The recommendation for a lip (labial) or tongue (lingual) frenectomy is based upon your symptoms, examination of your mouth and your choice. A surgical procedure may be required to gain access to those teeth to be extracted. In many cases an incision will be made in the gum tissue and bone may be removed to gain access. We want you to be aware of the commonly known risks and side effects of this procedure.
Lip Tie: A tight upper lip frenum attachment may compromise lip mobility and appear as a tight, tense upper lip. The tight upper lip can trap food and drink, resulting decreased cleansibility, decalcification and dental decay. If the frenum attaches close to the ridge or into the palate a future diastema (gap between the teeth) can also occur. In some instances this can result in speech problems. We recommend if there are issues with speech to follow-up with a speech pathologist after the procedure.
Tongue Tie: A tight lower tongue frenum attachment may restrict the mobility of the tongue and appear as a cupping or heart shaped tongue when the tongue is elevated. Long term a tongue tie can result in speech problems and/or issues later with transferring food around the mouth for chewing.
Procedure: The procedure itself takes less than a minute for each frenum. Dr. Tao uses a laser that cuts and seals the tissues resulting in very little bleeding. We start by using a specially compounded topical anesthetic. The laser procedure is completed and Ozone oil gauze is immediately placed on the site.
Alternative Treatments: The alternative to laser treatment includes scalpel therapy or use of surgical scissors and possible use of local anesthesia and/or sedation. The other alternative is to do no treatment. No treatment could result in some or all of the conditions listed under "Symptoms" above. Advantages (benefits) of laser vs. scalpel or scissors include lower probability of reattachment of the tissue, less bleeding, no sutures (stitches) or having to remove sutures. Disadvantages (risks) are included in the "Risks of Procedure" below.
Post-operative Instructions: The stretches must be done correctly for 4 weeks, otherwise the tissues separated by the laser can heal back together.
Risks of Procedure: While the majority of patients have an uneventful surgery/procedure and recovery, a few cases may be associated with complications. These are some risks/complications, which can include:
----Bleeding. This may occur either at the time of the procedure or in the first 2 weeks after.
----Damage to the sublingual gland, which sits below the tongue. This may require further surgery.
----Injury to the teeth, lip, gums, or tongue.
----Burns from the equipment.
----Eye injury to the parent or child if protective eyewear is displaced
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