James River Family Dentistry is pleased to offer frenectomy procedures for children and adults who have thickened, shortened or tighter bands of tissue connecting the upper lip to the gums or connecting the tip of the tongue to the base of the mouth (tongue-tie). A tongue-tie is a condition present at birth that can restrict the range of motion of the tongue. Occasionally, this condition can affect the way a child nurses, eats, speaks and swallows.
Symptoms of a tongue-tie include:
- Difficulty lifting tongue to the roof of the mouth
- Difficulty moving tongue side to side in mouth
- Tongue that appears notched or heart shaped
- Straining to move tongue past lower teeth
Sometimes children can adapt or compensate for a tongue-tie, but a frenectomy procedure will allow your baby or child to have full use and proper function of the tongue.
What is a Frenectomy?
A tongue-tie can be diagnosed by your child’s pediatrician, a lactation consultant or dentist. A lingual frenectomy is a quick procedure that reduces or removes the frenum connecting the tongue to the floor of the mouth. The area of the tongue-tie will be numbed and Dr. Guthrie will use the Deka CO2 laser to perform the procedure. The CO2 laser, designed to treat soft tissue, is a noninvasive tool that provides treatment without damaging the surrounding, healthy tissue. The laser offers minimal discomfort, minimal to no bleeding and no need for sutures in most cases. The recovery is also accelerated with minimal discomfort.
Benefits of Frenectomy
A frenectomy procedure is offered to patients suffering with the side effects of an overgrown or thickened band of connective tissue that attaches the tip of the tongue to the base of the mouth. When diagnosed early, the benefits are numerous and include:
- Improved latch and better eating and nutrition for baby
- Proper speech development and articulation
- Tongue resting in its proper position in the roof of the mouth to obtain optimal benefits of orthodontic treatment
- Reduces the risk of sleep-disordered breathing and sleep apnea
If you, your baby or your child is having issues with tongue-tie and would like to learn more about lingual frenectomy, call James River Family Dentistry today at (804) 323-4200.
“I recently had tongue tie surgery with Dr. Guthrie, and it was great! The whole staff is very hospitable, the office is clean and welcoming, and Dr. Guthrie is very knowledgeable and skilled. Since price was a concern, I found the rares to be incredibly reasonable, and my surgery follow up was included in the initial fees. I had an excellent experience, and I feel confident recommending James River Family Dentistry!”