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Refer a Patient

Skeptical about referring a patient?

We get it. We hear this a lot. Unfortunately, vague or absent education about tongue- and lip-ties has positioned us, as practitioners, to naturally feel this way. Frankly, it wasn’t until a tongue-tie significantly impacted my own life and the lives of my children that I started to pay attention. So, if you’ve ever thought or said one of these statements, we encourage you to expand for the facts.

"Tongue-ties rarely cause issues.”
Breastfeeding and bottle-feeding difficulties, poor weight gain, reflux, colic, gassiness, speech delay, slow eating, choking and gagging, poor sleep quality, snoring, and teeth grinding are related to tongue-ties and very often (84-89% in our study) see improvement once correctly released. When left untreated, adults may struggle with headaches, neck pain, shoulder tension, and poor sleep or speech.
“The tongue-tie will stretch out.”
The tongue-tie is comprised of a thick webbing of fascia (mainly type 1 collagen fibers) that stretches less than 1%. If left untreated, it will persist into adulthood, and although some children can remarkably compensate with a tight tongue, no child should have to miss out on proper development and struggle with daily activities because of a condition that is so easily treated.
“Treating tongue-ties is a fad.”
Tongue-ties have been written about for thousands of years, and until the 20th century, were commonly released because it was clear that they impeded normal function. In the 1920s, treating tongue-ties fell out of favor. With renewed emphasis on breastfeeding, we are now seeing increased diagnosis as well as treatment. Because this condition has been virtually ignored for decades, many parents and professionals are not aware of the issues it may cause. It also seems to be increasing in incidence due to unknown factors, similar to the rise in autism. Treating autism is not a fad, and neither is treating tongue-ties.
“A posterior tongue-tie doesn’t exist.”
A posterior tongue-tie is simply a symptomatic tongue restriction. Restricted fascia or webbing under the tongue is sometimes clearly visible, and other times it’s not easily seen. The baby or child who has no obvious string but has all the symptoms of a tongue-tie often has a posterior tongue-tie. When elevating the tongue with two index fingers from behind, the tight webbing of fascia will be visible. When released, patients see the same type of symptom improvement as those with a to-the-tip tie, since the posterior aspect of the tongue is finally able to elevate properly. This allows for improved swallowing, speech, and sleep as the resting posture of the tongue no longer falls into the airway.
“A clip or a snip with scissors is enough.”
Often a snip or clip leaves thick tissue behind. The patient often sees some improvement, but the standard “clip,” without post-op exercises, is likely to be incomplete or grow back. A full release of restricted fascia will allow better function and symptom resolution. The laser allows complete visualization of the surgical area, and with ultimate precision and typically no bleeding, we release all the tight tissue while protecting important structures under the tongue.
“Just give it time.”
Many issues in pediatrics will improve with time. Telling a mother who is having toe-curling pain and struggling to nurse to “just give it time” is unhelpful. Bottle-fed babies who still struggle with excessive gas, slow feeding, milk leaking out of the mouth, and reflux often have a tongue-tie, and will continue to struggle. Children with difficulty eating solids or speech issues very often have a tie. Traditional speech therapy does not assess for ties. As a result, practitioners will try to have the child compensate to achieve normal-sounding speech, but incorrect tongue placement can lead to dental development issues and increased effort when speaking. It’s wise to remove the physical impediment if it can be easily released. In this case, inaction is often more harmful than action.
“They will just laser everyone.”
We are sure to thoroughly review each patient’s history, typically spending 30 minutes or more talking with the family before examining the patient. We conduct a careful examination from behind, with magnification and a headlamp, in order to accurately assess restrictions. We have a lengthy discussion with parents, so there is no misunderstanding or over-promising of results, and to set realistic expectations for the procedure. The procedure is quick (around 15 seconds), is no more traumatizing than a routine vaccine and much faster than circumcision. The CO2 laser is ultra-precise, removing the width of a human hair at a time, so it’s easily controlled and safer than scissors, scalpel, diode laser, or cautery, which can cause iatrogenic damage if the patient were to move. We only perform the procedure when a tie is significantly affecting the quality of life. If we determine, through exploration of symptoms and physical examination, that one or both areas (lip or tongue) are not in need of a release, we counsel patients not to pursue treatment. Our patients’ best interest is of primary concern to our entire team and our desire to see them thrive is what motivates our work.
“They must be doing it for the money.”
We do this because it’s very rewarding.

