receiving your billing statement.
Unfortunately, payment plans are not available for this service.
If you wish to submit a claim to your medical insurance carrier, we provide a financial statement with medical coding for you to submit directly to your medical insurance. Your medical insurance company can then reimburse you directly based on your coverage and plan type.
As always, it is your responsibility to understand the medical and/or dental plan(s) that you are enrolled in and to make sure your child is included in your insurance plan at the time of service.
At Sprout Kids Dentistry we want to make access to care as easy as possible for you.
Immediately following the procedure your baby is invited to breastfeed. All moms may take the opportunity to try nursing in our lactation room. We have a comfortable rocking chair and a footstool for added comfort.
Here we will take the time to review proper after care and answer any questions you may have.
Dr. Anderson gives the following Home Care Protocol following a Frenectomy procedure:
Lifts and massage: 5-10x a day for 4 weeks
Palate Ridge Massage
Trace an index finger along the upper ridge of the palate. You should feel your baby trying to follow the finger with their tongue.
Place both index fingers under the tongue on either side of the revision site and lift. Lift with enough force that the diamond revision site can be seen. Occasionally the site will bleed a little. Don’t panic. This means that any potential re-attachments have been released.
Place both index fingers along either side of the revision site and lift towards the nose. Again, lift with enough force so that the revision site becomes visible.
Tummy time each day helps babies use the head and neck muscles that aid in oral function. Engage with your baby on his/her back, make eye contact and slowly roll your child onto their belly. If your baby becomes agitated, you can end the session. Tummy time can be done on a parent’s chest or on the floor. Whether it is 5 seconds or 15 minutes, quality tummy time each day is an effective method of strengthening the essential muscles of the head and neck.
Babies love to try and mimic the faces parents, siblings, and caregivers make at them. Any sort of facial play indirectly encourages tongue and lip movements. This includes sticking the tongue out, wide mouth opening, and laughing, etc.
Follow Up Care
Sprout Kids Dentistry will contact each mother the day after the procedure. Additionally, each family will be given Dr. Anderson’s direct email and on-call service phone number. We’re always a phone call away.
Follow up appointments are encouraged 1 week after treatment. However, we recognize that most babies go on to successfully breastfeed without any need for additional visits. If you are confident that your child will not need follow up care after a Frenectomy procedure we ask that you sign a waiver to decline a follow up appointment. Otherwise, we will schedule your child’s follow up appointment prior to you leaving our office. We also offer Skype video chat follow-ups.
A small percentage of babies have Frenectomy sites reattach. If this should happen to your baby, Dr. Anderson will provide an additional revision due to reattachment at no additional cost.
We’re a part of a bigger movement in pediatric dentistry and that means we believe strongly in fostering a TEAM effort. Referral to other infant care providers may be necessary to improve breastfeeding or to assist with other conditions.
If you are not currently working with a Lactation Consultant or Bodywork Professional, we are happy to make a referral.
As always, we thank you for letting us participate in the care of your most precious gift.
To reach an optimal breastfeeding relationship, it may be necessary to work directly with a lactation consultant after a tongue and/or lip tie release. Lactation consultants can assist mothers with improving milk supply, improving latch, or other nursing issues. Every mother and baby working through the challenges of tongue and lip ties can benefit from a lactation consultant’s expertise.
We are happy to recommend a lactation consultant who frequently works with tongue-and-lip tied infants. If proximity or travel issues are of concern, we can also recommend lactation consultants who offer video chat consultations.
Body Work Professionals
Some babies may need gentle bodywork to address oral muscles, or head and neck issues to help them function properly. Your baby may require additional suckling training or other exercises to develop these muscles.
During the birthing process, infants may develop Torticollis (muscle spasm in the neck), low muscle tone, or other bodywork issues that a pediatric chiropractor or bodywork professional can address.
Specialized bodywork professionals can often help lip tied and tongue-tied babies. These specialists include: cranial sacral therapists, physical therapists, chiropractors, and/or speech pathologists.