Dakota Dental is proud to be among the few dental offices offering frenuloplasty treatment in the Twin Cities. At the helm of this important procedure is Dr. Ellen Jacobson, DDS and Minnesota native. Today, we sat down with Dr. Jacobson and Teresa McGinn, Dakota Dental’s in-house lactation counselor, to learn more about their approach to lip and tongue tie surgery.
Lip & Tongue Tie Surgery with Dr. Jacobson
A Commitment to Expertise
Dr. Jacobson became an expert in frenuloplasty so that she could safely and knowledgeably treat infants and children, as well as adults, who were struggling. While this procedure is possible with a scalpel, Jacobson opts to use a laser, which leads to minimal discomfort and a faster recovery time.
“Believe it or not, I’m one of the only dental surgeons in the Twin Cities with physicians laser safety training. You would think that would be required by anyone using a laser,” remarks Dr. Jacobson “But it’s not.”
Additionally, she’s committed to relentlessly pursuing knowledge on the topic. She and the team at Dakota Dental consistently attend conferences run by tongue and lip tie organizations. Their opinion? Continuing education is paramount to delivering the best care to their patients.
A Holistic Approach
One thing that sets Dakota Dental apart is their holistic approach to lip and tongue tie surgeries.
While the procedure itself isn’t very long (typically, less than 5 minutes for infants and 15 for adults), there is a lot to consider before and after surgery. While some providers will simply cut the tissue and say goodbye, that’s not Dakota Dental’s way.
“People are surprised to learn we do not offer same day treatments,” says Jacobson. “Instead we opt for an extensive pre- and post-op plan. This is how we see lasting, successful results.”
When a patient comes in for consultation, time is spent making an accurate diagnosis and thoroughly educating the patient. From there, patients are set up with professionals to help with body work related to the upcoming procedure.
Why The Whole Body is Important
This adherence to a holistic approach makes sense when you think about how these parts of the body work together. The surgery impacts how you position the lips or tongue, which in turn influence the jaw. How the jaw moves affects the neck, and the neck connects with the spine.
“When we talk to patients we liken it to a joint replacement. Before surgery, you use that time to strengthen that area,” says McGinn. “Then, after surgery, it’s time to learn how to use the new joint. The newly released tissue doesn’t know what to do. We need to retrain it and build up muscle memory for ideal healing.”
The Team Mindset
The Dakota Dental office follows the most up to date guidelines and best practices for frenuloplasty which clearly lay out the importance of doing pre- and post-op therapy to make sure we get the best results. This has led them to a team-based approach.
“We try to work with the other professionals involved in treating the whole patient, not just the tissue itself,” notes Jacobson.
Depending on the individual circumstances of the patient, other team members may include:
- Speech or language pathologist with expert training in myofunctional therapy
- Craniosacral therapist
- Physical therapist
- Occupational therapist
- Lactation consultant
This team works together to ensure the body is ready to handle this new adjustment.
Preparing Infants for Frenuloplasty
Getting a newborn or young infant prepared for surgery is no small feat. But bringing in a lactation professional (IBCLC) who is knowledgeable about infant lip or tongue ties helps facilitate a smooth transition. Retraining parts of the body helps the infant prepare to immediately feed once surgery is complete.
“I am the only dentist in the Twin cities to have an in-house, certified lactation consultant as part of my team,” says Jacobson. “[Teresa] is also my physical assistant for the procedure who has completed extensive training and continuing education in both lactation and frenectomies.”
Teresa McGin is a certified lactation counselor (CLC) and expanded functions dental assistant LDA with restorative functions. Her evaluations take place in a beautiful, private lactation suite designed for nursing families. This private infant feeding therapy room allows parents needed private time.
“We wanted the time surrounding the procedure to feel comfortable. So, our team worked to make it feel and look…not like a treatment or an operating room. Now, it’s a cozy place for families to wait during surgery and work through the instant feeding once surgery is finished,” says McGinn.
Dakota Dental Offers Frenuloplasty Treatment in the Twin Cities
With patients coming in from all over the metro, Dakota Dental has become a top-rated destination for this procedure. If this surgery sounds like something you or a loved one would benefit from, schedule a consultation with Dr. Jacobson. We’d love to learn more about your individual circumstances and see how we can help.
“We see the difference with patients more than anyone else would because we’re with them through the whole process,” says Jacobson, “I don’t know any other company in the Twin Cities who coordinates pre- and post-op patient care than us.”