Parents are so thankful when their baby can eat without getting frustrated or gains weight quickly, and when mom has less pain. Kids who are speech delayed often start talking more and with increased clarity. Kids who have struggled with poor sleep finally sleep deeply and, in turn, often display more positive behavior. Kids with eating issues can finally go out to eat at a restaurant with their families because it’s no longer a big struggle to eat. In our recent prospective IRB-approved study, at one month after the procedure, 89% of kids with speech issues had improved speech, 84% of those with eating issues had improved feeding, and 84% with sleeping trouble had improved sleep.

What you can expect when you refer a patient.

Immediate Attention

We know what it’s like to struggle with nursing or feeding issues. So, we accept same-day appointments and, if we see a problem, can often address it during your first visit.

Schedule a Consult

Thorough Evaluations

As you may know, the process of diagnosing a tongue-tie involves taking an in-depth history, completing in-person pretreatment assessments, and examining the mouth, head, and neck structures. We cover it all.

Get the Facts

HOnest Pricing

As dental professionals, we are out-of-network with medical insurance plans. However, we provide our patients with a claim form and many receive some reimbursement. All fees are discussed upfront and all follow-up visits are included.

Lasting Solutions

Often, a snip or a clip with scissors leaves thick tissue behind. With our innovative technique, we remove all of the restriction quickly, easily, and as gently as possible. Plus, in the rare chance that it grows back within a year, we’ll fix it again, free!

How the Procedure Works

Incredible transformations are within reach.

After the procedure, children often:

Eat

with fewer struggles.

Babies nurse and bottle-feed easier and older children eat quicker and feel satisfied longer.
Mom’s also report less pain with nursing.

Sleep

with more peace.

Infants and children often sleep more soundly as they can breathe through their noses, which can also improve behavior throughout the day.

Speak

with greater confidence.

Small children, who are just learning to speak, often form their first words with less difficulty, while older children speak with added clarity.

Jennifer L.

As soon as the procedure was done, my son latched on deeply for the first time. Two and a half weeks after the procedure [we] went to the pediatrician for a weight check. The doctor was surprised at his weight gain and they said we should not need a feeding tube any longer!

Naomi D.

I couldn’t be more thankful to them. Not only did they fix my son’s lip-tie, Dr. Baxter fixed his tongue-tie that nobody else had even said anything about. That seriously changed his life. He went from a 2.5 yr old that didn’t talk to the most talkative 2.5 yr old ever!

Emily J.

Dr Baxter corrected our infants tongue-tie. SUCH a better experience than having the correction done [elsewhere] with our previous kids. His techniques are thorough and quick. He called us that evening to check on us and gave us his number so we could contact him if we needed anything.

Jamie M.

I can’t believe my daughter was put through surgeries, feeding tubes, therapy and releasing a tongue-tie fixed her. Thank you!!!

Jeanna M.

We are already seeing huge improvements in his nursing and sleep patterns. Dr. Baxter took his time explaining everything to us, and has the kindest disposition.

Darby W.

Our experience with Dr. Baxter was wonderful! The procedure was a breeze, lasted 15 seconds, and my kid was running on the playground outside of the building immediately after.

Patients have travelled from all over the nation and around
the world to receive Dr. Baxter’s care.

View Dr. Baxter’s Awards & Recognitions

2018: ICAP (International Tongue-Tie Organization) Award for Clinical Excellence
2018: Achieved Board Certification in Laser Surgery from the ABLS
2016: Healthcare Professional of the Year, Shelby County
2016: Small Business of the Year, Shelby County
2015: Achieved Board Certification in Pediatric Dentistry from the American Board of Pediatric Dentistry
2013: Resident Recognition Award from the American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry (AAPD) for innovative work in the field of community service
2012: Academy of Dental Materials Award for research in the field of dental materials
2012: AAPD Predoctoral Student Award for outstanding promise in the field of pediatric dentistry
2012: Leon M. Schneyer Award for highest scholastic achievement in the basic sciences
2012: Inducted into OKU National Dental Honor Society
2011: Awarded first place at the American Association of Dental Research DENTSPLY/Caulk Research Competition

Eliminate your patients’ mouth restrictions once and for all.

Here’s how it works:

Refer Your patient.

Complete the simple form at the bottom of this page or call us directly at (205) 419-4333 to make a referral.

We'll start with a consult.

We often spend 30+ minutes listening to patients’ concerns, helping them get to the root cause of the issues their children are experiencing.

Then report back with the results.

Whether it’s eating, sleeping or speaking that improves, a tongue- or lip-tie release can make a profound impact on your patients’ lives.

Address

2480 Pelham Pkwy
Pelham, Alabama

Hours

Monday – Friday
8:00 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.

Refer a Patient

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