How do I find the best doctor for my child’s tongue and lip tie frenectomy?

How do I find the best doctor for my child’s tongue and lip tie frenectomy?

Not every frenectomy provider has the experience, skill, and knowledge to treat tethered oral tissues, but it can be crucial for both you and your child to find an experienced frenectomy provider to get the best post procedure outcome. Here are some tips for selecting a provider that specializes in frenectomies for Lip and Tongue Ties!

Considerations regarding Provider Skill for a safe and effective procedure:

Do they provide a ‘small clip’ of the tissue or a full release of the tether(s)? 

A small clip is not the same as a full release, and a full release is indicated for a good range of moti on of the tongue and lip and total symptom resolution.

Do they have the highest level of proficiency and certifications from accredited laser dentistry organizations? 

Clinical training in the form of didactic education as well as hands on training is important for gaining the necessary skills required for safe and thorough removal of ties. Providers that have gone the extra mile to obtain their education, training and certifications from an accredited organization such as the Academy of Laser Dentistry or World Clinical Laser Institute have a proven record of their knowledge and skill level. Advanced Proficiency and Master Level Status in Laser Dentistry are the highest level of certifications achieved by professionals. They have to go through the steps of didactic examinations, Case Presentations and Peer Case Reviews in oral and written format. This allows for review and critique of their diagnosis, treatment planning and short term as well as long term outcomes.

Do they have experience with a variety of age levels? 

Taking into consideration the experience and comfort level of each provider is important. Laser treatments of infants and toddlers is challenging on more than one level. A board certified pediatric dentist has years of additional training for landmarks, anatomy and physiology of infants, toddlers and children with special needs.

Do they have a background in infant feeding and lactation support? 

Knowledge of infant feeding and oral motor functional assessments are key to proper diagnosis and treatment. Hours of didactic education and examination of knowledge acquired is a long process that curates the provider’s understanding of breastfeeding physiology as well as oral mechanics.

Considerations regarding provider protocols and support for best long term outcomes:

Do they provide aftercare wound instructions? 

Proper management of the healing is important to prevent reattachment of the tissue and to see optimal functional improvement after the procedure.

Do they have an Infant Care Team that supports communication and guidance post procedure? 

Having a designated person or infant team that coordinates with your other care providers, is easily accessible and can give you all the best tips for making your baby’s frenectomy experience a positive one is so important!

Do they offer follow up appointments?

Being seen for strategically timed follow ups to check progress with wound healing and successful aftercare at home is absolutely essential for the best long term outcomes.

Do they coordinate care with lactation support or feeding therapy for optimal support of both maternal and infant health and feeding? 

The frenectomy itself gives the lip and/or tongue the ability to have full range of motion, but translating that to the skill of feeding efficiently relies heavily on targeted functional support from infant feeding specialists such as lactation consultants or feeding therapists as applicable.

Do they consider the mouth-body connection and focus on neuromuscular regulation as well as optimal suck, swallow, breathe rhythmic coordination? 

Providers that understand the mouth-body connection are able to assess and impact the overall function and have excellent long term outcomes by collaborating with occupational therapists, physical therapists, chiropractors and infant massage therapists as applicable.

Resources for detailed pre-appointment research:

Smile Wonders strives to educate the families of frenectomy patients and spread awareness on all the ways that we can help promote optimal oral functi on and development. To learn more, read this article in its entirety on our website’s blog page.

Dr. Rishita Jaju
& Dr. Anh Dang

Board Certified Pediatric Dentists

11790 Sunrise Valley Drive, Suite 105
Reston, VA 20191

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