(Infant Tongue & Lip-Tie)
Adelberg Montalvan provides frenectomies for infants, children, and adults on Long Island. Contact us today to learn more and schedule your appointment.
About Our Frenectomy Procedures
We use the most advanced CO2 lasers to correct tongue and lip ties (Tethered Oral Tissue, also known as TOTS) in a quick, easy procedure that can be used in patients of all ages, from infants to adults. Our doctors have been using lasers to remove frenums for many years and continue to receive advanced training.
A lip or tongue tie is an abnormal attachment of the upper lip or tongue that reduces mobility and function. While the frenum (the tissue under the tongue or upper lip) is meant to be present, it may be too tight, thick, or attached.
Many people can get around this tight tissue and speak and eat normally but others need help. As an infant gets older this tissue may affect tooth position and sleeping.
Babies may have trouble latching, gaining weight, and make clicking or popping noises while feeding, have milk leaking out, or be very gassy.
Tongue and lip ties may cause longer feedings, pain for the mother due to incomplete draining of the breast, irritation, and pain on the nipples, and create frustration with feedings. Too often a nursing mother gives up and says that breastfeeding is just not for her when a simple procedure can resolve many of the problems.
Contact us to learn more and schedule an appointment.
Frequently Asked Questions
What is a frenectomy?
A frenectomy is a simple surgical procedure performed to release the connection of the “frenum,” a connective muscle between two tissues.
A lingual frenectomy may also be referred to as the release of tongue-ties (ankyloglossia). This procedure is performed on the connective tissue under the tongue. The procedure is often performed on neonatal patients to assist with nursing or on toddlers or older patients who need the surgery to help correct speech issues caused by limited movement due to the frenum.
A labial frenectomy is performed on the tissue that connects the lip to the gums. This may be performed on children or adults to aid with orthodontic treatment or even help with the proper fitting for a denture or appliance.
What is an infant frenectomy?
A frenum is the piece of tissue that connects the lip or tongue to the jaw. A frenectomy is a procedure that cuts this piece of tissue with a scalpel, scissors, or laser.
Why do you need a frenectomy?
Some people need a frenectomy when the piece of skin connecting the lip or tongue to the jaw is too short, too tight, or attached in a poor place. Poor placement may cause problems with dental health, feeding, speech, or even sleep.
Why does my baby need a frenectomy?
A frenectomy may be needed when the abnormal attachment of the lip or tongue prevents proper latch while breast or bottle feeding.
Why does my child need a frenectomy?
Many older children need a frenectomy when the tissue connecting the lip or tongue pulls improperly on the gums. This may result in gingival (gum) recession and difficulty brushing. Some children need a frenectomy in conjunction with orthodontic treatment to allow adult teeth to come together for better esthetics. Other children need a frenectomy to aid in proper speech and swallowing.
Why does the speech therapist suggest a frenectomy?
Sometimes due to a tight frenulum (the piece of tissue under the tongue), children can’t move their tongue to the correct posture to make certain sounds. Often removing this tissue can aid in speech therapy.
When should a frenectomy be done?
A lingual frenectomy should be done when the tissue under the tongue causes problems with feeding, speech, or swallowing.
Does a frenectomy hurt?
Frenectomies can be performed in many ways: scalpel, scissors, diode laser, or CO2 laser. When we perform a frenectomy with the CO2 laser at Adelberg Montalvan, it is virtually painless and very quick. For some older children, we may numb the area first.
Does a child have to go to sleep for a frenectomy?
Because laser frenectomy can be done very quickly, children are not typically put to sleep in our office.
Does a frenectomy hurt a baby?
With the use of a CO2 laser, a frenectomy is almost painless and has very little bleeding.
Can a dentist perform a frenectomy?
Many providers can perform a frenectomy and it is a common procedure for a dentist. Our pediatric dental office has been performing laser frenectomies for over 20 years.
Is a frenectomy really necessary?
While some patients can overcome the physical limitations of tethered oral tissues, a simple procedure may make it much easier to resolve speech and feeding issues. Frenectomies can also be an important part of orthodontic treatment as the dentist moves teeth closer together. An unusual tissue attachment may impact gingival health and oral hygiene too.
How long does a frenectomy take to heal?
Most children heal in a few days and all children can go back to normal activities in a few hours. Some babies may be fussy for a few days. You will also see a wet scab for a week or more. Complete healing may take a few weeks.
How much does frenectomy cost?
Typically the procedure is covered under your insurance, so individual costs can vary. Our laser frenectomies are very affordable and we offer payment plans if needed. Call our office so we can confirm coverage and benefits.
Can you eat after a frenectomy?
Babies are actually encouraged to breastfeed immediately after a frenectomy, which can promote healing and comfort the baby. Older children who are numb may have to wait for about one hour. When you do give your child food again, steer clear of rough foods like chips and pretzels and hot, spicy foods. For older children, ice pops are a good post-procedure treat that also feels great!
What is the point of a frenectomy?
Frenectomies remove tissue that may be in the wrong place, pushing teeth apart or not allowing proper tongue movement for eating and speech.
What kind of dentist does a frenectomy?
While many dentists can perform a frenectomy, we believe that a pediatric specialist with years of extra training working with children is best. Our team is trained and experienced in lasers.
Is laser frenectomy painful?
After a laser frenectomy procedure, patients report less postoperative pain and better function. Since patients generally don’t need anesthesia, there’s also less downtime after the frenectomy with a laser. And, the laser itself encourages healing of the tissues in the mouth.
How long does a laser frenectomy take to heal?
Two to three days following surgery, hard white tissue may be seen in the surgical site. This is a sign that the tissue is healing normally. Complete healing of the extraction site may take several weeks.
What to expect after frenectomy in infants?
Infants typically do very well after this short, easy procedure. It is best to breastfeed immediately after; we can provide a comfortable private room to do so. Sometimes we ask the family to do some stretching exercises after the procedure. We also suggest the use of Tylenol as needed and as appropriate for the child’s weight. Some children are fussy for a few days, but usually, it’s short-lived. For older children, we recommend myofunctional therapy for the best outcomes.
Why does my baby have difficulty achieving a good “latch”?
There may be many reasons for having trouble achieving a good latch. One reason may be due to tethered oral tissues (TOTS). This means that your baby’s lip or tongue may be attached too tightly to the jaw. This can interfere with the proper tongue position required for a good seal for feeding.
What does tongue-tied mean?
Tongue-tied is a common way to refer to ankyloglossia, or when the tongue is abnormally attached with a thicker or tighter band of tissue that does not allow for normal tongue movement.
Why is my baby tongue-tied?
Babies are tongue- tied from the time they are born. There is no known cause, but it is a variation from normal. Some children can do well with a tie and for others it makes feeding difficult.
What is a hidden or posterior tongue tie?
While some ties are obvious and clear to see, some can be difficult to diagnose and less visible. These may still cause feeding issues and should be treated.
Contact us today to learn more about our frenectomy procedures and schedule your appointment.
Reviews From Our Patients
Frenectomies for tongue lip or cheek ties can be performed on infants as young as one week old. Here is a testimonial from a mom who had this procedure performed on her infant in our office.