Tongue Tied release FAQs for Infants

Tongue Tied release FAQs for Infants asked by parents in relation to Infant tongue tied and lip tied visit.

1. How come my Doctors never told me that my child have Tongue tie?  Why Best Western Dental?

Training about tongue tie, lip tie Diagnosis and Treatment options is not in the current curriculum of a basic Medical or Dental degrees for most Universities.  For this reasons, your regular Doctor(s) may not be able to help you.  Therefore it is important that you get your child assess by a team of Health Practitioner that is familiar with Diagnosis and Treatment of babies Tongue tie.

After graduation from his Dental degree, Dr Le had extra training to use laser since 2001, Dr Le has further his knowledge in orthodontics and perform Frenectomy for his orthodontic patients since 2005.  He is also trained with the Tongue Tie Institute, a world leader in tongue tie training based in Australia.

2. What happens if we do not treat the lip or tongue tie? 
Tongue functions will be affected in tongue tie patients.  This mean:
In infancy: breastfeeding difficulties are common, as well as colic and reflux.
In childhood: speech difficulties, crooked teeth due poor jaw growth. This means that it would cost years and many thousand dollars to treat narrow, small jaw and crooked teeth.
In adulthood: head and neck tension, snoring and sleep apnoea may be related.

3. I think my child has a tongue tie. Is treatment always necessary?
Yes, if tongue ties affect normal tongue functions.
Normal tongue function is super important throughout life, and particularly during growth. The tongue drives the growth of the mid face and jaws, so a tied tongue will almost always result  narrow and small jaw, this mean the teeth will be crooked. Furthermore, the tongue affects breathing and thus overall body posture, especially head and neck. It’s important in speech, swallowing and talking as well. So, if there is a tongue tied, ideally it should be treated as soon as possible to attempt to limit the chances of severe crooked teeth and other future problems.  This would spare you and your child more costly orthodontic treatments in the future.

4 About LASER

4.1 Is laser better than a snip with scissors in tongue tie surgery?
The most important factor in the success of any surgery is always going to be the operator. The operator must have done the necessary training to ensure competence and must have had plenty of experience to give a better chance of success. Dr Le is trained by The Tongue Tie Institute, has performed numerous tongue and lips tie release for infants, children and adults.
In relation to laser vs scissors:
A laser “ablates” (vaporises) the tissue. It does not cut or crush the tissue like scissors. It also seals nerve endings to reduce immediate post-op pain and helps to coagulate to reduce bleeding. A laser is extremely accurate. In the hands of an experienced operator like Dr Le, laser gets the job done with minimal trauma to adjacent tissues.

4.2 Are all lasers the same?
Not all lasers are the same. Different lasers are used for different purposes.
For infants, Dr Le want the procedure to be as quick as possible, so the baby can go back to the mother for feeding after treatment. Also, minimal penetration of tissues and less heat produced with the use of Waterlase is better for wound healing. This is why Best Western Dental use the Waterlase iPlus 2.0 (Er,Cr:YSGG laser) for infants.

4.3 Why don’t everybody using laser if it’s the best way?
Lasers are highly regulated and require special training.
Laser machine are very expensive to buy.

In our case, the Waterlase is an investment of around $100,000.
A basic diode laser cost $7000.  Our previous Sirolase cost $14,000, which is a better version of a Diode laser. However, when Dr Le saw the Waterlase being used on infants with less trauma, and faster, he decided to make this investment as it is better for our patients.

5. What will happen at the appointment for my baby?
• Before the consultation
We will give/email you some important documents with lots of information to prepare you for your consultation. We assume that you are already seen a lactation consultant, and / or a body worker (chiropractor / osteopath / physiotherapist).

• The consultation
A through consultation is essential for effective diagnosis and for educating parents in how to best care for the infants in the post-operative period. Usually this consultation will be a joint consultation with Dr Le and your lactation consultant, if you have one.

• The procedure
Laser tongue and lip tie surgery is quick and effective.
You or your lactation consultant can stay during the procedure.  We prefer parents NOT to be in the room when the surgery is carried out, so that we can focus all our attention to look after your precious little one.

• After the procedure: post-operative feed

• The next working day
Our staff would call you to see if you have any enquiries

• The 1-week review
This is a FREE follow up visit to check wound healing.

6. Is anaesthetic used for infants?
Anaesthetic prevents effective breastfeeding immediately after the procedure which is important for healing, for settling and comforting the child post-surgery, and to enable the breastfeeding latch.
In non-breastfeeding babies, the taste of the anaesthetic and the feeling of being numb from the anaesthetic are more upsetting than the feeling of the laser release.
From our experience, babies stop crying within 1 minute after the procedure, when we did NOT use anaesthetic for the Frenectomy.

For the above reasons, we often do NOT use anaesthetic for infants, unless the parents want to.

7. Will pain killer need after surgery?
We recommend pain killer to be given 30 mins before surgery and before each stretch for the first 2 days, and up to 5 days only if needed.  Panadol Baby Drops can be given 4 times a day, if you need pain killer for the 5th time in 24 hours then give your child Nurofen for children.  Make sure you give the right dosage according to the body weight.

8. How long will the consultation and procedure take?
The appointment will take up to 1 hour which includes: consultation, preparation for the surgery, actual surgery which only take about 1 minute, and post-surgery feed.
Do bring along a thick baby wrap and milk bottle if your baby is not breastfeed.

9. Is this treatment covered under Medicare?
Medicare does NOT pay for Dental treatments.  However, for private health insurance, the following item numbers are used:
• 014 (consultation)
• 391 (per frenectomy)

10. What about after care?
We routinely do the following 2 things to follow up and make sure things go well
• We will call you 1-2 days later to follow up
• FREE 1-week review appointment to check on wound healing.
If you need further support, we encourage you to call our clinic, so we can advise of the best course of action. Usually, the best person to assess function is the Lactation Consultant which is why we encourage you to team up with a Lactation Consultant both before and after treatment.

11. Do I need to do any exercise for my child?
We recommended to do stretch for the area by applying repeated, gentle but firm pressure. Stretches MUST be done for 3 seconds, every 4 – 6 hourly, for 3 weeks.
These exercises are important to minimising the reattachment of the frenum to its original position.

It is normal to see a diamond shape, whitish patch for up to 2 week from the release until the new skin fully heal.

Please click here to check out this useful video demo on how to do these stretches.

The time it takes to see a noticeable change in functionality varies from patient to patient, from almost immediately to a few months following treatment. 

 

Tongue Tied release FAQs for Infants above should answer all the questions you may have, call Best Western Dental Centre on 47314655 if you have any concerns.

 

 

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