CO2 Laser Treatment in Lakewood, CO: How Does It Work?

CO2 Laser Treatment in Lakewood, CO: How Does It Work?

Have you been told by a dentist that you need a tongue-tie or lip-tie procedure, periodontal therapy, or gum recontouring? A CO2 laser treatment in Lakewood, CO is the best choice! These laser procedures are frequently chosen by patients looking for accuracy and a speedy recovery.

While CO2 laser is used primarily in cosmetic surgery to enhance patients’ skin, some studies have shown that using CO2 laser treatment can also have advantages for oral care. You might further wonder what exactly CO2 laser treatment is or what is laser tongue-tie removal, how and when CO2 laser is used for tongue-tie removal, and more. Read on to have all of these questions answered by the professionals at Fox Point Dental.

What is a CO2 Laser and How Does it Work?

A CO2 laser is an innovative technology that uses carbon dioxide gas as the active substance in a highly focused beam of light to cut tissue during surgery. Laser light cleans, sterilizes, and seals as it cuts tissue, which reduces bleeding and pain and shortens healing time.

By vaporizing water molecules in the targeted tissue, the CO2 laser removes the tissue precisely without causing any harm to the surrounding tissues. This results in a less intrusive operation, less postoperative discomfort, and a quicker recovery period changing the laser dentistry world forever.

CO2 lasers have been useful in other oral care procedures, like periodontal therapy, aphthous ulcer (canker sore) treatment, biopsies, gum recontouring, removal of extra gum tissue. It has even been amazingly helpful in tongue and lip-ties (frenectomies) in infants, children, and adults. Soft palate tightening can also be an option with our CO2 laser! Some side effects of soft palate tightening are less movement of the soft palate, which could potentially help with snoring noises and even sleep quality.

It has been found that laser lip-tie and tongue-tie releases (or laser frenectomies) enhance nursing and babies’ ability to speak. Laser frenectomies have grown to be a popular option for patients looking for precision and rapid recovery time with high success rates and low levels of discomfort.

What is a Tongue-Tie?

Tongue-tie, also known as ankyloglossia, is a common condition where the frenulum – the piece of tissue that joins the tongue to the floor of the mouth – is shorter, thicker, or tighter than normal. The condition of tongue tie can be divided into two categories:

  1. Tongue-Tie in Infants

In infants, common symptoms of tongue-ties include:

  • Difficulty latching during breastfeeding
  • Poor weight gain
  • Fussiness during feedings
  • Clicking noises while nursing
  • Excessive drooling
  • Difficulty holding a pacifier or bottle

Babies with tongue-tie might find it challenging to nurse since their limited tongue movement might make it difficult for them to latch on correctly. Poor weight growth and pain for the mother when breastfeeding may also result from this.

  1. Tongue-Tie in Older Children or Adults

In older children and adults, the symptoms of a tongue-tie might include:

  • Difficulty speaking or enunciating certain sounds
  • Difficulty moving the tongue or sticking it out past the lips
  • A tongue that appears notched or heart-shaped when extended
  • Dental issues, such as a gap between the front teeth or misaligned teeth
  • Difficulty with certain oral activities, such as licking an ice cream cone or playing a wind instrument

A tongue-tie in older children and adults can hamper their ability to pronounce words clearly and articulately. Moreover, a tongue-tie can affect oral health because it might result in malocclusion or misalignment of the jaws or teeth. This misalignment can cause tooth decay, gum disease, and abnormalities of the temporomandibular joint (TMJ).

It’s important to note that some people might not experience the symptoms of a tongue-tie and that the severity of symptoms varies widely. If you think that you or your child might have a tongue-tie, it’s important to speak with a healthcare professional to explore treatment options and ensure the best possible oral health outcome.

What is a Laser Frenectomy?

A laser frenectomy is simply the removal of a tongue tie using CO2 laser treatment. It is a nominally invasive surgical procedure that uses a CO2 laser to treat tongue or lip ties. During a laser frenectomy, a CO2 laser is used to remove the restrictive tissue, which can help resolve a variety of oral health concerns.

The use of laser tongue tie surgery has been steadily increasing in the United States, with many practitioners opting for this minimally invasive option.

What to expect during a CO2 Laser Frenectomy Procedure 

During CO2 laser tongue tie removal, the surgeon uses a CO2 laser to carefully remove the constrictive tissue that is causing the tongue or lip tie. The surgeon frequently administers local anesthetic during the surgery to reduce discomfort, which usually only lasts a few minutes. Occasionally, the surgeon might use sedation or general anesthesia for newborns or young children.

A frenectomy for tongue-tie typically consists of the following steps:

  1. A local anesthetic will numb the area that is to be treated. A shot or a topical numbing gel may be used for this.
  1. The constrictive tissue will be removed using the CO2 laser. The laser is directed to exclusively target the problematic tissue and is extremely precise.
  1. After the tissue has been removed, the area will be watched to make sure that any complications are avoided and the bleeding is kept to a minimum.
  1. Stitches might or might not be required depending on the specific circumstances.

Patients can usually resume their regular activities within a day or two after treatment. You might have some pain or swelling, but you can typically treat this with over-the-counter painkillers or a cold compress.

Why Laser Frenectomy for Infants is Beneficial

Laser frenectomy is said to be highly effective and safe for infants with a tongue-tie.

The procedure offers the following benefits:

  • It is a minimally invasive procedure that is particularly beneficial for infants who have delicate oral tissues and may experience greater discomfort or bleeding with more invasive procedures.
  • It can be performed with local anesthesia or mild sedation, which is typically safer for infants than general anesthesia.
  • It is highly precise, which means that it can target only the problematic tissue without damaging surrounding areas.

Schedule a CO2 Laser Frenectomy in Lakewood, CO today

Fox Point Dental in Lakewood is the best option if you’re considering CO2 laser treatment for a lip or tongue tie. CO2 laser treatments provide patients of all ages the advantages of less discomfort, quicker healing, and lower costs as compared to conventional surgical procedures.

Fox Point Dental takes into account your particular needs and preferences. You can be sure that you’ll get the care you need at a cost you can afford. Book an appointment with us today!

About the Author

Dr. Elizabeth Turner is a whole-health, family dentist in Lakewood, CO who provides general, restorative, and cosmetic dental care. She focuses on the mouth-body connection and helps her patients smile confidently, breathe clearer, and live healthier lives. 

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