According to the IATP , a tongue tie is “an embryological remnant of tissue in the midline between the undersea of the tongue and the floor of the mouth that restricts normal tongue movement.” The key component of this definition is whether it restricts normal tongue movement. Mothers of breastfeeding babies with whom it is causing a problem are symptomatic verses those whom nurse fine and are deemed asymptomatic. Same things goes for speech and eating. Problems that babies can face are breastfeeding issues including poor latch, shallow latch, insufficient/ineffective eating, frequently eating, unable to hold a pacifier. Many times if the frenum goes missed, it can translate to feeding problems as the child gets older or speech problems.
A lip tie is the attachment of the upper lip to the maxillary gingival tissue according to the IATP. Infants with breastfeeding difficulty and an upper lip tie will usually not be able to have a sufficient seal due to the lip tie not properly flanging. Also, due to the insufficient seal, milk will dribble down the corners of the mouth. While babies are eating, they are also sucking in air (aerophagia) which can lead to symptoms of reflux.
We use a LightScalpel CO2 laser. This is a non-contact laser that cuts efficiently and coagulates at the same time. Patients usually have minimal if any bleeding. The CO2 laser puts out a very small thermal damage zone ( ~1 mm) as opposed to the diode laser which is several millimeters. Due to the 10600 wavelength, it allows for maximum precision.
We do not require a referral from a pediatrician; however since we practice an integrated approach, we highly recommend that patients have either a IBCLC, SLP, MFT, or OT on board to help support that patient through the procedure. If patients do not already have this team member in place, we can recommend the person for you.
Due to Dr. Damon’s experience with her own child, she highly recommends an integrated approach. The integrated approach incorporates a team to complete the procedure. The team is the dentist, the bodyworker/movement specialist, and the IBCLC/SLP/OT. This “triangle” of people will provide support for the patient before, during, and after the procedure. We communicate to help facilitate the ideal time to treat the patient and how to manage the patient after the procedure is completed.
Due to the nature of this procedure, Dr. Damon does not allow parents back during the procedure. She needs to focus her attention and time on the patient that is receiving the procedure. Once the short procedure is completed, the patient will be brought back to the parent.
Bodywork or a movement specialist is an umbrella term that describes a chiropractor, craniosacral therapist, craniofacial sacral therapist, massage therapist, myofunctional therapist, etc. When a baby has several restrictions (tight hips, torticollis, restrictions that cannot be seen visually) this baby will need these addressed prior to any release of the frenum. Once the restrictions in the body are released, the oral function of the baby has the ability to change therefore many times making it easier on the practitioner to release the frenum.
We do not take insurance at this time; however, we will give you the proper codes to file on your own. Many times parents can file with their medical insurance for their newborn. For a parent to have dental coverage on the newborn, they must be added to the dental plan.