A frenectomy is a simple surgical procedure that’s used to treat tongue ties (ankyloglossia). Tongue ties are common in infants. They occur when the band of tissue (frenulum) that connects the tongue to the base of the mouth is too thick. This can interfere with proper breast and bottle feeding, and cause other issues later in life. In a frenectomy, Dr. Neelon Patel will snip the band and restore your child’s oral range of motion.
There are a few signs that your child may need a frenectomy. First, their tongue may appear “notched” or “heart-shaped” when they stick it out. Your child may also have trouble sticking their tongue out beyond their teeth.
Feeding issues are the other major indicator. If your child is cranky, sleeps often when feeding, must feed for a long time, or is not gaining weight at the expected rate, these signs could indicate a tongue tie, which may require a frenectomy at Pinky Promise Pediatric Dentistry.
The process will take less than 15 minutes. First, Dr. Neelon Patel will examine the your child and answer any questions that you may have. Dr. Neelon Patel will then sanitize and prepare the treatment area. She will then use our laser to create an incision and remove some of the material from the frenulum. This frees it up, and allows your child’s tongue to move properly. Dr. Neelon Patel will go over instructions on how to care for your child after their surgery. You will have the option to go into our private nursing room immediately after the procedure.
Most babies won’t experience any major discomfort, but if your infant is fussy, you can give them an appropriate dose of ibuprofen to help them stay comfortable.
You’ll see a small grayish-white patch form in the incision area. This is normal. Over time, this patch will thicken and return to its normal color, usually within 2 weeks.
Dr. Neelon Patel will give you some instructions on stretches you’ll need to do with your child. This moves the tongue around, and ensures it heals properly so that their tongue moves naturally. Follow her instructions to the letter to make sure your child recovers properly.
If you’re scheduled for a follow-up at our office, make sure to come to your appointment. Dr. Neelon Patel may check your child’s tongue and mouth to make sure the procedure worked properly, and that they have the correct range of motion.