If you are having trouble moving your tongue in such a way that it affects the way you eat or speak, your dentist may suggest a frenectomy. This set of conditions describe a lip-tie or a tongue-tie and can affect both kids and adults.
A lip/tongue-tie reduces the tongue's mobility. This can bring about difficulties with speech or breastfeeding and, in some cases, other health complications such as dental spacing, tooth decay, digestive problems, and breathing difficulties. But the good news is that a laser frenectomy can correct these issues.
A laser frenectomy is a procedure that removes binding tissue (called the frenulum) from the upper gums or beneath the tongue.
The frenulum, or frenum, is a small wrinkle of tissue that hinders a body part from moving. The frenulum is there to restrict movement — in this case, movement in the tongue or lip. This movement restriction can make it hard for you to eat or talk, harming proper growth in kids. Sometimes, this limitation of movement can cause aesthetic issues.
Laser frenectomy removes the frenulum and stops it from stretching to other parts of the body.
The laser uses light energy to vaporize the frenulum, rather than cut it, as traditional frenectomy procedures do. The laser releases a very thin but intense stream of light energy that vaporizes the soft tissue when the light comes into contact with it.
The light energy that the laser produces can shape or remove soft tissues in the cheeks and gums and remove the decay in hard tissues.
The healing from a laser frenectomy is fast, the outcome beautiful, and the frenulum is less likely to grow again. Also, laser frenectomy lowers the risk of blood loss, swelling, and infection, compared to traditional methods.
Laser frenectomy does not hurt. In many cases, the light energy reduces the pain of the procedure and the need for anesthesia. This means no needles and injections.
That said, it is important to mention that although no treatment is always pain-free, laser frenectomy lowers the need for pain medication after the procedure.
Dentists have used lasers since the 1990s. Moreover, the United States Food and Drug Administration has found lasers to be a safe and effective treatment option for various conditions, as long as they are used by experts. Laser frenectomy is at least as safe as other types of frenectomies.
A laser frenectomy can be an important part of your dental treatment when a frenulum makes it hard to eat or talk. To make speaking or eating easier, you may push your lower jaw out, causing your jaw and teeth to move back to an unnatural position. Talk to your dentist if you have any questions about your child's dental health concerning frenectomies.
To know more about laser frenectomy, visit Reaves Dental at our office in New Hartford, New York. You can call (315) 736-0139 to schedule an appointment with us today.