WHAT IS A FRENECTOMY?
A frenectomy is simply the removal of a frenum in the mouth. A frenum is a muscular attachment between two tissues. There are two frena (the plural form of frenum) in the mouth that can sometimes obstruct normal function and are candidates for frenectomies. These frena are called the lingual frenum, which connects the tongue to the floor of the mouth, and the maxillary labial frenum, which connects the inside of your upper lip to your gums just above your upper two front teeth.
WHO IS THIS PROCEDURE FOR?
This procedure is for people experiencing:
- Ankyloglossia - Also known as being "Tongue-Tied"
- A gap in their teeth since a prominent maxillary labial frenum can cause a large gap to occur between the upper two front teeth.
- Pain on the upper lips and gums
WHAT ARE THE BENEFITS OF A FRENECTOMY?
Patients who have undergone frenectomy have experienced better quality of life.
- It reduces oral discomfort.
- It improves facial appearance through the elimination of tooth gap between the two upper front teeth.
- It promotes self-confidence.
- It enhances bite function.
- It stabilizes dentures among denture users.
- It enhances communication and expression of oneself.
- It improves appetite because patient can eat properly.
HOW IS THE PROCEDURE PERFORMED?
Your surgeon will use a scalpel or a laser to remove the frenum. Just for awareness purposes please note that laser surgery will minimize bleeding, reduce the need for sutures, and cause less pain although it is slightly more expensive. On the other hand, if the scalpel is used, you may need more sutures. People who go through a laser frenectomy must remain completely still during the operation. Younger children may need general anaesthesia while older children and adults may opt for local anaesthesia.
HOW LONG DOES THE PROCEDURE USUALLY LAST?
The whole surgery can be completed within 15-30 minutes depending, your full cooperation may speed things up.
- You may have to take over-the-counter non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs like ibuprofen, Advil, and Motrin to relive pain.
- You can rinse with saltwater in order to keep the area clean.
- You should brush carefully around the area and floss as well.
- If your stitches have to be removed then you must return to the dentist after a week or two. Otherwise, if your sutures are dissolvable then you do not have to worry.
HOW LONG TILL I FULLY RECOVER?
Frenectomies will take a couple of weeks to completely heal, depending on the person and the care they've shown themselves the road to recovery is shortened.
THINGS TO CONSIDER
Before you recommend a frenectomy on your child, your dentist must weigh several factors including the possibility that the condition may eventually correct itself even without surgery. If your child has tongue tie then your child may have to see a speech therapist first and find out if the problem can be corrected. Therapy will include tongue exercises that increase the tongue’s mobility.
** PLEASE CONSULT WITH YOUR DENTIST/SURGEON FOR FURTHER INFORMATION ABOUT THE PROCEDURES, RISKS, COMPLICATIONS AND/OR ADVICE REGARDING YOUR CONDITION