Perhaps one of the most significant uses for a laser in dentistry is in performing a frenotomy. This is a highly specialized procedure performed to loosen a fold of tissue called the frenum. In tongue tied babies, this fold is too tight to allow full movement of the tongue necessary to allow the baby to latch on for nursing, and if left untreated can result in speech impediments later in life. Dr. Carley had personal experience treating two of his own children for this condition using traditional treatments. Recognizing the benefit using a laser would provide, he trained in 2014 with Dr. Ghaheri in Portland, OR. to provide laser treatment on tight frenums for the tongue and the upper lip. The use of a laser allows the baby to heal quickly enough for successful nursing, sometimes in as little as 24 hours. Dr Carley recognized how significant and life changing the benefits of laser surgery could be for both mother and baby.
Before deciding whether this procedure is right for your baby, Dr. Carley recommends working with a lactation consultant or nurse that has experience with tongue tied babies. They can assist you in positioning your baby and creating as deep a latch as possible without the frenotomy. If the surgery is required, it can be accomplished easily in one appointment, and healing is very quick. Dr. Carley also works with individual pediatricians, moms and infants to ensure optimal results for nursing and feeding strategies.