Ankyloglossia, or tongue-tie, is a condition where there is decreased tongue mobility due to a tight frenum (small strings of tissue under the tongue). Untreated tongue-ties can pose issues for children since they can make eating/drinking difficult and can affect speech and palate development. Since children are born with tongue-tie, there is no way to prevent it; but thankfully, once your dentist catches tongue-tie, it can be corrected with a tongue-tie release

During a conventional release surgery, a dentist uses a scalpel to cut taut bands of tissue under the tongue. However, you may want to opt for laser release surgery instead; here are three reasons why laser surgery can be better than conventional release procedures.

It Can Reduce Dental Phobia

You want your child to have a good experience at the dental office so that he or she can continue to maintain good oral health throughout his or her life. Unfortunately, dental phobia can be quite common in young children due to the fear of pain, the fear of the unknown, fear of certain noises (e.g. the dental drill), etc. Conventional release surgeries use scalpels and needles for local anesthetic, so a child may have increased anxiety even though the procedure is quick. Laser instruments may not carry negative connotations and help your child feel less anxious during the release surgery. In fact, a survey found that almost 70 percent of patients felt that lasers used at the dentist's office could make their visits more comfortable.

It Can Reduce Bleeding

One downside of conventional release surgery is that incisions from surgical scissors and scalpels will cause some bleeding in the area. During a laser release, the laser actually cauterizes and seals the connective tissues as it's cut; this means that you won't have to worry about watching for stitches coming loose or dressing the site with gauze.

It Can Reduce Post-Op Symptoms

Cureus, a medical journal, reported clinical outcomes of two case studies that involved diode lasers for tongue-tie. In the first case study, researchers found that laser surgery could minimize post-op symptoms such as edema, or swelling, as well as postsurgical pain. Plus, there may be less overall tissue trauma since lasers can be more accurate than surgical scissors and scalpels. Another study found that when erbium:yttrium-aluminium-garnet (Er:YAG) lasers were used, post-op discomfort was about the same as diode lasers except for the first three hours. However, Er:YAG lasers do have an advantage where only a topical needs to be placed instead of a local anesthetic, so that could be beneficial if your child is afraid of needles.  

Reach out to a dentist in your area today for more information about tongue-tie release surgery.