Tulsa Dentist Offers Tongue Tie Revision
Angie Nauman with Glisten Dental provides laser frenectomy procedures to help increase breastfeeding comfort and success for mothers and babies struggling through lip-tie and tongue-tie.
The longer I'm in birth and postpartum work, the more I see the need to make sure that those providing much needed services are hailed in our community. One of those services is tongue-tie revision. A quick google image search of tongue-tie brings a whole host of pictures of babies, children and even adults with their red mouths gaping, lips splayed and their tongues lifted to see the sometimes very noticeable frenulums holding tightly to tissue where there should be freedom.
Most local families have been referred outside Tulsa to receive laser revisions for tongue-ties or lip-ties for their babies, but sometimes the thought of traveling even 90 minutes with a newborn can be daunting. But these families will, many times, do whatever is necessary to save themselves pain or risk having their nursing relationship cease because of a physical abnormality.
Listen up, northeast Oklahoma, you have an option here!
What's the big deal with tongue ties?
According to the Mayo Clinic, tongue-tie or ankyloglossia, is described as: "Typically, the lingual frenulum separates before birth, allowing the tongue free range of motion. With tongue-tie, the lingual frenulum remains attached to the bottom of the tongue. Why this happens is largely unknown, although some cases of tongue-tie have been associated with certain genetic factors."
Dr. Ghaheri is very widely-known for contributing to the education regarding tongue-ties and lip-ties and their correlation to breastfeeding. He states that it isn't just a matter of baby not gaining weight, but rather these ties also influence reflux and colic symptoms, damage to the mother's nipple and anatomy, lip blisters, short sleep episodes (and new families NEED sleep), inability to hold a pacifier in and reduced length of breastfeeding which can contribute to immediate and long-term physical and emotional health problems and financial stress on both mother and baby.
Tongue-ties and lip-ties go beyond breastfeeding issues. According to Tongue Tie: From Confusion to Clarity, there can be life-long issues resulting from an untreated tie not limited to, but including migraines, sleep apnea, snoring, tooth grinding, tooth decay and speech delays.
Okay, we know it's a problem. Now what?
Now, I'm sure you are reaching for your baby, your child or maybe even looking in the mirror yourself to see if this is a possible explanation for what you have been dealing with lately. If there is some correlation, you can see the ties present, or you are curious or concerned, what can you do? Does Tulsa even have an option for laser frenectomy revision?
Tulsa does have a dentistry option for doing these revisions on infants, children and even adults, and has extensive experience doing so. Dr. Angie Nauman with Glisten Dental has 16 years of experience in treating patients with tongue-ties and lip-ties. She was laser trained in 2003 by the University of California School of Dentistry and received her Standard Proficiency certification for Dental Lasers.
She is the mother of 5 kids and breastfed her own babies for almost a total of 5 years. She says, "It's great to use my personal experience to help moms within my practice as we tend to their infants."
She has a deep passion in caring for her patients and that extends to her care for infants and children.
Dr. Nauman has worked over 14 years with lasers in dentistry, mostly with soft tissue procedures and has been doing pediatric (including infant) frenectomy procedures for over 10 years.
In April of 2017, she will be going through advanced training with the Academy of Laser Dentistry and will have the privilege of learning under Dr. Larry Kotlow, Dr. Martin Kaplan, Dr. Robert Convissar, and over 15 of the other top providers (physicians, dentists, and IBCLCs, & RNs) for pediatric laser procedures in the United States.
You guys, we have her here in Tulsa.
This applies to more than just babies
Dr. Nauman is double board certified in Dental Sleep Medicine. She treat adults with sleep apnea and screens and treats pediatric patients with preventive methods to help decrease the chance of sleep and breathing disorders in their lifetime.
The early diagnosis and treatment of tongue-ties and lip-ties, narrow and high palates, crossbites, and other orthognathic concerns can make such a difference in the future health of pediatric patients.
Dr. Nauman states that, "It is my job to use my knowledge and passion of treating sleep disordered breathing to educate parents on what they can do now to lead to better health in the lifetime of their child. My goal is a multidisciplinary approach linking together the medical and dental professionals in optimal treatment of patients."
Did you catch that? Medical and dental professionals. Her medical billing specialists are working towards receiving medical insurance reimbursement for tongue-ties and lip-ties. Should have an answer soon on whether this procedure can be covered by insurance!
Procedure and Process
Glisten Dental can usually get patients in within one week for a consultation, and often will provide the revision service that same day to help prevent extra drive-time and the agony of having to wait.
Many parents may have grimace at the thought of having their tiniest tot go through any painful procedure, much less one that includes a laser. So, let's review a brief rundown on the process.
The baby is placed in a firm swaddle to help stabilize the body and prevent rogue arms from interrupting the procedure. Baby's first protective eye wear comes in the form of special glasses that prevent damage from the laser itself. And, it makes for an absolutely adorable memento of what could be a life-changing procedure.
Dr. Nauman uses a compounding pharmacy to have a strong numbing gel made that is placed on the area of treatment. However, she also keep a lighter topical gel in stock that is used for standard dental procedures. She can use either one as she acknowledges that the prescription compounding numbing gel can cause some difficulty for the infant in immediate nursing after the procedure. Imagine an adult trying to eat right after dental work! Not the easiest time to eat.
Then, the laser revision for the tongue-tie or lip-tie is completed and baby is soon able to snuggle back with mom or dad, immediately breastfeed if desired, or just rest and recover with some skin-to-skin time.
When asked about the future of laser revision for ties in Tulsa, Angie said, "I am excited to continue growing and learning in how to help the pediatric population of Northeastern Oklahoma."
We have a part in this too!
Now, it's our job to let everyone we know that could be affected by tongue-ties and lip-ties that laser frenectomy revisions are available right here in our own community! Please share this blog in your parenting groups, with your friends and family and help others learn about their options for laser treatment for their babies, kids or even themselves in Tulsa.
Updated April 2017 from Dr. Angie Nauman
"The course I went to last weekend was fantastic! I learned from all the greats in the world of frenectomies. Even though I've been doing these for years, this weekend really solidified my diagnosis, technique, and care for infants and children.
I am test driving one of the best lasers for infant frenectomies on May 17. As the time comes closer, I will alert you because on that day we can do a full day of 1/2 price procedures for tongue tie/lip tie! It's the exact procedure I've been doing for years except with the greatest laser and with a laser instructor right there helping answer my questions about the laser. The procedure with this laser takes only 5-10 seconds!"
Share the information so moms and babies can receive excellent care right here in Tulsa.