When it comes to our children, there’s no limit to what we would do to ensure their health and happiness. One condition that could potentially affect your child’s oral health and overall development is lip-tie. In this article, we’ll delve into the nature of lip-tie, its potential consequences, and how laser frenectomy can provide an effective solution.
What is Lip-Tie?
Lip-tie is a condition present at birth when the thin piece of skin attaching the upper lip to the gum (the labial frenulum) is longer, wider, and/or thicker than usual. This can restrict the upper lip’s range of motion, causing issues that may affect your child’s feeding and oral hygiene.
Signs and Symptoms
In infants, lip-tie can lead to difficulties in breastfeeding, as the tight upper lip can prevent a proper latch. Babies may also show signs such as falling asleep or sliding off the nipple while attempting to latch, colic symptoms, reflux symptoms, poor weight gain, difficulty holding a pacifier in the mouth, or inability to use a bottle. In older children, it may cause a gap between the upper front teeth and create challenges in oral hygiene.
The Role of Laser Frenectomy
To treat lip-tie effectively, a procedure known as a frenectomy is often recommended. This involves removing the excess frenulum tissue to free up the lip or tongue. While this procedure has traditionally been performed using a scalpel or scissors, advancements in technology have introduced laser frenectomy as a more efficient and comfortable option.
Here at Kids Smiles Pediatric Dentistry, Dr. Kelly Jobe and her team specialize in laser frenectomy. Using the state-of-the-art LightScalpel laser technology, we can address lip-tie with optimal precision, efficacy, and comfort.
Benefits of Laser Frenectomy for Lip-Tie
Choosing laser frenectomy for the treatment of lip-tie brings numerous benefits:
Minimized Bleeding: The LightScalpel laser seals small blood vessels, reducing bleeding and often removing the need for sutures.
Less Swelling and Discomfort: The laser seals lymphatics, leading to less post-operative swelling and discomfort compared to traditional surgery.
Reduced Risk of Infection: The sanitizing effect of the laser reduces the risk of infection and promotes faster healing.
Shortened Surgery Time: The improved visibility from minimized bleeding speeds up the procedure, reducing the surgery’s duration.
Faster Recovery: The laser’s gentle touch means less trauma, leading to faster recovery. In most cases, your child can return to their normal routine the same day.
Reduced Risk of Scarring: CO2 laser-irradiated areas heal with less wound contraction and scarring, ensuring better cosmetic results.
What to Expect During a Laser Frenectomy
The procedure itself is swift and simple, taking less than a minute per frenum. Depending on your child’s age, we may begin by applying a specially formulated topical anesthetic to minimize discomfort. The LightScalpel laser then releases and seals the tissues, causing very little to no bleeding.
One of our staff members will hold your child comfortably during the procedure. We understand that parents might feel apprehensive, so if you’d like to be in the room, we can arrange this – your peace of mind matters to us.
After the Procedure
Once the release is complete, your family will be reunited in our private suite where you can comfort your child. We will also go over homecare and any follow-up instructions before you leave to ensure the maximum results for your family. This marks the beginning of a period of easier feeding and better overall oral health for your little one.
Understanding lip-tie and addressing it effectively is key to promoting your child’s oral health and overall development. At Kids Smiles Pediatric Dentistry, we are committed to staying at the forefront of dental innovations. With laser frenectomy, we offer a minimally invasive solution that ensures both the comfort and health of your child.
For more information about lip-tie or laser frenectomy, Dr. Kelly Jobe and the Kids Smiles Pediatric Dentistry team in St. Louis, MO are here to help. Reach out to us with any questions regarding your child’s dental health, and rest assured, we’ll provide the utmost care.