Dr. Lori Cockley has a special interest and advanced training in the diagnosis and treatment of TOTs (tethered oral tissues), commonly known as "tongue-ties" and "lip ties." She is a member of the International Affiliation of Tongue-tie Professionals (IATP) and has trained nationally and internationally with some of the most renowned names in the field. She is a member of several internet tongue-tie forums and the co-author of an article published in the Winter 2015 edition of the Journal of the American Orthodontic Society describing the significance of tongue-ties in orthodontics.
Between 4% and 15% of children are born with tongue-ties. This means their tongues have a congenital abnormality characterized by an excessively short, tight membrane of tissue (frenum) connecting the tongue to the floor of the mouth. These vary greatly in degrees of severity but may cause impingement of mobility and function of the tongue. This can cause anything from moderate inconveniences (e.g., inability to lick an ice cream cone), to more severe impairments (e.g., inability to breastfeed in infancy and the development of significant speech impediments).
A diagnosis of TOTs is based on symptoms as well as clinical appearance. Some TOTs are obvious, while others, such as posterior tongue-ties, require careful examination to detect.
A frenectomy is a delicate surgical procedure to release these restrictions. It is done with a diode laser with little to no anesthetic, no pain, and typically no bleeding. The procedure takes only a few moments. While Dr. Cockley performs these frenectomy procedures on patients of all ages, she is one of the few practitioners in the area who is experienced in treating infants as young as 24 hours old.
For your convenience, consultations and procedures may be done at the same visit. Parents are welcome to stay in the room during the procedure if requested. Immediately after the procedure, our comfortable, private breastfeeding area is available for you to bond with your baby.
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