Tongue-Tie Services


Tongue-Tie: Complications and Remedies

Tongue-tie or ankyloglossia is a condition that can be caused by a malformed frenum.  The frenum is a band of tissue that connects two soft tissues in the mouth such as the cheek, gums, or lips.  There are two types of frenum in the mouth, the labial frenum and the lingual frenum.  The labial frenum connects the gum above the two upper or lower front teeth to the underside of the lip and the lingual frenum connects the underside of the tongue to the floor of the mouth.  A frenectomy is the removal of the frenum and a frenotomy is the incision and relocation of the frenal attachment. In the case of the lingual frenum it is often tight, short or thick causing tongue tie.  In the case of the labial frenum is often too large and extends past the gum line and interferes with the front teeth or can lead to receding gums.

Lingual Frenectomy/frenotomy

A lingual frenectomy is often advised to remedy cases of tongue-tie.  In these cases the lingual frenum is unusually short, thick or tight which can cause the development of a speech impediment in developing children. This condition can be corrected by a simple procedure to release the tongue.

Tongue-Tie in Children

In older children tongue-tie has been linked to speech difficulties like trouble making sounds like, “t”, “d”, “z”, “s”, “th”, “r” and “l”.  It can also lead to limitations in oral hygiene because of limited dexterity of the tongue as well as problems with other oral activities like playing a musical instrument or licking a popsicle.

Tongue-Tie in Babies

Tongue-tie can affect a baby or child’s oral development or the way they eat, speak and swallow.  Symptoms can include problems in lifting the tongue to the roof of the mouth and moving the tongue from side to side, and trouble sticking out the tongue past the front teeth.  These symptoms can lead to problems breastfeeding in babies, because it requires a baby to keep their tongue over the lower gum while sucking.  If a baby cannot move the tongue or keep it in place, the baby will often instead chew on the nipple leading to significant pain to the mother and causing trouble for the baby in getting breast milk. 

Tongue-Tie Surgery

A simple procedure can help to remedy the possible complications of tongue-tie.  An incision is made in the lingual frenum to “release” the tongue and allow a more broad range of motion.  The traditional method using a scalpel carries with it routine risks of surgery like bleeding and post-operative patient compliance.

Frenum - Tongue-tie - Frenectomy - Vincent Vella, DDS Rochester, NY

When appropriate the preferred surgical technique in the office of Dr. Vincent Vella DDS is to use a state of the art CO2 laser to perform the frenotomy.  The advantages of using a CO2 laser to perform the surgery include the shorter duration of the surgery, the simplicity of the procedure, the absence of postoperative infection, less pain, less swelling and the presence of little or no scarring.

Labial Frenectomy Surgery

The labial frenum is the piece of tissue that connects the gum line, above the top front teeth and below the bottom front teeth, to the lips. At times the labial frenum can grow past the gumline and interfere with the alignment of the upper or lower front teeth. In this case a labial frenectomy, the surgical removal of the portion of the frenum that extends past the gumline, may be needed to allow for the teeth to grow in straight and even.

Benefits of CO2 Lasers For A Labial Frenotomy

The LightScalpel dental CO2 laser system used by Dr. Vella and his team offers the same benefits when performing a frenectomy/frenotomy on the gums as it does when it is used on the underside of the tongue.  It is faster, less prone to postoperative infection and offers diminished pain, swelling, and scarring.

Diagnosis and Treatment

Dr. Vincent Vella recommends that the need for a surgical correction for tongue-tie or ankyloglossia be established by medical and occupational therapists, speech pathologists, trained professionals specialized in lactation consulting, and other medical doctors and professionals.  An assessment for a labial frenectomy/frenotomy can be performed by Dr. Vella and his team.

