The CO2 laser is the best suited soft-tissue surgical laser for the frenectomy procedure because, both cutting and hemostasis is achieved photo-thermally (radiantly). Below we answer some of the most commonly asked questions about laser frenectomies with the LightScalpel surgical / dental laser. In addition, we provide some video examples of laser frenectomy.
A laser frenectomy (also known as laser frenulectomy or laser frenotomy) is the laser excision of a frenulum, a small fold of tissue that prevents part of the body from moving too far. A laser frenectomy can be performed with a soft-tissue laser, such as: CO2, Diode (hot tip), Nd:YAG, and Er:YAG. The CO2 laser is the ideal laser for both cutting and coagulating soft tissue during a frenectomy.
A laser lingual frenectomy is the laser ablation of a band of tissue (the lingual frenum) connecting the underside of the tongue to the floor of the mouth.
This is also known as a laser tongue tie (or ankyloglossia) release.
A laser labial frenectomy is the ablation of the labial frenum by laser surgery. A labial frenum (band of tissue) attaches the midline of the upper and lower lips to gingiva (gums). The labial frenum can vary in size, thickness and elasticity.
A laser infant frenectomy is the laser ablation of the labial or lingual frenum for infants with a laser. The procedure for infants is the same as it for adults. Infants that have problems nursing may have ankyloglossia (tongue tie) and be a candidate for a laser frenectomy.
Some indications for an adult laser frenectomy include:
- Dental hygiene issues
- Speech problems
- Gingival recession
- As part of sleep apnea therapy
- And some other instances
Some indications for a laser infant frenectomy include:
- Baby’s inability to properly latch on to the mother’s breast
- Failure to thrive (poor weight gain)
- Inability to stimulate milk production through vigorous nursing, which results in a low milk supply and/or termination of breastfeeding
- Improper tongue mobility may inhibit infant’s swallow
- Longer, more frequent feedings
- Sleep deprivation for mother and infant due to frequent feedings
- Painful nursing (for mother)
- Speech development difficulties
Frenectomies can be safely and efficiently performed with the LightScalpel CO2 laser with predictable, repeatable and fast tissue release/ablation and instant hemostasis. The precise cutting, minimal collateral damage, clear and bloodless operating field and, reportedly, relatively minimal postoperative pain make the LightScalpel 10.6-micrometer CO2 laser the tool of choice for clinicians performing a laser frenectomy. CO2 laser oral surgery features less wound contraction and reduced scarring in comparison with regular scalpel incision.
A laser frenectomy is a relatively fast procedure when preformed with a LightScalpel CO2 laser. Often the LightScalpel laser can take less than 10 seconds of laser time to release a tongue or lip tie.
Patients have reported less postoperative pain and better function (in the first 7 days after surgery) than frenectomies performed with a scalpel.
For laser infant frenectomies, the patient is typically able to feed immediately after the surgery with improved latch and noticeable relief in the mother’s breast pain.
Do you or your child have a tongue or lip tie, and are suffering from negative consequences because of that? Ask for doctor if you are a candidate for a laser frenectomy with a LightScalpel CO2 laser.
References and Further Reading:
- Vogel A, Venugopalan V. Mechanisms of pulsed laser ablation of biological tissue. Chem Rev. 2003;2(103): 577–644.
- Wikipedia – Frenectomy
- LightScalpel – Laser Tissue Interaction
- Wikipedia – Lingual Frenectomy
- Wikipedia – Labial Frenectomy
- Kaplan M, Hazelbaker A, Vitruk P. Infant frenectomy with 10.6 micrometers dental CO2 Laser. Washington Academy of General Dentistry newsletter. 2015;April(34):10-12.
- Dental – FairHealth Educational Site. Accessed on Aug. 10 2016. Location of service is Kirkland, WA.
- Haytac MC, Ozcelik O. Evaluation of patient perceptions after frenectomy operations: a comparison of carbon dioxide laser and scalpel techniques. J Periodontol. 2006;77(11):1815-9.