What is a Frenectomy?

A frenectomy is a minor surgical procedure to release the tension of a lip or tongue restriction by removing/modifying the frenulum. 

Dr. Renee uses the LightScapel, CO2 laser to perform frenectomy procedures to achieve the most comfortable, precise, and effective results.  The LightScalpel is one of the most elite and gentle CO2 lasers available with FDA clearance.

Dr. Renee T. Mikulec

What is a Tongue-Tie?

All individuals are born with a thin membrane under their tongue called the lingual frenulum. Some babies are born with short or tight lingual frenulum which can restrict the movement and mobility of their tongue, sometimes referred to as a “tongue-tie”.  

Individuals with a tongue-tie may experience functional difficulties:

Feeding/nursing difficulties: poor or painful latch, frequent gagging or choking, frustration, selective or “picky” eating habits, weight gain struggles
Speech challenges: delayed speech or articulation difficulties
Breathing concerns:  Sleep issues, snoring, sleep apnea, mouth-breathing habit

Dental problems: tooth grinding, gum recession, irregular jaw development, tooth decay, tooth crowding 

What is a Lip-Tie?

All individuals are born with a connective tissue membrane which attaches their lip to their gum tissue, called a labial frenulum.  Some babies are born with short, broad, or tight maxillary labial frenulum which can restrict the movement and mobility of their upper lip, sometimes referred to as a “lip-tie”.  

Individuals with a lip-tie may experience functional difficulties:

Feeding/nursing difficulties: Poor latch, maternal pain with nursing, air intake while nursing or bottle feeding resulting in painful gassiness or colic 

Trauma risk: Increased risk of falls to tear or damage frenulum 

Dental problems: Difficulties with brushing upper teeth, tooth decay

Esthetic concerns: persistent gap between the front teeth 

How are tongue-ties and lip-ties diagnosed?

Conservative yet appropriate care is our focus when assessing your child to determine if a frenectomy procedure is the right choice. Important note: Not every frenulum needs a frenectomy. We will evaluate tongue-ties and/or lip-ties based on movement and function, not only on how they look. Often, we will refer your baby/child to a collaborative care specialist to determine if function is affected and if therapy can help before recommending surgical intervention. Even if a frenectomy is recommended, pre-procedure and post-procedure therapy with the appropriate care provider will lead to best results. 

What are after procedure exercises/stretches and how long does my child need to do them?

We will provide you with several exercises and stretches to do for your child in the six weeks after their frenectomy procedure, to ensure successful results and minimal reattachment. It is crucial to keep up with the prescribed exercises and stretches. If not performed properly and consistently, it is possible that the frenulum(s) will regrow, and functional issues will return or become worse. The commitment to your child’s post-op care is of utmost importance.

We will also schedule follow-up appointments with Dr. Renee, a week and a month after your child’s frenectomy to ensure that there is minimal reattachment and assess range of motion. She will help guide you on the frequency and depth of post procedure stretches or make recommendations for additional stretches or alternative therapy.
We recommend continued collaboration with your child’s therapist (lactation, speech, feeding, myofunctional, etc) to ensure your child’s functional success.

Schedule Your Child's Lip or Tongue Tie Evaluation with Helotes Children's Dentistry

If you suspect that your child has a lip-tie or a tongue-tie and is experiencing some functional challenges, we can help! 

Please call us at 210-201-2877 and we will schedule an evaluation.