If you have been told your child has a lip or tongue tie, also called ankyloglossia, you may not know that this is something a dentist specializes in handling. At Rigby Pediatric Dental, Dr. Bingham performs lip and tongue tie releases with laser dentistry. The use of laser dentistry means that your child will have decreased pain, there is no need for scalpels, and a faster recovery time and a reduced risk for infection.
What is a Lip or Tongue Tie?
Ankyloglossia, or lip or tongue ties, occurs when a child has tethered oral tissue or malformed extra-oral tissue. Often this can cause several issues for your infant, such as trouble nursing, and they eventually can have trouble speaking. If your child has difficulty eating or speaking, call our office for a lip or tongue tie evaluation.
How Does Laser Dentistry work?
Many parents ask us how laser dentistry works. A laser is a beam of light directed at a specific spot. With laser dentistry, Dr. Bingham vaporizes areas of soft and hard tissue. The laser cauterizes as it cuts, meaning it seals the site as it cuts instead of needing traditional sutures to close a cut from a scalpel. In the tongue or lip tie release procedure, Dr. Bingham does not need to use a scalpel to cut the malformed tissue. He uses the laser to release the tie.
What Happens Before a Lip or Tongue Tie Release?
Before your child’s procedure, Dr. Bingham likes to have a consultation appointment with the parent and child. During this appointment, Dr. Bingham will examine your child’s lip or tongue tie and determine if laser dentistry is necessary. Then, he will explain the procedure, risks, and recovery time. This appointment is an excellent time for you to ask questions about the process to help inform you and your family. Then, you and Dr. Bingham will schedule an appointment time for the lip or tongue-tie release.
What to Expect During a Lip and Tongue Tie Release
As mentioned above, Dr. Bingham will not use a scalpel or sutures during the procedure. Everything is done with the laser. Laser dentistry is also associated with minor bleeding, which can decrease anxiety for your child. Depending on your child’s age, Dr. Bingham may give them sedation medication to help them relax during the procedure. We use sedation with laughing gas or oral medication. If you are concerned about your child’s comfort during the process, call our office today, and we can discuss our sedation medication options.
What to Expect Following a Lip and Tongue Tie Release
Following the procedure, your child will have minimal wounds because the laser cauterizes or seals the scars as it cuts the tissue. You can expect a faster recovery time and a decreased risk for infection. We recommend that children stay home from daycare or school for the rest of the day. This will give them a chance to relax and recover following the procedure. Lastly, we recommend stretching the lips and tongue following the process to prevent the tissue from reattaching. Following the procedure, Dr. Bingham will give you specific instructions on the best way to help your child stretch during recovery.
A lip or tongue tie can severely affect a child’s life. It can be hard to eat, nurse, and speak appropriately with a lip or tongue tie. At Rigby Pediatric Dental, we offer lip and tongue tie releases with laser dentistry. This is a comfortable way to receive necessary surgery. For more information about lip and tongue tie releases or to schedule an appointment, call our office today.