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Tongue Tied Infants--is an in-office Procedure Safe?

June 7, 2012

Below is an example of a tongue tied baby before and after the procedure. Refer to the doctor and your lactation consultant for post-op care.

In the past decade, breastfeeding has become a more popular feeding method in the everyday care of an infant. However, this also causes a renewed interest in the commonly quoted "tongue tied" difficulty experienced among newborns. Professionally noted as ankyloglossia, a child with shortened connections between the tongue and floor of the mouth will most likely experience several difficulties in breastfeeding. This can range from poor latch to sore nipples to continual feeding cycles. Several studies (1,2,3,4,5) have been conducted and proved to show an improvement in breastfeeding once the procedure was performed on the infant. However, it has become incredibly difficult to find a doctor or nurse who is willing to operate this simple surgery on a baby.

Due to other doctor's own insecurities in accurately performing this easy, yet uncommon procedure, mothers are often denied their request. While doctor's are often willing to make anterior ties, they usually refuse to do posterior and or lip ties. This simple surgery takes less than five minutes and causes little to no pain or complications thereafter, mothers are often left traveling great distances in order to find a doctor willing to simply make a small incision of the labial frenulum. However, the Indianapolis Center for Implant and Cosmetic Dentistry offers this safe and virtually painless surgery among its own repertoire. With Dr. Reese's skill and precision, Indianapolis Dentistry can help your tongue tied baby in no time and prevent the hassle of searching for and traveling to another doctor out of state.

The procedure is usually performed with a local anesthetic and can involve either clipping or the use of a special laser, which causes little or no bleeding because the laser seals the ends of the blood vessels in the area as it cuts. The laser also will seal nerve endings, reducing pain after the procedure. However, laser treatment does take longer than simply anesthetizing and clipping so patients will be evaluated on a case-by-case basis with the mother to ensure the best treatment for the child. There is also a private waiting room in the back of our office for you and your family to wait and nurse in private if you prefer to do that before or after the procedure. For more information, contact the office at 317-882-0228.