Function and Collaboration Driven Frenectomy | Tongue Tie Release

StoneBrook Pediatric Dentistry

Frenectomy Surgeries

A common misconception about tongue tie release surgeries is that finding a “preferred release provider” (pediatric dentist, general dentist or ENT) who performs frenectomy surgeries is all that is required to resolve this condition for your baby or child.

The truth is infants and children who are tongue-tied often need the help of multiple health care specialists, and in my opinion, the pre-operative and post-operative help that tongue-tied patients receive is more important than the tongue tie release surgery day!

To put it simply, the pre and post-surgery guidance you, as a parent receives, dictates the results your baby or child experiences!

A knowledgeable tongue tie release provider or any healthcare provider who understands the tongue tie condition will ensure that all appropriate steps are taken before/after to get the most out of the frenectomy- tongue tie release surgery. 

In my opinion, providers who have patience (who don’t always jump right into surgery) and are willing to collaborate with other healthcare specialists often get the best long-term results for their patients. This conservative approach could be the difference between a baby/child who experiences minimum to no results and babies/children who experience life-changing results.

From my personal experience, I can share three categories of healthcare providers who I seek guidance and collaborate with for my tongue-tied patients:

1. Lactation Specialist: These providers play key roles in assessing of why a newborn or infant is not breastfeeding or bottle feeding well. This person can be your midwife or IBCLC who understands the tongue tie condition.

2. Bodywork Specialist: The tongue tie condition sometimes affects other parts of our musculoskeletal/ connective tissue system. Fascia is what holds all of our muscles and organs together but also creates separation. From my personal experience, I have seen some of my patients who have tightness/stiffness in other parts of their body.

    • This is where specialists with a background in infant chiropractic care, craniosacral therapy, myofascial release, or cranial osteopathy can play a significant role.
    • Working with bodywork specialists before the tongue tie surgery ensures that the lingual frenum (the structure that causes tongue tie and must be released) is supple enough so that the tongue tie release provider can perform the best excision and frenectomy- tongue tie surgery.

3. Oral Motor/Feeding/Airway Specialists: Many tongue-tied babies and children either struggle to speak/eat/breathe properly or compensate by using the wrong muscles when eating, chewing, swallowing, and breathing.

    • This is where Speech Language Pathologists, Myofunctional Therapists, Orthodontists, and Otolaryngologists (ENTs) are key players in ensuring your baby and child gets the best pre/post tongue tie surgery care.

I hope this information gives you more clarity and please do not hesitate to call my office if you have any questions.

-Dr. Bhaumik 

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