Here’s a list of answers to our most commonly asked questions about tongue-ties.
Yes! We gladly see anyone, from newborns to adults.
We use a dental soft tissue laser called a LightScalpel CO2 laser that is the absolute best when it comes to precision, speed, and healing.
For babies, we use topical numbing jelly (safe for babies) when working with them. For older kids and adults, we use a topical numbing jelly and a local anesthetic that is a little bit stronger.
Older kids and adults leave with a few dissolvable stitches that let the area heal in the best way possible.
With babies and toddlers there are no stitches, but parents are instructed on aftercare.
We want you to have the BEST POSSIBLE OUTCOME from this procedure.
That can’t happen without also addressing the function of the tongue.
Dr. Turner conducting this procedure is only one small piece of getting the mouth and tongue healthy.
For that reason, Dr. Turner REQUIRES an assessment with a functional provider that is familiar with tongue-ties. It is not appropriate to do a tongue-tie release without a functional provider on board.
Functional providers are international board certified lactation consultants (IBCLCs), occupational therapists, speech and language pathologists, and myofunctional therapists.
Bodywork is always helpful! Dr. Turner works with many local osteopaths, chiropractors, craniosacral therapists, massage therapists, and physical therapists. If the mouth is tight, the neck and shoulders are tight, and the rest of the body is tight. Everything in the body is connected, and that includes the mouth.
Depending on age, Tylenol and Ibuprofen are great options that you can take before the procedure!
If you don’t take those, homeopathic options are appropriate and used by many patients.
If you’ve been working with a myofunctional therapist or other functional therapist, it’s helpful for them to know you are coming to see us. That way, we can communicate to them how your treatment went.
For more specific information on managing discomfort, see our post-operative instructions for adults and post-operative instructions for infants
No way! You can either schedule a consultation only or a consultation and treatment (if your baby is prepared!) We understand that this is a surgery and we want you to feel prepared with your questions answered going into it. Review this information and the post-operative information to be ready for the procedure to take place. Even if you just plan to come for a consultation, we request you review this information to maximize everyone’s time!
You can expect some discomfort for 3-5 days, with it getting better from day 2 on. Day 2 tends to be the most uncomfortable for people. To feel the best, rest, apply ice, TLC, eat cool soft foods, and take minor pain meds like Tylenol and ibuprofen. For adults, you can also apply a topical numbing gel at home (we will give you a prescription).
We recommend basic, light, myofunctional exercises for the first three days. From there, you can set up an appointment with your myofunctional therapist to resume your program.
It is a good idea to have a plan in place for lactation support in the first few days after release.
It is also beneficial to have bodywork in the first few days to weeks after release.
You can visit the following websites for some additional information about frenectomies:
If there is a specific piece of scientific evidence you’d like to see, please discuss with Dr. Turner. We have plenty of evidence supporting tongue- and lip-tie releases for everything from sleep and jaw development to breastfeeding longevity and feeding! We can help direct you to the appropriate sources.
Tongue-ties are most often considered a medical issue. You will be opting out of your dental benefits for this procedure when you choose our office. We will give you a Superbill and Letter of Medical Necessity when you come for your follow up that you will be able to submit to your medical insurance. We cannot predict what your medical plan covers but if you would like to research by calling your insurance company, the medical diagnostic and procedure codes are listed below. For specific fees, please call our office at 303-732-8909.
Dr. Turner has specific training to address the anatomical structures inside the mouth. As a dentist, she is a doctor of the mouth. She also works with lactation consultants who have advanced training to address the function of the mouth and have experience working with babies with tongue-ties. General practitioners and pediatricians know much more than Dr. Turner about many things, but when it comes to discussing the mouth, it’s best to work with a doctor of the mouth.
It is never too young to have your baby evaluated. We examine newborns all the time - sometimes even as early as a few days old. It is best to have a frenectomy, if it is indicated, at a younger age rather than waiting since your baby can form habits and compensations.
Babies are REALLY smart, and they can read your stress. We want you to be in the least stressful position so that when we bring your baby back to you a few minutes later, you are ready to give them full attention! We also want to focus our full attention on your baby while we are working. Since we do use a laser, for safety purposes, we prefer to have a limited number of people in the operatory.
What is bodywork, and why is it important?
Bodywork is used as a blanket term to describe osteopaths, chiropractors, craniosacral therapists, massage therapists, occupational therapists, and physical therapists...the most important thing is that they are experienced with working with patients with tongue and lip ties. If the mouth is tight, the rest of the body compensates. Often the neck and shoulders are tight, and the rest of the body can be out of alignment. Everything in the body is connected, and that includes the mouth. A tongue and lip release relieves the tension in the mouth where we use the laser. During healing, if there is still tension in the body or in the cranial bones, the healing can be less than ideal - a good way to think about it is the tension from those areas creeps back into the mouth, making stretching and movement more difficult, which leads to tight healing.
In our office, the way we get ideal, predictable healing is recommending that MOST PATIENTS receive some form of bodywork before and after the procedure. When we do a procedure on any person, we want to make sure we give every opportunity for the best outcome! This is why most often, we cannot schedule for same day treatment unless bodywork has been performed, as Dr. Turner feels that to provide true informed consent about the procedure, the conversation needs to be had about the benefits and the risks of tight healing if the bodywork is declined. She is happy to schedule a consultation with you either virtually or in-person to discuss this recommendation.
See our extensive list of experienced providers HERE, we have people in many areas of Colorado!
For information on how to perform the aftercare, what to use for pain management, and more, please refer to our post-operative instructions for infants or our post-operative instructions for adults.
How We Work:
The first step to sleep and airway health is a consultation. We take the time to listen to your unique story and create a custom plan based on your airway and sleep health and needs
After the consultatin, we map out a plan for your sleep and airway health. The plan may include a combination of exercises and even procedures, based on your health and goals
If needed, we will refer you to additional specalists in the sleep and airway health field - from Osteopaths to chicropractors based on your plan
After exercises and prep have been completed, a procedure, such as a frenuloplasty, may be performed