Laser Lip & Tongue-Tie Treatment – Kittanning, PA
Dr. Voller has been doing frenectomies for over three decades. With the introduction of the laser in dentistry, it has become a very easy, fast, and virtually painless procedure. There are no age limits to having a frenectomy performed. On infants with nursing difficulties, the procedure can be performed just days after noticing the tethered tissues. In teens and adults, laser lip and tongue-tie treatment from our Kittanning, PA dentist can free up the lips and tongue to ensure better breathing, eating, speaking, swallowing, and cleaning of one's own teeth.
Why Choose Voller Dentistry, PC for Laser Lip & Tongue-Tie Treatment?
- Shorter Treatments with Less Bleeding
- Early, Late, and Saturday Appointments
- Dentist with 40+ Years of Experience
What is a Frenectomy?
A frenum is a connective tissue tag between the jaws/teeth and the lips, cheeks and tongue. There are several throughout the mouth. Often these tether the structures they are connected to and restrict movement. In nursing infants these can inhibit the ability for the baby to properly latch and feed. Dr. Voller is one of the leaders in the field of the treatment of TOTS (tethered oral tissue syndrome) and can, in just a few seconds, release these tissues with a gentle laser, allowing nursing to be much easier and more efficient for both baby and mom.
Why You Might Need a Frenectomy
A frenulum can create a condition called a tongue tie or a lip tie, and this basically means the movement of either is significantly restricted. This can lead to problems such as poor speech development, orthodontic issues, dental hygiene issues, gum recession, and general discomfort when using the lips and tongue. For breastfeeding babies, it can create complications for both the child and mother:
- Unable to fully latch while feeding
- The baby needs to chew on or gum the nipple
- Bleeding and painful nipples
- Poor nutrition and slow weight gain for the baby
- Inability to drink from a bottle
- Frequent unsuccessful feedings
Fortunately, the procedure to correct this issue is quite simple, quick, and painless.
Laser Frenectomy Surgery
In the past, a frenectomy was performed using surgical scissors, and typically caused a lot of pain, discomfort, and required quite a bit of recovery. Fortunately, with a soft tissue laser, Dr. Voller can quickly remove the excess tissue almost painlessly. Soft tissue lasers are precise devices, meaning that they are able to focus just on the area that needs to be treated without affecting the surrounding tissue. This means less is damaged, and that recovery will be much easier and faster. A laser frenectomy only takes a few minutes per frenulum and requires no incisions or stitches. Typically, all it takes is local anesthetic for a patient to not feel anything at all.
There is a good chance that you hadn’t even heard of the word “frenectomy” until you came to this page, and that puts you in the same boat as most parents we see! We understand that any treatment that primarily involves infants will result in a lot of questions, and Dr. Voller and our team will always take the time to answer them. Before you reach out to us, you’ll find our responses to some common questions we receive about the subject below.
Will a lip or tongue tie go away on its own?
No, it is not possible for a child to simply “grow out of” a lip or tongue tie. While the condition is often diagnosed in babies, it can affect children, teens, and adults if left untreated. The most common symptoms are speech problems, chewing difficulties, and even orthodontic issues. If you suspect your child has a lip or tongue tie, the best thing you can do is bring them in for a screening with Dr. Voller sooner rather than later.
Are there any risks associated with a frenectomy?
As with any surgical procedure, there are potential risks associated with a frenectomy, although they are relatively rare. These may include bleeding, infection, scarring, nerve damage, and recurrence of the frenulum. Fortunately, these risks are greatly reduced to the point of being practically non-existent when a laser is being used by an experienced professional like Dr. Voller.
What is the recovery period like after a frenectomy?
The recovery period after a frenectomy is usually fairly short, although this can vary depending on the individual and the extent of the procedure. Patients typically experience some mild swelling, discomfort, and bleeding for the first few days following the treatment, but these symptoms can usually be managed with over-the-counter pain relievers and rest. A parent will be given oral stretches to perform over the initial weeks after the procedure to ensure their child heals properly. In most cases, a baby is able to feed right after a laser frenectomy because the procedure is so comfortable.
Can I use insurance to pay for a frenectomy?
Many insurance plans offer coverage for frenectomies once a person has met their deductible for the year. The benefits for a laser frenectomy are inconsistent between insurance providers, and most parents find that it’s cheaper and easier to just pay directly. However, when you come to see us, we will discuss all the financial details before providing any treatment so you’ll know what you’ll be expected to pay.
Contact Us Today
If you or your child has difficultly speaking or eating (particularly breastfeeding) comfortably, it may be because of a restrictive frenulum. As we stated earlier, this can lead to much more serious problems as time goes on, especially for young children, so don’t hesitate to contact us. No matter the age of a patient, Dr. Voller will give them a quick oral examination and will be able to quickly ascertain if a laser frenectomy is the best course of treatment. It is one of the simplest and easiest surgical procedures available today and can have an amazing effect on a person’s overall health and functionality. Give us a call today so we can start helping you or your child as soon as possible.
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