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Frenectomy & Tongue Tie Release with Laser
“I thought nursing would be easy” – Dr. Lentfer’s Personal Journey with her babies
This is what I thought when my first child was born. “It should come naturally.” Boy was I wrong. My struggles with my first child were what I thought to be “normal” for a new mom. He fought me whenever I tried to get him to latch, but it kind of got better. He would arch his back while nursing. It felt like a full time job to nurse him, taking 45 minutes to an hour to feed him with little time between feedings. We saw multiple lactation consultants and they were very helpful, but I was still struggling. Our saving grace was a nipple shield, but it was such a hassle to use, and when it came time to ween him off the nipple shield, I felt like we were back at square one. Feeling we had exhausted our resources, I toughed it out and pushed thru, thinking it was probably me and just new mom struggles. The pain got so bad that I would cry knowing it was time to nurse him. I just knew something was off. If I only had the knowledge about TOT’s (tethered oral tissues) that I have now when he was born. With our second child, it was easier. She did have a “lip-tie” and “tongue-tie” but she was a Rockstar with nursing and I wasn’t having any pain, so with no symptoms, there was no need to perform the procedure…until she was three months. Suddenly, she started fussing thru nursing. Spitting up more. Her hiccups were getting worse. She would come on and off the nipple while nursing, crying in frustration, and my supply was dropping by the feeding. At this time, my husband and I decided it was time to perform an upper lip and lingual frenectomy. Though the post op wasn’t easy, it was worth it. Not all her symptoms are resolved, but she is happier and so are mom and dad.
This is my personal experience and played a huge role in why I offer the frenectomy procedure in my office. I have been there, seeing the results as a nursing mom and as a pediatric dentist. With more than 40 hours of continuing education with some of the leaders in this field, Dr. Lawrence Kotlow and Dr. Richard Baxter, I am happy to be helping other parents who are struggling for answers. A member of The Academy of Tongue-Tie Professionals, Academy of Laser Dentistry and Academy of Breastfeeding Medicine, I try to stay up to date on the growing research in this field.
Some research supports 4%-10% of the population has a TOT. Some support up to 25% have a tongue-tie. Does this mean every one of these needs to be treated? NO! But if you and your baby are having symptoms, speak with your lactation consultant and primary care provider and please come see us for a consultation.
How the Procedure Works
When you present for your appointment, Dr. Lentfer will assess mom and child’s symptoms as well as assess the child’s TOT’s. After the assessment, if Dr. Lentfer and parents agree a release is indicated, the procedure will be completed that day, if desired, quickly with minimal to no bleeding. Immediately following the release, mom and baby can relax and nurse. Two weeks later, Dr. Lentfer would like to see mom and baby back in the office for a follow up.
Dr. Lentfer uses a state of the art CO2 laser. This allows for minimal need for anesthetic and little to no bleeding and no “burning” allowing for a faster, more comfortable, healing time.
Dr. Lentfer’s Requirements for Frenectomy
- 1 week old
- Vit. K shot
- Must have an established IBCLC (Internationally Board Certified Lactation Consultant)
- Referral from primary care provider or lactation consultant
- Recommended- Evaluation with Craniosacral Therapist.
Need a Lactation Consultant or Craniosacral Therapist?
We recommend these local providers:
1. Bonnie Root, RN, IBCLC at Eugene Pediatric Associates, Phone: (541) 484-5437
2. Benjamin Bell, LMT, Phone: (541) 915-4464
We understand the frustration of nursing and want to help you.
Below are several helpful video resources that we have received permission to share from Dr. Baxter and Dr. Kotlow.
C02 Laser Treatment Release on 1 Month Old
Post Frenectomy Stretching Excercises
Post Surgery Care For Your Infant After Revisions of TOTS
Common Questions & Answers
How long does the procedure last?
Anywhere from 30 seconds to 5 minutes
What are the risks of the procedure?
There are very few risks with this procedure, but some of the more common risks include discomfort, irritability, fatigue, temporary refusal to nurse, bleeding and less commonly fever, infection, no resolution, or worsening, of initial problem and the most common being re-attachment if post-care stretches are not performed properly.
Can I nurse right away?
YES! We encourage you to nurse immediately after the procedure. Please try to not nurse for 90 minutes before the procedure to help encourage nursing after the procedure is performed.
How long is the recovery?
For a lip-tie, it usually takes 1-2 weeks to heal. The tongue-tie usually takes 3-4 weeks to heal. Each baby heals differently and responds to the procedure in a different manner. Some babies may not want to nurse for a few days and only take a bottle, some will act as if nothing changed.
Do you bill insurance?
Yes, but if they do not fully reimburse the fee you will be responsible for the cost.
Can we be in the room for the procedure?
It is encouraged that mom and dad not be present as it can be difficult to watch the procedure and Dr. Lentfer and her team need to focus 110% on your child. That being said, Dr. Lentfer is a parent of two and understands the desire to support your child, therefore it is always up to you if you want to be present or not.