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Frenectomy – Tongue Tie

Posted on Friday, July 13th, 2012

FRENECTOMY

Frenectomy It’s a funny sounding word for a serious problem:  tongue tie.  Although my specialty is adult periodontics, because I am one of the few Atlanta dentists who operate using laser therapy, I have been seeing more and more young patients. And by young, I mean little 2 and 3 year old children who are just learning to talk. Parents come to my office when they are concerned about their child’s delay in speaking. They have been told by their pediatrician that their child may have tongue tie or be tongue tied (ankyloglossia), a condition that can be fixed.

These parents have often seen an ENT or a speech therapist.  The recommendation is to consider having the child’s tongue released from the floor of his mouth, by getting the tongue clipped. This operation is called a lingual frenectomy procedure. The frenulum of the tongue (or lingual frenulum) is a small fold of mucous membrane extending from the floor of the mouth to the mid-line of the underside of the tongue.

LASER FRENECTOMY BENEFITS

This frenectomy procedure, or tongue tie clipping, can be done in a hospital under anesthesia, or performed in my office using minimal numbing and a laser. The laser procedure only takes a few minutes and is certainly safer than a hospital visit. There is virtually no chance of infection, frenectomy laser healing time is much shorter than a surgeon performed operation, there is considerably less physical discomfort, and greatly reduced anxiety for child and parents. Laser frenectomy surgery is safe and quick, with no known complications. The frenulum clipping is done by laser light energy, not scalpels. There is no need for sedation or an operating room, no allergic or drug reactions, the laser frenectomy procedure takes minutes in my office, and it significantly reduces the risk of any bleeding. Most importantly, frenectomy laser surgery is more precise!

I sympathize with parents who face this diagnosis for their young child. My son had the same issue, and I also questioned how to proceed.  It was very difficult to face tongue tie in a 2 year old. I routinely checked to see if he was progressing.  He ended up having speech therapy in first grade. He is in his teen years now and just fine.

WHEN TO DO A CHILD FRENECTOMY

So, when do you seriously consider this laser frenectomy procedure?  If your child is constantly getting the frenulum stuck between lower front teeth, if the membrane is injured repeatedly, if there are problems eating, or social problems that affect your child’s self-esteem I am happy to help.  Of course, this procedure could be very important for an older child whose lower adult teeth are in, and who still suffers from speech problems or problems with eating and the social problems that may result.  That child will also greatly benefit from a laser frenectomy.

If you suspect your child has Ankyloglossia, please call my office today to schedule a consultation404-255-9511.
Email me at atlperio@gmail.com, with your questions or concerns about dental health for children and adults.

© 2014 N. Gail McLaurin, D.M.D.
All rights reserved.

5555 Peachtree Dunwoody Road | Suite G73
Atlanta, GA 30342
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