What Our Patients Are Saying…

Paula DeFranco-Cantatore
November 2, 2022.
After going to 4 different oral surgeons for consultations (Dr Vella was last), there was nothing for me to consider. I booked an appointment and regretted he hadn’t been my 1st consultation so I could have saved time and money. Yes, money! I was charged $100 for a consultation appointment! I would have booked him if he was the most expensive, but he was the most reasonably priced. From the moment I walked in for my consultation I was greeted with a smile and accommodating receptionist. I forgot to bring my x-rays and she made sure that I knew it was not a problem and called and had them emailed directly from my general dentist. The dental assistant that took care of me prior to Dr. Vella arriving had such a professionally caring personality. I feel terrible that her name escapes me because I want to recognize her. She took the time to get all of my medical information correct, and it is extensive, because I have a chronic neuromuscular condition (CRPS). To my surprise and pleasure, Dr. Vella had treated a patient with my specific condition! Not only did the team understand what I personally and specifically would need to endure such a procedure that is traumatic to a body, but they went above and beyond to make sure that I was comfortable and that all my questions were answered before I walked out that day. That point alone is very important! My situation was so urgent that I was added to the end of their day. I was aware that Dr. Vella had a commitment outside the office and knew in advance the appointment needed to wrap up with a 1/2 hour. Over an hour later, we were in the process of wrapping up the appointment and he stayed for an additional 1/2 hour to chat with me and make sure I was comfortable! Dr Bella had to remove roots from two of my teeth, do bone grafting in both areas, and prepare both sites for implants. The day of surgery was above and beyond anything I expected. My daughter was escorted to a private waiting area, which according to her was amazing. Recliner TV Coffee Work Space and above all QUIET. When I entered the surgical area I was greeted by Dr. Vella’s assistants Heather & Jodi. I’m not sure I can adequately put into words how wonderful they were. Their first priority of business was to see what my physical needs were that day, as my condition causes different symptoms each day. They wanted to address each and every one of them and proceed accordingly. The only thing I can say about Dr. Vella is he came into the room, chatted with me, made sure I was comfortable and wanted to address any concerns I may have had. I laid back and said “do your thing”. That is how relaxed and confident I was in Dr. Vella. He started the sedation process and said I was about to get the best sleep of my life! He wasn’t lying! Everything went perfectly and I am looking forward to my next appointment to have my stitches removed.
Boyd Bellenger
November 1, 2022.
I had a tooth extracted on Oct 31, 2022 This experience can be somewhat traumatic but Dr. Vella and his team made it as painless as it could be. His assistant Heather was very calming and explained everything that was going to happen. I can't say enough good things about that dental practice and the way they approach their work. Thank you Dr. Vella and Heather for taking a bad thing and making it a good thing.
Joe Torello
October 27, 2022.
My wife just had her dental cleaning with Beth, she did a great job, and was so nice, always a pleasure, thank you
james frascati
October 25, 2022.
Dr. Vella and his staff are the best in the business. They treat their patients with the outmost respect and make you feel comfortable from the moment you enter. They keep a sterile and clean environment at all times. Before you leave they give you complimentary toothbrush and other dental care items. Simply the best
Debra Bonsignore
October 24, 2022.
I had another great experience with Jenny, Dr. Vella and the staff at Vincent Vella, DDS.,PC. It’s hard to imagine a good time at the dentist but everyone here is so cordial, outgoing, friendly and helpful that is exactly what happens. In addition, the staff is knowledgeable and experienced, so I get the very best care and treatment. I highly recommend them.
Colleen Glass
October 7, 2022.
Dr. Vella is an excellent oral surgeon. The staff is very professional and caring.
james johnson
October 4, 2022.
I saw Dr Vella because I was in serious pain. I had an infection in a wisdom tooth and needed it pulled. My plan was to go to another dentist at a later date, but the pain got intense. My family dentist referred me to Dr. Vella. Dr Vella and his staff were kind and considerate and actually cared that I was in so much pain. Dr Vella pulled the tooth the same day and gave me great relief!! Dr Vella is an excellent dentist and I will refer him to anyone that asks. Thank you and your staff Dr. Vella!! You guys are truly my heroes!!! James D Johnson
Annie Piacentini
September 29, 2022.
Always a pleasure to visit the Dentist office. Everyone is so friendly! Dr.Vella and Jamie are the best! Love my Dentist office!
Linda Herne
September 23, 2022.
This Office and Dr Vella is the best in the city
David Acciari
September 22, 2022.
I had an emergency extraction , both Dr. Vella and Stacey were nothing but accommodating and professional . Zero pain during and after .

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