Tongue & Lip Tie Releases

Tongue & Lip Tie Releases in Auckland

Alpers dental began performing tongue and upper lip tie releases on newborn babies in 2011, as a result of high demand from lactation consultants, midwives and general practitioners in the Auckland area. Prior to this we were frequently carrying out the same procedure on older children and adults with a diode laser.

Tongue & Lip Tie Releases For Babies and Newborns

Since 2011 we have successfully performed tongue and lip tie releases on hundreds of babies and newborns referred to us. We generally don’t use local anaesthetic prior to the procedure on the newborn age group as it is believed that the nerves in this area are not completely formed at this age, and we require the infant to feed immediately after the procedure (most babies will not feed with a numb mouth). Many babies do find the procedure uncomfortable, and most start crying as soon as there are fingers in their mouth and someone holding their head.

Following the procedure we give out post operative information, including pictures of the wound site during post operative healing, and a list of exercises to help with tongue movement and minimise the risk of re-adhesion. We strongly recommend ongoing follow up with the lactation consultant / midwife who referred the patient, to help with any feeding issues that may need resolving.

We have found that the best surgical and feeding results are achieved on infants less than 4 weeks of age. In general, the younger the infant is, the quicker the procedure is, the less traumatic it is, and the better the results. In children around 12 weeks of age or older, local anaesthetic is required, and the procedure becomes more difficult. As with all surgical procedures there is a risk of post operative infection, although this is extremely rare in healthy babies. It is important to note that there should be very good reasons to put any child (particularly of this age) through the trauma of surgery, no matter how minor this is. The dentist who carries out the tongue and lip tie releases at Alpers, will only carry out the procedure if there is a strong indication to do so. Most of the infants that are referred to us are having a number of feeding issues; reflux, inability to latch or sustain a latch, painful feeding, clicking while feeding, inefficient feeding / lack of weight gain among them. Many parents also have concerns about the potential of heavy upper lip frenums causing spacing between the upper central incisors, or tongue ties affecting eating and speech when their child is older. It is often difficult to predict whether a child will experience these issues later in life, and in most cases a tongue or upper lip tie release can be carried out under local anaesthetic when the child is 5-6 years of age or older.

Alpers charge $500 for most infant tongue and upper lip tie releases. If only one of these is required the charge is reduced to $375, and if no treatment is required there is a consultation fee of $35. For infants older than 12 weeks of age, we charge $375 due to the requirement for local anaesthesia and increased surgical difficulty.

If you have any questions regarding any of the above, please do not hesitate to contact Alpers Dental in Epsom, AK directly on (09) 524 5056.

Click here to read what Lucy says after her son had a tongue tie release with us
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Tongue & Lip Tie Releases January 5, 2015