Tongue-Tie FAQ

Here’s a list of answers to our most commonly asked questions about tongue-ties.


Are you seeing kids and adults for frenectomies/tongue-ties?

Yes! We gladly see anyone, from newborns to adults.

Do I see you for just that one time?

First, we would like to see you for an evaluation. If we are to do treatment that day, expect to be in the office for about 60-90 minutes to cover answering any questions, post-op care, and the actual procedure. 

Newborns: We’ll want to see you 4-5 days after the procedure to ensure everything is going well with the aftercare and that the healing looks great.

Kids and adults: Because we have you working with a functional therapist (myofunctional, speech, occupational), we don’t need to see you for a follow-up unless you have concerns about your healing.

Please note that these are very quick appointments!
 

How do you perform the tongue-tie procedure?

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.

Can I just show up, or do I have to do anything first?

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.

Should I do anything else?

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.

How do I prepare for the procedure?

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

Do I have to do treatment the same day that I come in?

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!

Is it painful?

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).

What do I do about myofunctional therapy?

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.

What about lactation support?

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.

Where can I find more information on this type of procedure?

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.

How do I pay for the procedure?

If this is a medical feeding issue, it is appropriate for us to provide you with a medical Super Bill for you to submit to your medical insurance. Payment is due in full at the time of procedure. We are not contracted with medical insurance and coverage depends on your plan through your employer. If you have questions about coverage, please call your medical insurance and discuss coverage for the following procedures:

Diagnostic Codes:
Tongue Tie 38.1
Lip Tie Q 38.0

Procedures:
Examination 99203 or D0160
Tongue-tie release 41115
Lip tie release 40819 

Why was I told I didn’t have a tongue-tie, or my child didn’t have a tongue-tie?

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. 😊

How young is too young to have my baby evaluated for a lip or tongue-tie?

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.

Am I allowed to stay in the room with my baby while the procedure is being conducted?

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.

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:


Consultation

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

Treatment Plan

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

Referrals

If needed, we will refer you to additional specalists in the sleep and airway health field - from Osteopaths to chicropractors based on your plan

Procedures

After exercises and prep have been completed, a procedure, such as a frenuloplasty, may be performed

Bloom

Center for Sleep

and Airway Health

303.732.8909
13701 W. Jewell Ave, Suite 101

Lakewood, CO 80228