Laser Assisted Oral Surgery is Fast, Simple and Safe
Traditional surgery with scissors or a scalpel can injure and bruise the tissue. At Dentistry for Children & Adolescents we use LightScalpel CO2 Laser technology – one of the latest, most precise and innovative types of lasers. CO2 lasers can produce an incision similar to the scalpel without touching the tissue. When the laser light interacts with the tissue, there is no mechanical trauma. It can be used to make incisions as well as to remove unhealthy tissue with enhanced precision and accuracy.
Treatments that we provide with laser-assisted surgery include:
- Lip and tongue releases for babies that are having difficulty with nursing
- Lip Frenectomy
- Tongue Frenectomy (Tongue-tie)
- Treatment of soft tissue pain or infection due to molar eruption
- Removal of gum tissue overgrowth caused by medications or poor oral care in orthodontic patients
- Treatment of ulcers (canker sores)
- Exposure of unerupted teeth
- Biopsy of oral lesions
- Treating fissures and cracks on the lips
What are the advantages of laser surgery?
- Minimal bleeding – The CO2 laser seals small blood vessels.
- Shorter Surgery Time – Enhanced precision and less bleeding result in reduced treatment time.
- Reduced Risk of Infection – Lasers kill bacteria and provide an added defense against infection.
- Less Swelling and Discomfort – The CO2 laser seals lymphatics; less swelling means less discomfort.
- Less Scarring – CO2 treated areas heal with less wound contraction and thus cause a reduce risk of scarring at the surgical site.
- Faster Recovery – There is minimal discomfort right after surgery.
Lip and Tongue-ties may affect nursing
Does your baby take a long time to nurse? Is your baby falling asleep in the middle of breastfeeding but can’t be put down without waking up to demand the breast again? Is your baby losing weight instead of gaining weight? Are you convinced that your baby does not like breastfeeding? Have you had to switch to bottle feeding because your baby is having difficulties with nursing? If you have answered yes to any of the questions above, chances are that your baby may have an anatomical dysfunction that is interfering with proper feeding.
When a baby has problems to nurse, a tongue-tie or a lip-tie is often to blame. Tongue-ties occur in 3-4 % of infants and may prevent a baby from properly latching to a mother’s nipple or a bottle. If the tongue or the lip can’t support and seal the breast, the baby will not be able to sustain proper feeding.
This flawed function may result in:
- More frequent feedings
- Poor latching
- Difficulty breathing
- Reflux and/or frequent vomiting
- Gassy, colicky baby due to air swallowing during feeding
- Sleep deprivation
- Poor growth pattern
- Difficulty gaining weight
- Breast pain and cracked, sore or flattened nipples
- Reduced milk supply
The decision to treat a tie can only be achieved with an assessment process that includes an evaluation of the medical history, feeding history, symptoms and physical examination of the baby as well as an evaluation of the mother’s comfort. At our office, Dr. Santos-Cordero has been helping babies thrive at nursing by releasing lip and tongue-ties with a simple laser assisted oral surgery. If you suspect your baby’s nursing problems might be related to a tight lip-tie or tongue-tie, call our office for a complimentary evaluation.