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Children Lip/Tongue Tie

Children's Lip/Tongue Tie Release

For children who have made it past 2 years old with lip/tongue ties, a release procedure will look different than a release on an infant.  Kids who require this procedure are often identified by an Occupational Therapist, Orthodontist or a Speech/Language Pathologist.  For best results, we prefer the OT or SLP to help the child prepare and strengthen muscles surrounding the tissue that is to be released.  The procedure typically will go as follows:

1. Lip tie/tongue-tie is diagnosed via consultation with Dr. Stewart or other doctor (not all doctors are comfortable with diagnosing ankyloglossia or lip ties).  Schedule consultation: 

2. Pre-release therapy from OT/SLP and a green light that patient is ready for release

3. Laser release procedure with local anesthetic (may also use nitrous oxide if indicated)

4. Follow up with OT/SLP for post-operative therapy

If you are landing on this page, chances are you are aware of the benefits the release will have for your child.  However, it cannot be overstated how impactful this procedure can have in children.  Research has show its benefit for speaking, eating, sleep and reduction in acid reflux.  The release of oral ties will also aid in cleaning teeth and preventing dental decay.  

At times an oral tie is only present in between the top two teeth.  In this instance, the release is performed to help close space (diastema) between the front two teeth.  If attachment remains through orthodontic movement, the teeth may relapse when the braces are removed.  We prefer to do this release prior to orthodontic treatment to aid the orthodontist in moving teeth without the resistance of thick, fibrous tissue impingement.  

Frequently asked questions:

1. Does insurance pay for this procedure?

- We are in network with Dental Care Plus and will file the claim with dental insurance.  If out of network, payment is due in full and your insurance may reimburse you if the procedure is covered.  We do not bill medical insurance, but will give you any documentation you need to file on your own. 

2. Do you sedate patients for this procedure?

-Nitrous oxide is great for kids as it helps to relax them and can reduce pain in the brain as well.  Your child will be numb, but it will help with the first part of the procedure when we administer local anesthetic.  Nitrous oxide will not put the child to sleep and is very safe as the blood cells bind oxygen first and can only bind a certain percentage of nitrous particles.  

3. What is recovery like?

-Depending on the specific procedure it may be a few days of feeling like the area was exposed to some hot pizza or soup.  This is temporary as the mouth heals quickly.  Most kids will feel normal in 3-5 days, but potentially sooner.  It is important to follow up with your SLP or OT to help keep the tissue from re-adhering.  The muscles may be sore as they are able to move in ways they previously were tethered.  

4. Am I allowed in the room?

-Yes you are always welcome.  We will have you wear laser safety glasses to protect your eyes.   

We would love to be your preferred lip/tongue tie release provider in Cincinnati!  If you have any questions, please reach out to our office via email or call to learn more about frenectomy procedures offered in our office.  

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