Laser Frenectomy vs Surgical Frenectomy: What Parents Need to Know

Dr. Kelly Jobe | Pediatric Dentist | St. Louis, MO

When it comes to our children, we want nothing but the best for them. At Kids Smiles Pediatric Dentistry in St. Louis, MO, we share this sentiment and are dedicated to providing exceptional dental and oral care. Among our range of services, we specialize in treating tongue-tie and lip-tie conditions using state-of-the-art LightScalpel laser technology for frenectomy procedures. Led by Dr. Kelly Jobe, our team is dedicated to delivering optimal care, ensuring your child’s comfort, and promoting swift recovery.

Understanding Frenectomies

Before we delve into comparing the two types of frenectomies, it’s important to understand what a frenectomy is and why it might be necessary. A frenectomy is a procedure that addresses tongue-tie and lip-tie conditions. These conditions occur when the tissue that connects the tongue to the floor of the mouth (lingual frenulum) or the upper lip to the gums (labial frenulum) is too short or thick, restricting movement. This can lead to problems with breastfeeding, speech, sleep quality, oral hygiene, and more.

Traditional Surgical Frenectomy

The conventional method for treating these conditions is a surgical frenectomy. During this procedure, a scalpel or scissors are used to cut the restrictive frenulum. This can often result in bleeding and may require stitches. The procedure can be distressing for both children and their parents. The recovery period varies, but it can often lead to swelling and discomfort in the mouth for several days. Furthermore, there’s also a risk of infection and scarring associated with this surgical procedure.

LightScalpel Laser Frenectomy at Kids Smiles Pediatric Dentistry

We are proud to offer a more modern and minimally invasive alternative to the traditional frenectomy: the LightScalpel laser frenectomy. This procedure involves the use of a precise, high-tech laser to release the frenulum. The LightScalpel laser has several advantages over traditional surgical methods:

Minimized Bleeding: The LightScalpel laser cauterizes as it cuts, sealing small blood vessels and minimizing bleeding. In most cases, stitches are unnecessary.

Less Swelling and Discomfort: The procedure is less invasive than traditional surgery, resulting in less post-operative swelling and discomfort. The precise nature of the laser means less trauma to the surrounding tissues.

Reduced Risk of Infection: The sterilizing effect of the laser helps to reduce the risk of post-operative infection, promoting faster healing.

Shortened Procedure Time: The increased visibility from minimized bleeding allows the procedure to be completed quickly, often in less than a minute per frenulum.

Faster Recovery: Your child can usually return to their normal routine on the same day as the procedure.

Reduced Risk of Scarring: Laser-irradiated areas heal with less wound contraction and scarring, ensuring better cosmetic results.

At Kids Smiles Pediatric Dentistry, your child’s comfort and safety are our top priorities. Our experienced team, led by Dr. Jobe, ensures a swift, simple, and stress-free experience. Prior to the procedure, a specially formulated topical anesthetic is applied for added comfort. During the procedure, your child is carefully swaddled and held by a member of our staff, ensuring their comfort and safety.

Following the procedure, families are reunited in our private lactation suite, where you can immediately comfort and feed your child, noticing the immediate effects of the laser frenectomy. We also provide detailed follow-up instructions to ensure optimal healing and results.

Making the Best Choice for Your Child

When choosing between a surgical frenectomy and a laser frenectomy for your child, it’s essential to consider the benefits and potential drawbacks of each procedure. Surgical frenectomies, while effective, can often involve more discomfort, a longer recovery period, and a higher risk of complications such as infection or scarring.

On the other hand, laser frenectomies, like those performed by Dr. Kelly Jobe at Kids Smiles Pediatric Dentistry, are minimally invasive and offer numerous benefits over traditional surgery. These include reduced bleeding, quicker recovery time, minimized discomfort, and a lower risk of infection and scarring.

Of course, every child is unique, and what works best for one may not work as well for another. At Kids Smiles Pediatric Dentistry, we’re committed to working with families to find the best solution for each individual child.

The Importance of Early Intervention

Tongue-tie and lip-tie can significantly impact a child’s quality of life, affecting feeding, speech development, and even sleep. Early intervention is crucial in mitigating these potential issues. If you suspect your child might have a tongue-tie or lip-tie, don’t hesitate to reach out. Kids Smiles Pediatric Dentistry offers consultations, where we can assess your child’s condition and discuss the best course of action.

Choosing Kids Smiles Pediatric Dentistry in St. Louis, MO

At Kids Smiles Pediatric Dentistry, we pride ourselves on our compassionate, patient-focused approach. We understand that visiting the dentist can be stressful for children (and their parents), so we strive to create a positive, stress-free experience for everyone involved.

Dr. Kelly Jobe and her team are committed to providing the best pediatric dental care in the greater St. Louis, MO area. Utilizing state-of-the-art technology like the LightScalpel laser, we offer advanced treatment options designed to optimize outcomes while minimizing discomfort and recovery time.

When it comes to your child’s oral health, trust the experts at Kids Smiles Pediatric Dentistry. Whether you have questions about laser frenectomy, concerns about your child’s dental health, or simply need to schedule a regular check-up, we’re here to help. Contact us today – we’re looking forward to helping your child achieve a healthy, beautiful smile.

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