Not all release providers are equal. It is imperative that you are able to differentiate the providers that release for patient airway health and function versus the ones who release as an additional office revenue stream. (Yes, the current state of healthcare has devolved into procedures being done for monetary reason. It's sad, but that's a post for another time.)
These questions will help you determine if the provider you are considering is right for you. Download our tongue tie release checklist and provider questionnaire as additional handy resources.
How many releases do you do?
Without discounting schooling or post secondary training, you do not want the provider that is inexperienced or only does releases occasionally. A seasoned release professional who does the procedure at least several times a week is among the desired.
How do you Do the procedure?
Does the provider believe that one type of tool or technique is better than the other? Do they do releases with scissors/scapel sometimes for certain situations and laser for the other? Are all procedures done just in one way?
It's important to know what exactly will be occuring when you are in their chair or operating table. Ask this question to gauge whether the doctor will be performing a personalized release that fits your tongue tie. A cookie cutter release system is not desired.
Key things to note include:
- General or local anesthesia ("put to sleep" vs awake and numb)
- Laser release or scalpel
- Sutures or not
Why do you release?
An airway focused provider that is performing a release will typically have a great response that explains the connections with tongue function, breathing and health. Any other answers are unacceptable. You should not be the sole advocate for having a release, nor the sole prompt for one.
How do you feel about Myofunctional therapy?
If the provider is completely unfamiliar with myofunctional therapy, be advised that you should note the exits and head towards one.
There are several views regarding myofunctional therapy when it comes to release procedures. The ideal answer you should receive is that the provider recommends you do therapy before and after the procedure for optimal healing. (For a better understanding of why download our Frenectomy Tips Before They Snip)
How Often do you do Revisions?
As mentioned before, there are some providers using releases as an additional income stream. This leads to a negative perception of the procedure, airway focused dentistry/medicine, and efficacy. Preferred providers often see patients who need to have a second or third release due to the ineffective first procedure by another provider.
Revisions are also something that can sometimes occur with excellent providers. Some who are severely tied may need to be released twice in order for the provider to get through the entire frenulum. This question should give you clarity from the provider's perspective as to what situations may indicate revisions and what mistakes they may see others making.
What should i expect after?
Just as important as it is to go into the release fully prepared, you want to know exactly how you should prepare for the healing process. Will you be able to drive yourself home? Do you need to bring pain medication? Will something be prescribed for you? How long until you perform your exercises or stretch the wound? When do you return to see them for a post operative check?
Prepare for any pain, restrictions in diet or movement, time off of work, assistance you may need, plan to return for post operative evaluation and may other considerations by getting all the details in advance.
Should I seek additional treatment?
Myofunctional therapy is not the only recommendation that can follow a release. Some providers suggest that you also seek out a body worker (osteopath, craniosacral therapist, myofascial release, chiropractor or massage therapist). The body worker can physically manipulate tensions that may linger or assist with the healing process by providing additional stretches.
Perhaps you have issues with sleep or jaw pain, then the provider may suggest you seek out a sleep physician or have a sleep appliance fabricated. Regardless of what symptoms you presented with that brought about a tongue tie evaluation, it is important that you address all the issues you may have that you were unaware are associated. Your provider should be able to either treat or point you to additional treatment you should seek out for full healing.
- DO ask every question you can prior to choosing your release provider
- DON'T settle for a provider who does not personalize treatment
- DO understand why you want to be released
- DON'T choose a release provider that does not understand why you need to be released
- DO perform myofunctional therapy before AND after release
- DON'T be unprepared for the healing process
- DO know your options and get second opinions
- DON'T miss out on tips, stories, support and more in our Facebook group Tongue Tied Community and Support