The CO2 laser is the best suited soft-tissue surgical laser for the frenectomy procedure because both cutting and hemostasis are 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, laser frenotomy, or laser lip- or tongue-tie release) 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 the gingiva (gums). The labial frenum can vary in size, thickness, and elasticity.
This is also known as a laser lip-tie release.
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 or child laser frenectomy include:
- Dental hygiene issues
- Speech problems
- Gingival recession
- As part of sleep apnea therapy or myofunctional 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 low milk supply and/or termination of breastfeeding
- Improper tongue mobility may inhibit the infant’s swallow
- Longer, more frequent feedings
- Sleep deprivation for mother and infant due to frequent feedings
- Painful nursing (for mother)
- Speech development difficulties
Laser frenectomies are most often performed by dentists and oral and maxillofacial surgeons. However, pediatricians, ENTs, and other medical specialties may perform frenectomies as well.
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.
Finding the Best Frenectomy Tool
Find out why many doctors prefer the LightScalpel CO2 laser over other methods including scissors, electrocautery, and other surgical laser systems such as diode, erbium, and other CO2 laser brands.
A laser frenectomy is a relatively fast procedure when performed 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 your doctor if you are a candidate for a laser frenectomy with a LightScalpel CO2 laser.
If you are looking for local doctors who perform tongue- and lip-tie releases with LightScalpel CO2 lasers, visit doctors.lightscalpel.com/local-tongue-tie-providers. On this website, you can search by city or zip-code, medical specialty, and filter by doctors who perform the laser frenectomy procedure. It also highlights doctors who have received special tongue-tie release training.
The American Laser Study Club is an excellent science-based organization that provides medical professionals with introductory courses through advanced live training on treating and assessing tethered oral tissues and other related topics. These multidisciplinary courses are taught by a range of medical professionals including dentists, myofunctional therapists, lactation consultants, pediatricians, and more. Find upcoming laser frenectomy training courses on the American Laser Study Club’s website.
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.